Depressed about Depression?

By Patrick Hawthorne

depressed

 

Years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday, I was in a slump.  I was so low I had to look up to see the underside of an ant’s belly.  One day all was fine and then BAM!  I was in a huge fog.  Not knowing what was happening, I went to the Lord in “Whine.”  Yes, I’m certain I was whining because it sure wasn’t praying.  My mood was so bad, I wanted to quit church, quit my job, and quit life.  No, I did not want to kill myself but just wanted to go off into some dark corner and sulk.

In the course of my whining, the Lord, who is very merciful in His grace, took me on a mental journey.  Through the images that passed through my mind, my Heavenly Father showed me the pattern to the depression.  I had not realized it, but this depression had gone on for years and would always hit about the time the weather patterns began to change from summer to fall.

The reason I’m writing this is because I wrote a post yesterday, October 26, 2016, entitled, “To be or Not to Be…A Heretic.”  Hours after posting it, I went back and reread the post because my wife made a comment that I appeared angry through my post.  To be totally honest, I thought I was being light hearted and comical.  However, from how I wrote some things, I immediately recognized that I was entering into the early stages of a depressive slump.

Firstly, I apologize if I caused any offense.  Secondly, now that I recognize the slump is trying to hit, I will share my little secrets for ensuring the depression will not gain a foot hold.

  • I make the decision to be happy. I know this sounds ludicrous to a depressed person, but I choose to walk in the joy of the Lord.  This takes faith.  I literally force myself to say, “The joy of the Lord is MY strength, and I choose to walk in joy.”  Yes, I am a Word of Faith kind of guy because I have faith in the promises of the Word.
  • I avoid things that are depressive. If you are into television shows that contain a lot of drama, SHUT IT OFF!  I don’t care if you don’t learn who the Bachelorette chose to marry today so she can divorce tomorrow…SHUT IT OFF!
  • I soak in the sun. I don’t really understand the physiological aspects of the sun on the human body, but I know that the brighter things are the happier I am.  I am stuck in an office for several hours out of the day.  To compensate, I bought me what is called a “Happy Light.”  It is a super bright light that I turn on to simulate sun light.  Hey, it works.  I have it on right now as I type this.  And no, I did not have it on when I wrote yesterday’s post.
  • I make myself pray and go to church. To be honest, I would enjoy nothing more than sitting on my keester and avoiding church during the winter months.  However,   I know I cannot avoid social interaction, especially with those who can pray and help me stay lifted up.

Well, that is about it.  Since the Lord showed me how do avoid depression, I have not had a major bout in years.  And, whenever it tries to rear its ugly head, I simply take the Sword of the Word and chop its head off.  You too can do the same.  Be blessed.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, depression, teaching
23 comments on “Depressed about Depression?
  1. I can surely relate brother as I’ve written about in the past. The key word in your post is “Choose”..it is our willful choices “we choose” to make each and every day which determines our course for the day, week, month…so on. Thank You Jesus for giving us the overcoming power of Your Spirit to walk in victory! Remain Blessed Brother!

    Like

  2. marijo1245 says:

    Amen! When it hits, I run to worship. The power of darkness cannot stand in the presence of praise and worship.

    Like

  3. Jules says:

    Absolutely, I’ve shared a lot about not getting on the feels train, I try not to even stand at the station anymore – and that’s hard cos we all like that ‘poor me’ moment.

    Bless you for sharing. I may have to get one of those lights, I’ve noticed life seems a lot harder in the long dark days.

    Like

  4. Patrick,

    I almost always have my wife read my posts before publishing them. The only exception has been when I’m posting old sermons that she has already heard.

    Admittedly, this works better when you don’t post but twice a week and neither one of us works full-time anymore.

    Don

    Like

  5. This was really an awesome post. I too wrestle with the weather and depression. Once when I was really in a blue mood, I told God, and he pointed out that I had totally depressed him, too. Here God is committed to chasing me around like some one chases a toddler, and I just kept stepping into this cesspool of social media, bad tv entertainment, and dreary thoughts.

