Mindful of My Mind

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…

10 thoughts on “Mindful of My Mind

  1. Precious girl i have been there…. took drugs… was shamed, felt shameful, suicidal, got even more depressed. God is so big and gracious that after going thru post part-um depression TWICE…. i didn’t endure it a third time!

    It’s such a taboo subject. I plan to change that!
    If a diabetic needs insulin they are not deprived of it ? So why should someone who is depressed be shunned and shamed for needing some medication!

    1. I totally agree Rachel! Thanks for sharing and for being so open and honest about the subject. I look forward to hearing more about your story through your blog as well as your guest posts on Clutch! 🙂

  2. Hi Jana,

    I love that you have added categories to your Blog – that is going to be very useful!

    Well I had a million responses to this post – this is such an important subject & I am really grateful that you have brought it up. I have way too much too say about this so may start a series on depression & suicide on my Blog as a response so that I don’t Blog on your Blog 🙂 Thank you so much for getting the ball rolling, clearly people want to and need to talk about this! I look forward to hearing more about your story – thank you for being real.

    Love
    Angela
    x

    1. Thank you Angela! I truly appreciate the support and I look forward to reading what you write on the subject as well! You have become a great source of encouragement for me and so many others!!

    1. Sarah I appreciate how you have paved the way for women in ministry to share their hearts freely! It is so important and you have made it much easier for all of us to “go there”. 😉

  3. Wow, I have a heart for this topic among the church as well. In fact, my very good friend Natalie, will be a guest post for my blog soon regarding this very topic. Her husband was diagnosed with bipolar in his late 20’s and committed suicide four years ago. They were missionaries and loved God will all their heart but Michael was sick. She is working on her Doctorate right now and focusing on counseling family members who live with a depressed family member. Her heart is very much passioned for the church as it struggles with having preconceived thoughts about mental illness.
    I appreciate your authenticity here and look forward to reading more of your story.Thanks for sharing and being real. That’s what it’s all about

    1. Melody I can’t wait to read Natalie’s insight and wisdom on the subject. I follow your blog every day now, so I would love to let everyone know when she guest posts. I think the more we talk about it, the more people will feel comfortable and free to share themselves. Thank you for writing and for giving so much of yourself through your blog. It’s done with excellence and it shows!!

  4. Thanks Jana for sharing this! It is so nice to see someone being real about this issue. I have struggled with depression ever since I was in a car accident in 2005. It has been a tough battle for me, especially since on top of the depression, I have dealt with chronic pain and a closed head injury. Sadly enough, I feel like people I knew from church actually understood the least. I made the decision to not take an anti-depressant, but I understand those who do. I am doing better now, but still find myself having weeks or months that are difficult. Thanks again for being real! I think this effects more people than we realize. And so much healing comes from being honest with ourselves and each other.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Wendy! It’s sad, but true that the church can often overlook this very real issue. I hope everyone visits your blog so that they can see what incredible joy and inspiration has come out of a very difficult season in your life. You are such a gift!

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