I Cannot Say It Out Loud So I'm Writing It


Three weeks ago, I paid a visit to a local psychiatrist to better understand my dragging life situation. The three-hour talk and exams resulted to a diagnosis of a high-level of depression because the illness was suppressed for such a long time. The results show that my anxiety, anger and isolation-level was beyond the minimum rate for someone diagnosed with depression. Knowing what's wrong about me was somehow a relief because I now know what I am facing. However, different kinds of thoughts came into my mind about how I am going to live my life normally now as I continually battle with depression.

A week ago, I shared about my depression to my teammates and I  honestly can't say if their reaction was helpful or encouraging at the least. I cannot blame them though because as far as I know we haven't had any experiences of dealing with people who had depression. And, for most of us, we think that emotional sadness and depression are the same when they're not. Depression is an illness just like what you would call Cancer is - the only difference is that the former is intangible. 

Four days ago, I had a tough talk with my mom because she always insisted that I should think more positively, brush off all the negativity, have more faith and be that Bible-reading Christian that I used to be before. This pained me all the more because these were the things that I personally wanted to do but I just can't seem to find any reason why I should do it. I literally lost hope in life even if everything around me was doing pretty well - we have lots of opportunities to partner with schools in helping students become who God wants them to be and I just got admitted to law school. I told her that I hope she can understand how difficult my situation was and that the reason why I can still wake up in the morning after battling thoughts of suicide is because God is letting me borrow His strength. That conversation ended up with warm hugs and genuine apologies that somehow gave me relief because someone understood what I am going through.

Three days ago, I had a session with our Senior Pastor's wife and my mom's life coach about inner healing and deliverance. It was more like a spiritual counselling that ended up in prayer which made me feel at ease. I felt comforted as well because our Senior Pastor's wife can relate with me because she had gone through this before too. 

I believe that there is no one to blame in this situation - not even myself but it is my genuine prayer that everything that's lost will be restored. Here's a prayer that I wrote while preparing for our Mid-Year prayer and fasting:

I am hoping that God will be more visible as I go through this season. Some may think that I am a crybaby while others might say that I suffer from unbelief in God but I don't care. This is my crucible and I'll be greater after this. I know that my days will be filled with tough battles from the inside but as God exposes my idols and cut off sins that were inherited from my ancestors, I'll find myself in a position where I can personally experience His forgiveness and undying love for me.  
Until then, I'll try to fight everyday.

If you are reading this but you're not suffering from depression, I hope that you would extend patience and understanding to those who do. Depression is totally different from just being sad - it's not just something emotional because there will be times that people who suffer from depression would have physical manifestations like panic attacks and suicide. If you are a Christian, I hope that you will not judge them as people who lack faith because they are emotionally unstable - that will just make them feel guilty as if their faith is not big enough where in fact their everyday existence is attributed to their trust towards God even if it doesn't seem like it. Well, God sees the heart but man only sees the outward appearance. Also, I know that it can be irritating at times whenever you talk to your clinically depressed friends because they just doesn't seem to be happy with life, just extend empathy and understanding with tons of patience because even if depression can be healed, it takes time. As Christians we have been given the gift of one another but that will only work if we are all open to participating.

If you are diagnosed with depression, I want to tell you that you do not need to feel ashamed of yourself or of what you're going through. I know that there is that feeling of being judged by others as a super emotional being or someone who can't get his or her life in tack but you have to quit thinking about what others think of you and do not blame anyone for what is happening with your life - and that includes not blaming yourself too. If you are a Christian, I hope that you would understand that this is not a punishment from God but treat it as a team test because you are not alone in this battle - you have God and you have the right people who can help you. I know that there are times when you get restless at night because you are afraid about different things and there are days where you wake up with palpitations and a feeling of having a hole in your heart that would cause you to cry even if there's no reason at all. I know that you have thoughts of dying even if you do not want to kill yourself but because it's getting too much in your head that you really wanted to take your life to make it stop. I know it's hard to live life as if there is no hope at all and everything else seems to be so meaningless but I want to tell you that having depression doesn't mean you are weak. If others tell you otherwise, do not take it personally but treat it as an opportunity to educate them about this mental illness. 

Jesus was an example of how it is to get out of His comfort zone to identify with the broken and the damned. He became a friend to those who had leprosy and were considered outcasts in the society. He offered them His presence and His peace. Whether we have depression or not we are all called to become the salt and light of our society - to identify with the broken and the outcasts and to speak hope in their life by giving them the Good News of the Gospel rather than Good Advices.

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2 comments

  1. Hi Vynes! it's great to read your post once more!

    Don't fret! Whatever situation you are in right now, no matter how dark life may seem to be, as the cliche goes, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel and rainbow after the rain. Be comforted with the thought that God is always our shelter. Keep your faith burning.

    No judgments from me- I went through the same thing when I was pregnant with Jamie because I was highly anxious that I was bound to lose him just like my first pregnancy. I had to undergo counselling until he was born.

    Always remember that God is good all the time; all the time God is good!

    Congrats for making it to the Law School. I knew long before that you have what it takes.

    Cheers!

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