Daily encouragement for those who need God’s hand in walking out of depression, anxiety, fear, defeatedness, abuse, shame, worthlessness, abandonment, etc.
Here is a bit about my story and why I have decided to create this on-line devotional:
Depression is a nasty battle that started with me slowly… like a shadow in the early afternoon covering my world until it was shrouded in darkness and I could not at all see. I could not see through my days, I could not see through my nights. I eventually slipped so far into this depression that it put my family at financial risk and made me into a person who could barely cope through even the smallest tasks. Mothering, working, driving the children to and fro; which had all been part of my norm, suddenly seemed impossible. I had fallen so deeply that I just functioned by rote. There were no more thoughts, no more words… just the rote actions of going from one mandatory event to another. I needed help. This is the beginning of my story:
I now understand depression from the outside looking in instead of only from the inside. In my experience with depression, that is what it is. To describe it, I would say that originally, it actually felt like an escape and actually was seemingly a good thing from the chaos that I had been living in for so long. I likened it to going on a vacation in my mind. I lived my normal life, but things just seemed to go slower in my head while life was spinning a little faster around me. Eventually my thoughts seemed to just go numb. They took more time to process and the deeper I went, the worse this numbness of thought and spirit became. The words that I heard took time to seep in. One at a time my words would whisper themselves into the thickness of my slow-thinking head until I had an “oh.. yeah” thought and could piece together a sentence; truly, it had gotten that bad.
Reacting was done in slow motion. Sometimes I even felt as if the words that others spoke or the things happening around me that I needed to react to were on a loop that would try to get through to my consciousness until I finally could stretch myself enough to catch it. The world lost its perspective of time and space. After a while, I felt like I was living in a vast and endless void. It was so dark; at first it appeared to be comforting and soothing. I believed that I was feeling better because I just didn’t feel. I felt relieved as life actually seemed to be easier because I was so far removed from it that I reacted only when things were able to get through.
I had created a void in my mind. My own little piece of the universe far away from the world, the sun and all that weighed me down. A trip back to the womb; dark, floating, nothingness. A heartbeat, a numbness, a chance to just exist with nothing and nobody. Just breathing. That is all I had to do. That was the only thing that mattered, remember to breathe.. So calm.. so sweet this nothingness.. so tired… The fading seemed to be so good a change.
I actually didn’t realize that I was slipping into depression. Looking back, I see that I had actually been in early stages of depression many times in my life. It was such a usual occurrence to me that I labelled these times and called them my “Cocooning Days”. I felt that the best I could do on those days was get to work, come home, feed the kids, crawl into bed and then just lie there. I did not want TV, music, books or conversation. I just wanted to hide in my little bed-nest to help me get through the rest of the night. My own little world where I could feign functioning. (Well I was barely functioning, but in my mistaken perception, that is how I viewed it.)
Eventually, those cocooning days became more frequent, danced along until they were so tightly strung together that I was living in this dark, numb, unfeeling void.
I thought that I was happy until my youngest child, then eight-years-old, told me that she could not remember the last time that she saw me smile. That made me cry. And cry and cry and cry. Crying was really bad because it meant that I was feeling. I did not want to feel. I comforted her and put on a happy face for the next couple of days, but soon after slipped back into the void of nothingness. The further I went, the darker it got. I started to see myself as floating out in space; just a little, insignificant piece of the universe. I stayed in this place for a while, living, as I said, like a robot just carrying out rote duties.
I liked the blackness, but a sinister undertone started to slip through the cracks of this void and I started to be afraid. The comfort of it was leaving as the darkness itself became a voice in my head calling me further and further down into it. It started to feel as if I was creeping towards my death and indeed, I was. Suicide was a taboo word, but the thoughts about how much I was not needed, how worthless I was to those around me, how I just did. not. matter. Faintly I would hear myself thinking that it was not true, but the darker thoughts were overwhelming my being.
“Mommy, Christmas is three days away.. aren’t we putting up the Christmas tree this year?” My head slowly turned towards Victoria’s sweet little face and I woke up. I could not go back this time. Just like the snap of a finger, it was suddenly not a good, comforting, cocoon. I often wanted to, but I woke up through the grace of God and innocence of my child and realized that I had robbed all of my children of their mother for many months and that I had to do something fast.
Feeling the sinister energy that had been lulling me for so long told me that I was this was a problem within my spirit and I will be honest and say that as I was so deeply in this painful emotional state, it literally took me years to get out of the worst of it, but God is faithful and was with me every step of the way.
There will come a time that I will share the circumstances that lead me to that awful place, as we all have our story. We all have struggles that can bleed our spirit dry and turn our eyes away from God.
As I sat in church one day, my dear friend Debbie asked if I was ok. This was shortly after I had God’s wake up call through my daughter’s innocent question. I broke down and could not stop crying. The crying continued for months, but it was a release of years of emotional struggling and suffering. We prayed and at the end, when we went back into the service, I took a napkin and pen and wrote the following poem; the first poem that I ever posted on-line and started the process of undoing this horror of depression as I finally accepted the hand that God had been extending to me for years.
Join me as I share with you the worst of the obstacles that were in my way in this format of a devotional, which will hopefully speak either to your spirit or to someone around you who may be suffering with depression. God is our overcomer. We are constantly overcoming to becoming who He has planned us to be from the beginning of time.
The sweet, dark cave is calling me
Luring me to the abyss
Soothing thoughts and dulcet tones
Chaotic reality dismissed
“Shhh, sweet child, just drift away
Thy thoughts need not be so
Numb thy mind; take solace here
Sweet nothingness to know”
Drifting, floating, dark waters call
“Face down and float in my pool;
Soothing, sweet and comforting
My waters, they are cool”
Yes, I hear you; yes I want
That numbness of which you speak
I long to feel that void of thought
My soul and my spirit are weak
Lord where are You? I desperately call
Rescue me from this fate!
I am spinning fast and spiralling down
Help me before it’s too late
“Precious one I hear you call
I know your world is black
but I am light in the darkness
and I will help you back”
I give it to God and I lay down my hurt
My every fear in His hand
Take my spirit, my breath and my hope
Help me again to stand