Depression is a Lonely Disease

Depression and anxiety, two conditions that go hand in hand, run in my family, leading me to believe that mental illness is genetic. Some say mental illness is often the result of a dysfunctional upbringing, which may be true in part, but inherited genes determine personality, also. Even though several in my family suffer from depression/anxiety, the level of intensity and the way in which each person deals with the disease is very different.

In my case, I am deeply aware that my cycles of sorrow, anger, worry, and despair negatively effect the people closest to me, especially my husband and sons. Because I refuse to let my misery become their misery, I work very hard to control my emotions, and when I can’t, I’m honest about my feelings, and I retreat to a place of solitude to weep and yell and pray to God. In this way, I willingly accept my depression, asking God for help to overcome my deadly thoughts. After spending time alone in prayer, I can return to my family without the wrathful anger burning inside me that, in the past, would often erupt into bitter offenses.

Throughout a lifetime, I’m learning to accept depression/anxiety as a part of my personality but it’s not who I am. I feel joy in the midst of sorrow; I suffer misery while loving my family; I have hope for tomorrow when today is hopeless; I embrace life courageously and reject death as an option. I worry about the future, but trust that God is always there, waiting for me to call out to Him.

Anxiety!

I stand and sit, sit and stand

Wondering where I’ve been?

Pacing the floors, each pace

Wanting the pain to erase.

Instead it lingers, etched within,

The hurt remains;

I call out again!

Chronic Pain Depresses Life

When pain is chronic, a marriage struggles to grow. Depression intensifies in both, creating a desire to be alone. When love is miserable, hope will flow.

 

I’m Sorry I Love You

Nothing can even begin to explain

The sorrow I live because I love you

I have tried everything to ease your pain

Instead I’m left empty with nothing new.

 

I give my body whenever you wish

Willing to sacrifice the love I need

“Please eat my flesh like I’m a gourmet dish!”

I’m wondering if your soul I did feed.

 

The passion of our youth fades in the past

Creating a canyon of distance, too

“What is left for us to forever last?”

A union so strong there’s one thing to do.

 

Trust in our love that is unbreakable

“I’m sorry your life is so miserable.”

Depression Forces Isolation

photo of woman looking at a flower field
Photo by Matej Čerkez on Pexels.com

As a person who suffers depression, I have depended on the comforting peacefulness of solitude. Even though I desire to have friendships and spend time with people, the reality of my emotional passion limits the amount of time I can socialize with others. Sometimes friends and family understand this, sometimes they don’t, either way, it’s a strain that often contributes to distant or broken relationships.

Alone with my thoughts, I blame myself for everything, and this is impossible to withstand. Fighting to defeat the negative self-talk, I write poetry to help me understand and forgive myself for being the depressive person I am. About 5 years ago, I wrote the following poem after several important relationships ended in my life, and all I could think about was how I messed up, telling myself that my strong emotions of sorrow and anger made me unapproachable. Writing this poem inspired me to practice forgiveness constantly, which is very difficult to do yet is essential to have peace of mind and a healing heart.  Because of this revelation, I choose every day to forgive myself and others with mercy, kindness, and understanding.

 

Unapproachable You

You’re unapproachable, don’t you know

Your transparent anger keeps others away

Offended by everything, you turn and go

Unwilling to fight for a friend and stay.

 

You think you must be liked for who you are

High in the universe, you refuse to beg

Believing you have already gone too far

Standing alone, there’s much you’ve said.

 

You speak the truth, with all its pain

Death and decay depletes life and growth

Completely alone, you drown in the rain

Consumed by the evil you so deeply loathe.

 

Perfection is your desire for everyone else

For yourself you want respect for your faults

You live life wanting it fueled by generous wealth

And poverty rules with your daily serving of loss.

 

Depression has become your loyal best friend

Always there for as long as you can remember

Everyone smiles even when your friendships end

While your emotions erupt from a smoldering ember.

 

Faithful Love Gives Hope

silhouette of pregnant standing on seashore during golden hour
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    Babies

I feel my babies inside of me

Beneath my heart and completely free

Wanting so much to simply be

I am a part of this world.

But who am I to make this choice

To be the loudest and only voice

In my freedom to choose, I rejoice

I am a part of this world.

Sadly, others tell me its okay

To kill my child and walk away

And live to breathe another day

I am a part of this world.

But I also hear what the truth must be

As faithful friends try to help me see

When I feel my babies inside of me

I can’t stop their hearts because I’m free…

My babies are a part of this world!

Love Forever,

Mom

April, 2001

 

pexels-photo-266094.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve been an outspoken pro-lifer since I was a teenager, and in recent years, my rejection of abortion as a protected right has become a dangerous belief. To speak out for the life of the unborn baby is now considered an attack on the life of a woman, leading to the deterioration of honest debate and resulting in arrogant hostility toward pro-life defenders. Trying to accept the feminist ideal that abortion is a moral choice that must be embraced and celebrated has intensified my hopelessness for our future.

When abortion is praised as a life-giving choice, I am shaken. During my deep days of sorrow, a baby’s cry reminds me that unborn babies cannot be heard, and I am filled with grief. So I weep for our children, our mothers, our fathers, and our society, which often leads down the path of despair.

Choosing abortion destroys hope for the future, diminishes the value of fathers, and eliminates the desire for mothers to build families. Ultimately, abortion is a choice made out of fear, and this fear overwhelms any hope we may have for the life of our children and ourselves. With faith, we must trust in the power of generous love and believe that life is a blessing.

