The Hours

When clinical depression is “on-the-clock” it can be sheer agony. It resists and lingers, sometimes for days and days. (It can last for months if untreated.) But it seems that it is these “hours” that are scarcely endurable. It’s truly all this “wasted” time that can seem most unbearable to the afflicted.

“I was mute and silent,
I refrained even from good,
And my sorrow grew worse.”

–Psalm 39:2, NASB

Depressed people tend to suffer in silence and isolate themselves from the outside world. When you’re depressed, you feel less motivated to go out, make contact, socialize or participate in activities, or doing anything at all. It’s all you can do just to get out of bed.

Days, even weeks can go by without wanting to see anyone or talk to anyone. This aggravates feelings of isolation. Often depressed people do not want to talk about their problem or simply feel misunderstood.

Similarly, prolonged and intense feelings of depression can lead to loneliness. Treating the symptoms of depression may help resolve the problem but it isn’t a sure thing. Finding good relationships can push you out of a depression. Loneliness often fuels my depression. Find understanding friends that you can talk with.

unbelieving-believersBeating depression or loneliness does not start with having more friends, or a relationship, although it can help. It really starts from within and is a process that takes time and care. We can be tempted to scrap friendships because they’re a lot of work. But they maybe one of the keys to healing. Experience has taught me that humans go through life in patterns. (We ‘ll do the same thing over and over again.) Even in different situations, these patterns will be repeated and simply generate the same results. A friend can be a new and strategic solution to breaking free.

It is a good thing to know that Jesus Christ sees and understands. 

But it’s also good to have someone with “skin on.”  Someone you can see and touch.  That’s precisely why we have the Church.  People who believe and touch each other deeply, helping each other up.  Depression does not do very well in the true Body of Christ.

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:1-2

Dear broken believer, take solace in the people in the church. Learn to confide with those who understand. Sometimes I wonder if God has arranged my mental illness so that I will reach out to others. Perhaps He allows it to bless His Church?

“The church is not a select circle of the immaculate, but a home where the outcast may come in. It is not a palace with gate attendants and challenging sentinels along the entrance-ways holding off at arm’s-length the stranger, but rather a hospital where the broken-hearted may be healed, and where all the weary and troubled may find rest and take counsel together.” 

–James H. Aughey

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Author: Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.

6 thoughts on “The Hours”

  1. I have the same logic about finding help from the churches. The lay ministry at our church, in this case, Celebrate Recovery, was full of caring people. But I couldn’t get anyone to ‘sponsor’ me. The biggest problem I deal with is the belief that most people don’t like me, starting with my own family, and that is likely to continue or the rest of my life unless something changes. I appreciated Bryan’s revelation about how his home family is with him (I think it was Bryan) because if one person can handle it, then I think maybe I can.

    In trying to solve this problem, some concepts have been shared with me about how people don’t know how to deal with a depressed person. When we are mentally suffering, we don’t usually project a welcoming persona either. I Google questions and thoughts many times when I feel alone and sometimes a good website comes us. One of these, in my case, has been Chabad.org, which is a Jewish site. The one I keep coming back to is titled ‘People don’t blush much anymore’ (something like that). But the title that drew me there was ‘I want to be a nice person.’ It started out telling about a woman who was ‘as lonely as a stone in a field.’ That was a good description, I thought. So I read it. Basically, it says what you said earlier: be a servant. But each time I go back, I find more paragraphs I overlooked the previous time. Today, I read the whole article and two or three more that followed sequentially.

    I have a theory that what every my psychic development has been, it has always distressed the people who should have helped me, ie. Mom, sisters, brothers, teachers. They got angry with me almost daily. That difficult environment, my ADD, my Mom’s troubled marriage and finances, all conspired to interfere with my social development (or I have Asperger’s?). The point of all this is that this article has been very concise and clear in explaining some things about relationships. Any little help could be a move in the right direction, so I bookmarked that page. When I visited it again today and more information was opened up to me, I wanted to share it with others. Then I came to your blog.

    So for what it’s worth, the information on that site is valuable. God bless y’all.

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  2. Amen, I love that verse from Solomon, a dear sister gave it to me during a time of crisis, it really, really ministers to me. It hurts me that the body of Messiah is so broken, everyone experiences pain and it is the call and duty of those who are stronger to look after those who are weak. I’m praying that the corporate body recognises this duty and steps up to wear the mantle, although at times we need to go through a season alone, we are also supposed to be a family.

    Blessings to you in Messiah Yeshua

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  3. Bryan, This is a terrific post! I needed to be reminded of this today. It is odd how both loneliness and depression can walk with a person, flanking them, even in a crowd, keeping them from reaching out to others. I also appreciate your comment reply to waltkaye. It is spot on! Peace, Linda

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  4. I totally agree to that title and most of the content.

    But in fact, my conclusion is that it might be the best to die.
    Cause not only oneself isoltes from the others, the others do the same with oneself. And among the worst “helpers” are people from churches.
    (Still) being a believer, I asked for support in my church. Nothing happend. I asked at other christian places. Guess what happend. Nothing.
    In a real psychic chrisis (not a physical one), even christian people tend to let you alone. It is better to face that and commit suicicde.

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    1. Oh dear one, three things…
      1) You are in the cross hairs of the enemy. Satan is getting into your head, and it is vicious isn’t it? He isn’t fair or truthful in his efforts. Satan and God are opposites, just as God loves you intensely…Satan hates you passionately.

      2) Even in Church we need to build our friendships. They are not automatic, even with so much commonality between saints. There’s a proverb that talks about if you want friends you need to be friendly. That requires that you “double” your efforts. By the way, everyone loves a servant. Often friendship will develop out of your servanthood.

      3) The majority of church people haven’t a clue about mental illness, depression or anxiety. They often don’t truly understand how disabling our illness is, even as a believer. It’s a good thing to read, talk, drink coffee with the few that seem “to get it,” or almost get it.

      I believe you will walk through this season of conflict. You will make it through.
      One of my favorites,

      “Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
      leaning on her beloved?” Song of Sol. 8:5

      The world is a wilderness, the presence of Jesus is so close, but we must lean!

      Praying today,
      Bryan

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