Spinning in the Wind

I wrote a series on depression back in 2012 for my Friday Counseling Issues.  Back then, I didn’t know how to publicize, and I’ve had a whole bunch of people tell me they never saw these posts before.  I’ve published two of them over at The Cow Pasture Chronicles. Sheila asked me to be a guest contributor for her while she undergoes some surgery and physical therapy. There are half a dozen of us filling in for her.

Anyway, I’ve decided to bring this series  back to the forefront, only this time I will use the publicizing tools I’ve learned over the years.  If you haven’t seen these before, I hope you will take a look.  I’ll probably do one or two each week.

12/12/2016

_____________________________

Here’s the first official post  under the new category Depression. 

First, you’ll see me refer often to the difference between how we feel and what is truth. This is extremely important.  It is what we believe that motivates our emotions, words, and behaviors.  If you believe snakes are inherently evil (I do!)  you will avoid them at all costs.  If you believe they are beautiful and fascinating, you will look at pictures, watch movies, go to the reptile house at the zoo.  Without me.  The difference is in what we believe about snakes; it is not in what is true about snakes.

So.  One of the things I hear the most often when I’m working with depressed clients is, “I just feel so alone.  No one I know has ever experienced anything like this.  No one understands.  Everyone thinks I should just suck it up and get on with life. Everybody always acts as if I just need to get a grip, pull myself up by my bootstraps.  So I do a lot of pretending in order to keep everyone happy, when all I really want to do is crawl into a hole and pull it in after me. But nobody understands.  I’m all alone.

Do  you get it?  Look at the red words.  One-hundred percent words, with no room for argument.  This is called “universal thinking”  in cognitive therapy.  One or two incidents become a 100%, universal truth.  With that weight of negativity in our heads, no wonder we feel depressed and, above everything else, alone.  Isolated. No one gets it.  No one.  Hear the echo in that empty chamber of your head and your heart?

I went to lunch with two good friends the other day.  They know my present struggle.  They assured me that I’m not alone, that people care and are praying for me.  In my head, I know they’re telling me the truth.  It just doesn’t feel like it yet.  But it will, because I believe it.

Most important, I believe that God is right beside me.  Again, I’m having a hard time feeling His presence right now, but I know that what I feel is not necessarily what is true.  For me, music is an invaluable tool.  I started playing my Christmas music yesterday, and it helps me.  Scripture, of course, is the most valuable tool I have, and here is my favorite passage (for today, at least!)

Isaiah 43:1-4. “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.”

Do you see how different the red words are in this passage?  That’s where I need to focus.  The truth is, I’m never alone. He will never leave me nor forsake me.  He is always the same.  Through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with me.

If you’d like some homework, use these verses and the others I’ve mentioned but not referenced to start a list of what you know to be true about God.  Not how you feel, but what you know to be truth. Add to your list whenever something comes to mind.  Let me get you started:

Truth About God

1. He is always with me

2. He loves me

3. He calls me by my name–He knows me!

4.  He gave Himself for me

See? Once you get started, it will flow.

Please let me know your thoughts about this post. It will help guide my direction for the next one.

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13 thoughts on “Spinning in the Wind

  1. Glenda

    I find this to be quite helpful, and I’m sharing it on my FB wall. I mentioned my mother in a previous response to your post. She was actually diagnosed as having a complete nervous collapse, which was pinpointed by her extreme depression. It was such a dark period in her life and the lives of those who loved her, yet she always had a smile for those whom she loved. She tended to keep everything bottled up inside her, because she didn’t want to burden anyone with her feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. Thank you for this, and I’ll be watching for your next installment! 🙂

    1. Glenda, years ago what we now refer to as clinical depression was called a nervous breakdown. The severity then, as now, covered the whole spectrum from mild to suicidal. I’m sorry your mom, and as a result your whole family, had to go through that in a time when we were just beginning to understand it and treat it more humanely. My mother-in-law, when I met her in 1968, was taking valium. It is a sedative, which of course helped relax her, but it didn’t really address the depression. I believe you mention electric shock therapy in your other post. It was, and still is, a last resort treatment, and many people didn’t come out of it very well. It’s much more effective today because we know exactly where the mood center of the brain is, and we can target it precisely. Different levels of treatment are used depending on severity of the depression, and for some it has literally been a lifesaver.

      I’m very glad you’ve found this small beginning to be helpful. Please pray for me as I continue. This is an important topic.

  2. kim

    Wonderful passage, Linda. Thank you for sharing this one. Depression is like an endless wheel, that spins you into ever deeper despair. Medication can help break that cycling.

    I treasure verses like the one you mention.

  3. As I mentioned in a previous post, I suffered depression at the hands of hormonal imbalance due to losing both ovaries at age 36. Doctors refused to allow me HRT due to the risk of breast cancer. On the darkest of those days I often turned to the book of Job and to this day, 27:5 is like an anchor to my soul. I will not let go of my integrity and judge God. I did search the library for books on nutrition that helped me eat the foods that would help my body adjust. But those were very very black days. For months it seemed as if the sky was black overhead all the time. I hope that you will deal with depression caused by an actual chemical imbalance and the approach to it. I am quite sure I am not alone in having experienced this darkness. I do not regret that I did not take Hormone Replacement Therapy because thirty years plus, I have remained cancer free. One would think that surgerical menapause would be done and over early. Ah, not so. I went through another brief bout at age 52 but by then my doctor helped me through with newer medicines and it last just a few months, not 18 months like the first time.

    1. Karyl, of course I remember some of this period in your life, although at the time I had no clue about depression, and especially about how your surgeries affected you emotionally. You were hiding a lot back then, and I’m so glad you can talk about it now.

      I will absolutely address the chemical imbalance issue. There are many (good) people who don’t believe such a thing exists, but I have seen the medication work extremely well too often not to believe it. Actually, I’m kind of hoping some of those who object to medication will show up here at some point. They do have good perspectives on the whole spiritual aspect of depression that we can’t overlook. However, I’ve seen way too many people who love the Lord and have searched their hearts to find the “sin problem” they’ve been told they need to address, only to become more depressed and hopeless at their lack of success. The medication can help clear the fog from the brain so that the thinking process is more effective. Much more on all this at a later time.

      Thank you for sharing your experience. so openly and honestly.

  4. Michael Kreger

    I love the song with these lyrics: “Be Not Afraid” by Taylor Davis. There is another version, by Robert Dufford, that doesn’t measure up to the Taylor Davis version.

      1. Nope. Neither one of those is the one I’m thinking of. Just googled both. The one I’m thinking of was written, I believe, by someone from Greenville, either in honor of the death of his own child or someone else’s. Sure wish I could find it.

  5. Pingback: Depression, Again – Study God's Word

  6. Amy Arcuri

    Linda is it one of the Patch songs? I am thinking of that Be Not Afraid..When you pass through the waters I will be with you when you……you are precious in my sight…Something like that..Is that the version you are thinking?

    1. I found it. It’s by Craig Courtny. I think it was first published by Sound Forth.

      If for some reason that link doesn’t work, you can find it by googling Craig Courtney, “Be Not Afraid.”

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