What I Wish the World Knew About Depression by Julie Arduini

I was stunned to open my Facebook feed and find it full of tributes to Robin Williams. I knew he wasn’t even 65, so I wondered if it was his heart. I was devastated to read and now know it was a suicide.

His family shared that he had been struggling with deep depression. His own confessions regarded his addictions. I love to read biographies and such and most of the great comedians had ravaging inner pain. Many medicate with alcohol or drugs. All in that category used humor, and we found it entertaining.

Robin Williams photo: London DSCN1435.jpg

I suspect his death is especially hard because his talents knew no bounds. Hysterical stand-up. Oscar winning drama. Laugh out loud interviews he hijacked. Touching tributes to causes and people like St. Jude’s. TV. Movies. I can’t think of another person like him, not before, not up-and-coming.

Now my Facebook feed is full of posts, articles, updates and comments regarding depression, suicide, God’s word, eternity. I don’t think any of these help his family. I pray something does. I can’t imagine the torment of anyone left behind after a suicide.

My hope is that through my small experience with depression someone might get a glimpse of what it is like. It took decades for me to realize I had hormonal imbalance. I suffered with severe PCOS, so I’m not sure if the two were related. But when I was in a certain time of the month I could feel a change and it was as ominous as a dark cloud and still night in the midwest. Nothing would be wrong otherwise and a thick veil of darkness consumed me. I was rocked with shame, for what, I don’t know. But it perpetuated knowing people needed me. The physical drain, almost like a vaccuum suck somehow took all energy and joy out of me left it impossible to manage the easiest of tasks. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I simply could not. Like I said, it was absolutely consuming.

This would hit hard for twenty minutes straight. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’ll be real here. It was such an intense darkness that I can think of many times I got a suitcase out and started to pack. I thought if I ran somewhere, anywhere, my family would be free of what my torment delayed them in having.

Three times I can recall walking to the medicine cabinet. I picked up pills and stared. I knew what I was contemplating but I was that void of hope and that full of desperation. And yes, this was as a Christian, and a strong one at that.

I longed for someone to bust in the door when I’d hide and tell me I was worth it. Who would hold me and let me cry or ooze the darkness out in whatever way. No one did. For those closest to me, they admitted they didn’t know what to do. They thought I wanted to be alone. I felt like I had no choice.

My story has a happy ending, and it is only by the grace of God. I finally broke down and confessed everything to my doctor. I now take a prescription medication that balances my moods and curbs menopause effects. Even with a hysterectomy, I still struggle. I’m upfront when I’m having a hard time. It’s not as dark or isolating but I get frustrated. My memory isn’t what it used to be. I have trouble sleeping. I tire easily than I used to. But it’s no where near where it was.

What do I wish the world knew?

1. It’s the darkest, most isolating and oppressive experience in the world. If you haven’t experienced it, you shouldn’t give answers as an expert.

2. It’s a vicious cycle, always looming. Just when you start to crawl out of the pit, there is a tug on your ankle threatening to pull you down and keep you there. It is frightening.

3. Isolation is the game plan of oppression. Love the person, no matter how much they protest, that they are going out with you for coffee. Show up with bagels. They will say they are busy and fine. Show up anyway.

4. If you’re not sure what to say, admit that. Transparency is an oasis. Patronizing, packaged answers are a wasteland. I didn’t feel better when I heard “I don’t know what your problem is.” Or, “You just need to snap out of it.” If I could have, I promise you, I would have led the way.

5. Jesus Christ CAN set you free. I admitted above that even as a Christian I struggled, so I get that you might argue why bother? Because without Him, I promise you, I’d be a dead statistic. Knowing HIm gave me enough hope to speak out, to call and seek help. I could picture Him next to me, weeping with me. That helped me so much. He is real, He is for you. Don’t go another step without Him.

To learn more, please visit the following: peacewithGod.net

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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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11 Responses to What I Wish the World Knew About Depression by Julie Arduini

  1. Thank you for sharing. For people who have never suffered depression, they don’t understand. Sadly, I live with it and do. 99% of the time I can cope just fine. But darn that 1% that makes you feel so hopeless, despondant, useless…..that is such a horrible feeling. I do rejoice that I have Jesus and am a Christian. But I admit I am a human with emotions too. You nailed it all in the 5 above. Taking it one day at a time.

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  2. juliearduini says:

    Thank you, Kathy, for reading. I agree, that 1% is consuming. Jesus can handle that 1%, and the 99%. So glad for that. Bless you.

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  3. Thank you for sharing on this important matter. I also suffer with both depression and PCOS. Hopefully this tragedy brings light to such an important subject.

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  4. Erica says:

    This post is worth sharing across the networks. Every word on here is raw and real. Thank you. I will share with my friends. Everyone dealing with depression, you are in my prayers- may strength and healing continually be with you.

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    • juliearduini says:

      Erica, thank you so much. Thankfully things are much better for me, but my heart goes out to all where this is a daily thing.

      Like

  5. Amber Writes says:

    Thank you for writing this.

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  6. margie says:

    I have been going through depp,s for year,s I have a lot going on right now and yes your thinking is no away,s right. I try to keep busy so I don’t think of thing,s it,s hard. when you feel you have no one to talk to or trust were do you go/// I can’t sleep at night;s and I get I wish there was someone to talk to to listen. I have been try to gey back in church and I,m having a veru hard time with it, I live with a guy and I hear I,m in sin and I know what god;s word say;s and it eat;s at me. I can’t lose my health insurs, because of health thing;s going on and his is not good. everyone like you;s been togather for 12 years, it’s just a pice of paper no you know what you are making a coement. I don’t want to keep livinv this way. there,s so much going on and he does not want to ralk about anything. do I get upset yes. just so much on my mind right know.

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    • juliearduini says:

      Margie, you are a precious daughter in the Lord’s sight and because you are His, He wants the best for you. Although living together is not part of His plan, I also believe there is a church that teaches and preaches the Bible that will treat you as Jesus. Jesus never condemned the woman at the well and He knew she was living with a man that was not her husband. His love was so deep and transparent she couldn’t wait to become one of His followers and leave her previous choices behind. That same love and grace is available to you. I have a feeling once you discover that grace, your mindset will change–and be full of joy.

      I know it is hard to trust God. That was Eve’s problem. It was never about the apple. She didn’t think God would meet her needs. I have been there. Over and over. He has provided healing, health care payments, jobs, family reconcilation and so much more. Just today I shared with my children that the God we serve is Jehovah Jireh–the Lord God is our Provider.

      He is your provider, too. May Jehovah Jireh speak to you in this desert season and be that Living Water your thirsty soul is craving. May He show you His word, His promises and His feelings for you, His beloved. May He show you a church that deals with sin through His word and grace and by the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit because of Christ.

      You’re worth more than the dark places your mind is taking you to. May He bless you for seeking Him.

      (((hugs)))

      Like

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