By Patrick Hawthorne
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.