The Part of My Depression That Terrifies Me

“Must I then, indeed,  Pain, live with you

All through my life? –sharing my fire, my bed,

Sharing–oh, worst of things!–the same head?–

And, when I feed myself, feeding you, too?”

 Edna St. Vincent Millay

The critical issue we face is the reality of  living with ourselves through an acute episode of depression or mania.  I think that cohabitating with something that is trying its darndest to kill you is especially frightening.  Depression is my mortal enemy, and here I am, actually enabling it. How disturbing.

In a way it is sinister, the stuff of scary movies and bad novels.  It is the parasite is making its residence in the body of its host.  It sounds like something from a crazy ‘story line’ out of Star Trek.  I know how strange it sounds, but we some of us are enmeshed to melancholy.  It is in essence, part of our personality. We instinctively carry a dark despair and a savage despondency wherever we go.

When it slumbers, life can proceed on.  I can play with my kids, be a good husband, friend and neighbor.  Everything seems quiet and normal.  But when the dragon awakes, there will be ‘hell to pay.’  But exactly when, you can never be too sure. But living with this fear is equally as hard as the depression itself. How will I handle it next time? Will I be in shape for Christmas, or will my ‘cheese slide off my cracker’ again this year? I just don’t know. Under the veneer things can get very rough— very, very quickly.

My wife and kids lived in Mexico for almost three years.  We had a trailer, and part of that time we parked on the slanted slopes of a volcano.   Trust me on this, living on it was like living on a bomb!  I reasoned and rationalized, but each day I spent time thinking about it.  It wasn’t a big deal, but it worked its way into my thinking. Living on a volcano will do that to you.

There is this promise found in Psalm 139—

“You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!”

Psalm 139:5-6

I am glad that God decided to intervene in my life.  Without question, I need Him to watch me and deliver me ‘day-to-day.’  As a believer in Jesus, I know he has put his hands on me.  He shields me from the dragon.  I believe that he protects me from the worst of it.  The Holy Spirit absorbs much of the venom Himself.  I am glad I belong to Him! I’m thrilled that He loves me. The fear of a plummeting relapse is now His concern. I bear it no more.

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About 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.
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4 Responses to The Part of My Depression That Terrifies Me

  1. Pingback: Confessions of a Failing Mystic - Marc Thomas Shaw

  2. going through the motions says:

    I don’t have the eloquent writing style of the commenters before me. I am not at the point that I can write my success story.. nor do I have a diagnosis. I flourish at any new event be it a job or moving. I am able to budget,balance household chores, taking care of the kids, cooking, having a relationship with God. Then the other side of the coin falls I can barely take a shower, these days im thankful if the kids eat noodles for dinner and I make it to work. I am better with God I have complete and utter faith in his grace.l guess my question is how do you manic or a depressive state? THEN it takes me so long jus to get to the point where He is apart of my daily life and my cycle begins. A doctors help isnt an option..

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    • Anonymous says:

      Never believe it’s for ever, just as the Word tells us to count ourselves dead to sin, count these times of great pain dead to you. Even as we do wrong we can believe that God is bringing us out of our old habits and renewing us so we have a continual hope and the strength to press on and overcome. So when we see the darkness descending remember it came to pass, God is active in your life and as you trust and wait and believe He is there, the time will pass and you will keep walking and rejoice again. I know the deception is overwhelmingly convincing sometimes but it is a deception and not the truth that Jesus gives us. Praying for you, dear beloved one.

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