    We really do have a great deal of control over our moods and Christ himself tell us to take our thoughts into captivity, to rule our own spirit.

    Like

  6. Patrick, great post. All good advice. Is your depression feeling bad, or is it depression diagnosed by a physician? I have a perspective to share. Feeling sad or bad or low for a time is not the same as diagnosed depression. Diagnosed depression is a bone fide mental illness.
    I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, after our family suffered a homicide in our home. Our ex-son-in-law shot and killed a dear family friend and paralyzed one of her daughters. Unless you’ve been there, you can’t imagine the aftermath. Along with my PTSD, I experienced a deep depression for months. I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t want to. I couldn’t force myself. I just put one foot in front of the other and did whatever I needed to do to get from point A to point B. Lately the PTSD symptoms have re-surfaced, along with my depression.
    All your suggestions for extricating yourself from a “huge fog” are good, and they may work for “fogs”. Not always PTSD and it’s sidekick depression. The Lord knows my condition and He has shown me His grace and love throughout my experience. When I’m in this place, I can’t “force” Bible reading, or even prayer. I’m not able to make consistent healthy choices. Sometimes, when I’m here, church is just a place to go, like the grocery store or school. My case is mild. I live with family members diagnosed with clinical depression and know several folks whose depression makes mine look like a day in Disneyland.
    I wrote this in hopes that your readers realize the world of difference between feeling blue in a fog and real depression.

    Like

    • Hi Steven, I really appreciate your comment. No, I have not been officially diagnosed with depression, but I don’t really feel the need. Something you might not know about me is that I have been in emergency services for almost 30 years (fire and police). I have dealt with some really unforgettable stuff in those years. Had it not been for the Lord, I don’t know if we would be having this conversation.

      Like

  7. SLIMJIM says:

    Patrick,
    Thank you for this post I pray God would bless those who really need it and even find this page by googling something for help.
    I think those four points are very practical.
    For the record the last post didn’t seem angry to me. It was like what you said, it sounded comical in the sense of putting something in perspective.

    Like

  8. Sai Bryan says:

    Awesome post! 🙂

    Like

  9. Wally Fry says:

    Hey Patrick

    I so get this and can so feel your distress. By they way, your post didn’t sound angry to me at all. Perhaps the humor was a little dry is all LOL.

    I get very morose sometimes. I never. really thought about it as being depressed exactly, but I can last for several days and be severe, at least if feels that way to me. And, usually I can see it coming, because I get unreasonably cranky and angry when it’s about to start. When it happens, I just want everybody to leave me alone. Since I don’t really have that option at work, I sort of power through it there, but then the family pays the full price of having some guy at home who isn’t really “there”.

    Good stuff friend, thanks for sharing it.

    Like

  10. […] Original post @  https://servinggrace.com/2016/10/27/depressed-about-depression/ […]

    Like

  11. Elihu says:

    Thank you for both your candor and your advice! Speaking God’s promises shines light in that fog of depression. Hold on to the promises, and thank you again for speaking life to those in despair. God bless you.

    Like

  12. Awesome post Patrick! Awesome. Do you know how many people could do with reading this post?rhetorical question! Thank God for your honesty; but more so I thank God for the solutions you listed to help others with. The greatest of that being choice! One has to choose to get up. God won’t do that for you; not because He doesn’t care or doesn’t love you but because He won’t violate our free will. When we use our gift of choice (no matter how hard it feels) He is then able to faithfully help us! I know I’m using this scripture from a different perspective but what the enemy meant for your bad ie depression God turned around for your good via your choice. Hallelujah thank you Jesus

    Like

  13. Thanks Jacquelyn. I have gone some rounds with a few who have suggested that God, in His sovereignty, caused me to be depressed in order for Him to be glorified. To that I say, “Horse Hockey.” However, I believe it is just as you wrote. The devil’s desire was for me to be depressed. Jesus, on the other hand, turned it around and was able to use it as a teachable moment.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 613 other followers

%d bloggers like this: