Dealing With Depression, part 3

Dealing with my depression, Part 3.
I have been in a really hard season since August. I went to the hospital, in August, because of a manic episode and spent 2 weeks changing medications and getting myself back to a stable place. My mania calmed down over time and my sleep came back to me but I was left feeling numb and depressed. I managed to function in life but at the bare minimum. My depression over the course of this season got worse and worse. My medicine also kept changing as the doctor was trying to figure out how to get me to a better place of stability. The hardest part of med changes is what it does to you mentally and physically. I went to the hospital again just before Christmas and when I entered into January we started taking me off of certain medications that we felt I maybe didn’t need anymore. This made my depression worse.
My lack of motivation and lack of energy was driving me to this dark place. I have been here before but it has been years since I felt this way. I went through the worse year of my life in 2013 where I had suicidal thoughts daily. I tried to suicide 3 times in 4 months and the last try was so severe that I almost died. I survived and managed to overcome the negative symptoms of my bipolar. I was doing pretty great for a good 6 years but this past year has been a major test of my trust in God. I started getting dark thoughts again the end of February and that led to another hospitalization. This time around we made another change to the medications but this time for the better. After a few days I started feeling better and by day five I was ready to go home. One of the passages of Scripture that has been on my mind has been John 5. The story of the man who thinks he can’t get better. Jesus, in His mercy, heals him despite all of the excuses that he makes.
Do you really to get better?

John 5:5-9 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”

So, here I am making myself vulnerable to you on Facebook talking about my issues. All of us can relate to this man. We have access to healing and the power of God through faith but it seems like our brokenness gets the best of us sometimes and we can’t find a way to move forward. This has been a hard time for the world and our society. We are being forced to rely on each other in a new way but will we accept the healing invitation?

There is a Proverb found in 14:10 that says, ” Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” I believe this captures suffering and pain. We get so used to a bitter and disappointed heart that we can’t find a way to connect with people in true joy and fellowship. It takes amazing grace and humility to ask for help. To come out of internal war within and to break out into asking for help.

Practical applications:

#1 Don’t make excuses. It is easy to complain and get caught up in our circumstances but God has provided a sufficient grace for us. There is always a way out and usually it happens by asking for help from others. He has given us everything we need for a Godly life( 2 Peter 1).

#2 Ask for help. The smallest of Scriptures with the largest implication is Psalm 12:1, “Help, Lord!” We need God’s help and God uses people. I wrote a Facebook post the other day highlighting all of the people( 50 plus) that have prayed with me and helped me in this hard season that I have been in. I believe the feeling I have of being better in this past week has been related to all of the help and support I have asked for. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for people praying with me and encouraging me.

#3 Take action. Faith without works is dead and we all know this. God is calling us to act on our faith. To pray for those around us. Prayer is action. Prayer is acting on God’s promises and holding God to them. He wants to move in our lives. We need to pick up our excuses and our self-pity and walk. We need to trust that by moving in faith He will break in and deliver!

#4 Don’t compare. It is easy to be like this man and look around at what everyone else is doing. To scroll to much through Facebook and compare ourselves to others and to imagine a story that isn’t in reality. The man by the pool couldn’t see his chance for healing because he was busy watching what everyone else was doing instead of acting in faith himself .

I shared what I did earlier in this article to show you that I have struggled. I am still figuring out how to manage the symptoms of my bipolar and it has not been easy. I often have the thought that I hate it. I hate that I have to spend all of this time and energy getting help from doctor’s and therapists and medications but God has been faithful and has used all of it.

Please reach out for help and act in faith that in voicing your struggle there is hope. I have wrestled with hopelessness and it has not won. I am in a much better place today because of the people that have helped me get up and walk! You can do the same. Reach out and see what God does when you do.

 

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