For many years, I battled severe depression, along with a mishmash of other symptoms that accompanied my decade-long battle with Lyme disease. My experience through its inferno has led me to believe that it's one of the most life-altering and devastating conditions there is.
If you have or have had depression, you know what I'm talking about. The world appears to you in shades of grey and black, instead of as a palette of bright colors. You see people laughing but you can't reach out and grab their joy. Around you, the world functions, while you struggle just to get out of bed. And you cry for hours- daily, or at least multiple times a week. You think something must be wrong with you because you estimate that most "normal" people probably only cry once a month, if that. You lose hours, days, and even entire weeks of productivity because you can't seem to get it together enough to do the basic stuff of life.
If you struggle with this condition, my heart goes out to you!
Enough said. I've been there, and I know how it crushes the spirit. Perhaps what hurts even more is when well-meaning folks around you admonish you to just "think more positive" or to "just get into right relationship with God." As if you don't want to!
What's more, depression is often touted to be either a physical, emotional or spiritual problem- depending on your affiliation. If you belong to the church, you're told that you just need to get into right relationship with God. If you visit a mental health specialist, the focus might be on your childhood wounds. If you go to a doctor, you're given drugs to "fix" your biochemistry.
But if you're like me, you've learned that depression can be a multi-faceted condition, caused not only by trauma or separation from God, but also infectious disease and a toxic environment.
In my case, counseling, EMDR and other psychotherapies seemed only to make me aware of my shortcomings, while the admonitions to "think more positive" (in the many colors that message came dressed up as) frustrated me and caused me to believe that I could never be good enough.
Not that these strategies don't work. For some people, they do, but my recovery has been more complicated. For instance, giving my brain and body the right nutrients has mattered- big time! (I'll talk about these in my next blog post). I have also discovered that thinking the right thoughts is sure a heck of a lot easier when you have enough serotonin and dopamine to super-charge your cells- and this stuff doesn't come from a pill.
I have also discovered that my relationship with God matters, and not only for receiving guidance for a way out of my grief-laden days. Over the years, He has daily spoken truths to me, which have served to "reprogram" my mental computer, which had been warped from a lifetime of lies that I'd believed about my worth and identity.
Then came the love of others; a few select strong, gentle and loving folks whom I believe God sent, to lift me out of the pit and nourish me with their love and unwavering devotion to me and my wellbeing. The love of God through others is one of the most powerful healing forces there is. If you don't have anyone in your life that can love you, come hell or high water, sunshine or rain, ask God to bring such people to you! (Yes, they are out there). In the meantime, I encourage you to cultivate a relationship with God, just like you would a friend. Anyway, sometimes God is the only friend you have when tragedy scares all the others away. I spent many years in that place, too.
Finally, God sent a powerful minister- one of many in my life- to break generational curses off me and my family line. You'd be surprised by how much bondage and suffering is caused by demonic bondage. Over the years, I've learned that the spirit realm is more real and powerful than the natural realm, and that depression can often be the result of ancestral sins that get downloaded into your DNA. Once I understood this, it unlocked a lot of doors to my freedom.
In future blog posts I will be describing some of these concepts more in-depth, as it's too much for one wee little message. For now, I just want to encourage you to seek God for answers, and know that there is hope, no matter how bad it gets. My sob sessions lasted for years, but they are now more of an occasional thing, rather than my daily food. God is above all of our problems, and when we don't have answers, He does. We don't need to dig and research, try to be good, or earn favor with Him, in order to receive His help. We simply need to humbly come to him, knowing that He cares for us, and will work with us to bring about healing, from depression, and all that ails us.
I've been walking a long road toward wellness, since my body fell apart from chronic Lyme disease over 12 years ago. Since then, I've learned that becoming whole isn't just a matter of whacking some bugs with an antibiotic or eating organic salmon and salads. It's not just a matter of healing the daddy wounds or coming to grips with a lifelong story of rejection.
It's about finding a relationship of unconditional love with God, because it is love- not a doctor, herb or belief system- that ultimately heals the whole person. Yet God gives us answers to healing through holistic medicine, as well as by His supernatural hand.
Indeed, most of the focus of the books that I've written has been upon medicine, but I realize that it's time to share all that I have learned from God as I have walked through the dark valley of this past decade. This includes strategies that heal the heart and spirit, as well as the body.
My knowledge is based upon my belief that Jesus Christ still heals supernaturally today, and that spiritual healing is the highest level of healing that we can attain to. Spiritual health can make us completely well, but it is also noble and good to seek healing at the physical level.
The journey to wholeness is always a journey, as none of us ever completely arrives this side of Heaven, but we can enter into a place of relative health and peace, with joy as the centerpiece of our days. I'm not there, but I am not the same person I was a decade ago. May victory be upon your horizon as it has been upon mine...