I believe that women want to choose life for their babies and that men who provide the seed want to love and support their children.  We know the biological reality that an unborn baby is a baby; whether or not that pregnancy was planned, a choice must be made: will it be a choice filled with fear or faith?

Hope shines in this darkened world when mothers and fathers welcome their unborn children with a faithful and generous love.

Never Give Up; Never Give In

Hope in healing
Hope in healing

Depression and hope are opposing forces that can be balanced with a commitment to never give up and never give in, filling the heart with sorrow and joy. The sorrow comes when relationships are difficult, and joy comes when relationships are enduring. However, living with the personality of depression encourages the acceptance of ‘blame’ for relationship problems, which can lead to self-loathing and broken friendships. Still, healing choices must be made and both sorrow and joy are the result. Deciding to leave a toxic relationship or stay in it takes courage, and whatever the decision, self-worth must remain intact. For those of us who live with depression, finding self-love is a daily pursuit. Never give up and never give in, no matter what the voices say.

Unapproachable You

You’re unapproachable, don’t you know

Your transparent anger keeps others away

Offended by everything, you turn and go

Unwilling to fight for a friend and stay.

You think you must be liked for who you are

High in the universe, you refuse to beg

Believing you have already gone too far

Standing alone, there’s much you’ve said.

You speak the truth, with all its pain

Death and decay created by life and growth

Completely alone, you drown in the rain

Consumed by the evil you so deeply loathe.

Perfection is your desire for everyone else

For yourself you want respect for your faults

You live life wanting it fueled by generous wealth

And poverty rules with your daily serving of loss.

Depression has become your loyal best friend

Always there for as long as you can remember

Everyone smiles even when your friendships end

Because deep emotions are too much of a bother.

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Love Thy Self

In my last blog post, Depression is not Deserved, I share a passionately personal poem, expressing a desire to receive compassion from others because of the lonely cycles of depression that I endure. After spending time in meditation about the writing, the words speak to me an essential truth: I must love myself before anyone else can love me.

Throughout these past two weeks, I have listened to the Lord in prayer, filling me with love for who I am, even the parts of me I hate must be understood and accepted. But this is difficult to do because the depression that lives in my heart and mind attempts to destroy self-love and instead grow self-loathing, but this is not acceptable when I choose to be a child of God.

As a baptized Christian, I practice loving God, and I follow the Way of Jesus Christ, and I believe the Holy Spirit is here, transforming my life into something holy and divine. When I choose God, the love He has for me is essential to my heart and soul and helps me find compassion and understanding for my faults and weaknesses. Because I believe in the truth of the Gospel, I am learning to accept all my flaws and blemishes, which make me humanly dependent on the One who can make me alive and perfect. I trust in the hope of Christ because I know the hopelessness of depression…

I wonder…is depression a curse or a blessing? Is depression this undesirable genetic condition that is accurately labeled as a disease or a mental disorder? I don’t know, but I’m told it is something that must be cured, and I’m thinking that maybe a cure is not the answer. Maybe I need to embrace my cycles of sorrow and despair in order to understand and have compassion for the poor and the outcast in our world. Maybe I need to cry for the tragedies of destruction and death that plague our communities. Maybe the reason I endure the sorrows, fears, and worries of depression is to learn to love myself, to love others, and to love God.

Essence of Being

I am not righteous to carry the sins of others
The sins of my own are burden enough
Yet to carry my own sins is a yoke too heavy
Alone the weight I cannot bear
The mill stone of my wrong
Strapped around my neck
Drags me to the dark depths of the sea…

Thankfully, My Lord carries me
He covers me with His Perfect Love
Making me purely white as fresh snow
Because of His Blood and His Flesh
I know
That I must eat of Him with faith in Christos
Faithful to the Promise that began in a garden
Is this the end or the beginning, a cycle?
Life, disease, death, decay,
It doesn’t end there,
New Life Sings!

Depression is not Deserved

Wanted: Just a Little Compassion

I’m a person who suffers from

The disease of depression

And death is often a welcome friend.

Disorder, though, is what it’s called

Suggesting that I can fix

My “problem” and move on, switch my thinking

That’s all I need to do,

Still I’m asked:

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Why are you so sad?”

“You have no reason to be…”

Even though the world is full of death

There’s no reason I should dwell on it the way I do

It’s morbid! Not normal! Crazy!

But it’s not my fault

It’s in my body and it changes and cycles

It affects my mind, the way I think, my soul.

I would love to fix it

Change the way I think, not cry so easily

Or be so offended at times, but it’s tough!

Almost, no not almost,

It’s entirely impossible for me to switch the way I think!

Because there’s something happening

That is not at ease in my being

My body’s systems are unbalanced

And my mind is uncontrollably affected by this disease

Is there a cure for madness?

A cure for depression, anxiety, mania?

There’s medication, but does it heal?

Does it cure the disease?

Everyone around me thinks

It is this magical medicine, but it’s not

It helps a little, but it doesn’t cure.

Depression is a fatal disease

More than fifty percent of all clinically depressed people

Will ultimately die, from suicide.

Yet no one wants to talk about it, because it can be prevented

And if a depressed person

Finally dies from this disease, from suicide,

Well, it’s her fault, she gave up.

And others out there better get over it

Or they’ll die, too.

I wonder if we would

Expect a cancer patient or diabetic

To get over it, to move on, to change her thinking?

No, we have compassion for those who are suffering from such

Awful and devastating diseases, and that’s all we want-

Just a little compassion.