Nancy (3 Years Old)
Because You are my Helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings,
I cling to You, Your strong right hand holds me securely.
Psalms 63:7-8 NLT
I would like to address a subject that is often swept under the rug, not because it’s deviate or inappropriate, but simply because there is a stigma attached to it…a stigma brought on by ignorance. Yes, I said it! I’m talking about clinical depression. Oftentimes people who suffer from this malady try not to let it be known because the condition is associated with mental illness or instability…not so! Are people with other chronic illnesses that are caused by chemical imbalance (for instance diabetics) considered mentally ill? I don’t think so.
Now, I’m not talking about a down day here and there. We all have those. I’m talking about something these people have to deal with every day. Circumstance doesn’t cause it, although it can worsen it. You just wake up with it and you go to bed with it and you just have to deal with it.
And for those of you that would get on your “high horse” regarding divine healing…I am not excluding that possibility. God is certainly able! He has healed me more than once in my lifetime.
You may be thinking, “Well, what makes you an expert on the subject?” I’ll tell you what…the best schooling one can have…experience! I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, although I didn’t know what to call it. Even as a child I was never happy. All of my pictures from childhood depict a solemn, stoic-faced mini-person. At the same time, I was almost always angry. Only my family knew this side of me and they didn’t really understand.
Now, you may be thinking that I was a spoiled brat, but that really isn’t the case. Most of the time I was a good little girl and a perfectionist about everything…even my behavior. I have come to the conclusion that something in my childhood that I don’t even remember must have triggered this dysfunctional behavior. I’ll probably never know what. My mother used to kid me by singing this nursery rhyme, “Once there was a little girl who had a little curl right down in the middle of her forehead; When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad…she was horrid!”
I grew up in a middle-class home with parents who provided for me and gave me the care and comfort I needed. They showed me love in the only way they, as survivors of the “great depression”, knew how. My father worked incessantly to provide for us a better life than he had experienced as a child. My mother was a homemaker who cooked, sewed and performed her motherly duties without complaint. One fond memory I do have when in grade school is coming home and opening the front door to the wafting aroma of fresh-baked tea cakes! Ummm! My mom could make the best!
Now you may be wondering why I am telling you this…am I just airing my dirty laundry so to speak? Absolutely not! What purpose would I have? I know that many people suffer from depression and many, like me, may not even know the reason. Many feel guilty about it, especially if they are a Christian. If that is true of you, I want you to know that I understand and empathize. You are not alone and it’s not your fault! But I do want to open for you a door of hope. I do want to tell you that there is something that you can do about it. Yes, I said something YOU can do!
I don’t want to write a book on this one blog entry, so if it’s okay with you, I would like to write a series on this subject. I would like to share my experiences and my lessons learned. I will share my pain and my progress, my defeats and my victories, my losses and my gains. If you don’t have a problem with this silent, sinister spawn of Satan called “Depression”, I’ll bet you know someone who does. And if I can share one nugget that will help them to overcome, I will not keep silent. I leave you with this thought, “Don’t judge another until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes!”