I learned a valuable lesson this morning, one that I though I had learned when I was writing poetry several months back. When the words and thoughts are jelling in my head, that is the time to put them on paper, to set them free and let them flow. It happened at about 7am and I was soon to get up and get ready for church, so noooo000, I mistakenly thought I could remember all this. I even heard that still quiet voice in the back of my head whisper a scripture that I promptly googled and found. In church the pastor’s sermon tied in very well with the scripture I heard as well as his own sermon references. and then just to top it all off I ran into a friend who told me on the sly that she has struggled with depression all of her adult life and then she promptly wrote down the name of her medication and stuck it in my hand. I had no idea! And so I sit here at the keyboard that I have a love/hate relationship with… it loves to misspell my words and I hate it…. and try to recall all those witty intelligent things I had to say at O Dark Thirty this morning. I’m coming up dry, all but the scripture that came to me.
Well I can do this! A hearfelt Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! to each and every one of my 50 followers. Humbling it is, I never in a million years thought that anyone would want to hear what I have to say, a struggling sinner trying to find his way.
So where has Barney been? Driven into my bed and my head under the weight of depression. Sometimes it’s encouraged by a trigger of sorts and other times it just slips up behind me and pulls me down before I realize what has happened. Some of my blogger friends are able to perfectly describe what it is like to be in their head when they are struggling with mental illness. Me? Not so much. One of the absolute best is my friend Summer Imani who, due to her training in Psychology ( a Bachelors and Masters degree) and her writing prowess has this amazing ability to analyze what she is experiencing and express in a way that is incredibly vulnerable, brutally honest and sometimes funny as hell. She is a BadAss and I love her to death. I have learned so much from her. You can find her blog at Summerstartstoshine.wordpress.com or just click here. So, back to my buddy depression. When he shows up in force I retreat from everything and everyone. Not healthy, I know!!!! I stopped blogging, 33 days worth, not that there wasn’t anything to say but I had zero motivation to do it. Pretty much stayed in bed all day everyday. didn’t read the bloggers I’m following, didn’t look at email much and avoided phone calls. I cut myself off from everyone and promptly relapsed. That really fed the depression. I skipped three recovery group meetings, several church and men’s group meetings as well as the Christmas Eve service. I simply couldn’t bear to be around people. Nothing like beating yourself up when you fall or jump off the wagon. Even in all this it has been a tremendous lesson to me. What to do, what not to do. Learning to reach out to others which is incredibly difficult for me. It is hard learning to make myself this vulnerable but I have learned that it is a necessary part of healing. Several of you stayed in touch with me offline and I am grateful, Thank you so much! I’m much better but still in the fog a bit. the scripture that came to me this morning.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Mathew 6:33-34)
Pulling away from my Lord and Savior when I hit bottom was not the smartest thing I have ever done but I learned a valuable lesson. No matter how low I go or get He is right there with me. and in addition to that as another beautiful Blogger friend has reminded me, several times, His mercies are new everyday! Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Perhaps it was appropriate that I learn such a lesson during this season that has just ended. The time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior who a few short years later would willingly offer his life as atonement for our sin. Despite the pain and suffering I endured, the feelings of complete emptiness and despair, I can only imagine the pain that Jesus endured while praying in the garden and asking His Father, if it be His will, to take this cup from him. On the cross he bore the sin of the world, past present and future.