It wasn’t too long of a wait, although it seemed like an eternity. I procrastinated on making the appointment for a number of reasons, but none of them were good enough. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of nothing, but my mind and my heart were at odds and my heart finally won out. I wasn’t quite sure what would happen, but I knew I couldn’t go on like I was. I had allowed myself to become exhausted and entirely numb. Making it through the day was more than difficult and putting on a smile for people was becoming harder with each passing week.
I sat across from my doctor, very well composed and articulate. I knew what I needed to ask, but the words were so heavy. I felt like the entire conversation was happening in slow motion. My doctor looked at me, square in the eye and chuckled. “You…depressed?” “Oh come on, you are always so happy!” I was a little taken aback, my doctor knew me from church as well as other social functions, but not well enough to shrug off my concerns. But as I sat there I realized every time he saw me, I was outgoing, smiling and laughing. To him I was happy and loving life, but what he didn’t know was the amount of effort that went into making it look comfortable and real. After much deliberation he handed me a prescription. I walked to my car feeling thankful and at peace. But even then, I couldn’t help but think that I was letting God down. I wondered if it was because my prayer time was lacking, or if I just didn’t have the faith to pull through the seemingly never-ending season.
One thing is for sure…judgement and criticism can be brutal…especailly when it is self-inflicted.
There is much to be said about depression and mental illness in the church. Sadly, it seems as though there is still a cloud of secrecy hovering over this topic. I think this ranks right up there with sexual sin, no one really wants to talk about it or seek help. It can be embarrassing and extremely personal. So, for that reason I will speak respectfully about this topic. I understand that there are varying opinions on the cause and cure for depression. However, I also feel a responsiblity to speak honestly from my experience. My hope is that you can find some comfort and inspiration from my story if this has been your battle as well.
To Be Continued…