To look at me your first thoughts might be; sound, healthy, got it together maybe even happy. I will admit, I do love life and being outdoors attuned to nature and for the most part, I’m a positive being but in reality as much as I would love to be the above mentions, I have a secret…
I woke up this morning disappointed. The sun was shining brightly through the French doors and I felt a surge of dread as I tried to hide beneath my blanket where the dark is usually my comfort. I lay there while thoughts ran rampant scattering all over the place and the headache I developed forced me to get up and take pills for the pain. Actually, since Christmas of 2017 I have lived with these headaches the loss of energy, sluggishness and feeling hopeless. I don’t think I’ve slept a full night through since that dreadful day in December. In fact, if I get three hours of sleep, I’m doing good. My appetite has changed and I eat when I remember to and wanting to be alone is my new purpose in life a place where I have often entertained the idea of suicide.
My name is Jane Hardin and I suffer depression.
Most mornings when I awake, I wished I hadn’t and become angry because I had. It’s a genuine struggle that I live with and even I don’t understand the hurdles I go through on a daily basis much less expect anyone else to understand meaning I put on a mask and pretend all is well. Many days, I stay in my loungewear and throw my hair into a messy bun not caring about my makeup routine. Why bother? My condition is not manic but at times it borders along that gray area and I battle with trying to keep it hidden. My depression began somewhat situational as we all go through things that bring on sadness, it’s part of the human emotion. There were adjustment disorders where my mood was completely depressed in the beginning and I understood that “this too shall pass” but for me it didn’t!
In January of 2018, things began to worsen as I struggled to come to terms with the dramatic life change I was forced to accept and I noticed that I was dealing with unfocused anxiety. I went to the store to purchase OTC sleeping pills. I also made a quick stop at the local liquor store and bought strong whiskey. I refused to seek professional health for many reasons. I’ve had friends who nearly died trying to wing themselves from anti-depressants not to mention the stigma Christianity has placed on those who suffer this bigger than life distraction and going for help meant a lack of trust in God not to mention the accusing voices blaming your distress to demon possession which is neither logical nor biblical. However, I do agree that Satan has a plan for our lives and he will do anything in his power to deprive us of our joy and happiness and his ultimate goal is to rob us of our eternal life and when we are at our lowest, we become vulnerable and the devil himself moves in for the kill.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking those who do reach out for professional help and believe me it’s not a lack of trust in God, nor demon possession or anything of the sort, because if that were true, then why do most symptoms disappear when mental illness is treated with the right medications? There are no medications for being possessed of the devil, that scenario alone is laughable. God can use right counsel and drug therapy to bring emotional healing to those who suffer. But for me, it has been a matter of affording the help I needed so I have done my best to help myself.
I declare that 2018 has been the worse year of my life to date. After losing my job, I lost my home. I lost everything I owned including my mind. I was in an automobile accident that nearly cost me my life and my car insurance had lapsed three days before. My other car was repo’d on Mother’s Day a week after my accident. There was nothing left of me especially after losing all of my clothes an valuables that was put in storage so I could move in with a friend and live on the corner of a sofa. I don’t know anyone who could have remained sane during this horrific time of life.
There was nothing left for me to do, so I took advantage of finishing my novel I started back in 2010, Secret Hostage and in April it was published. I then started writing another book, Girl Gone Positive but I have not been able to find an ending being that depression snuck back into my existence. It’s not writer’s block just a hurdle that is too big to jump in this point of my life especially when my book is about being positive which brings me to say, being positive every single day of one’s existence has become a hallmark operation. Being positive every single day, through every circumstance is being untruthful and is a load of bull. To me, it’s dishonesty and deception. The concept of positive thinking represses the reality of the moment like trauma, abuse or any other hurt you’re left with, but………..
I firmly believe its what you do with the negative that counts. I believe you should be cognizant of the negative and try to make something good of it by not allowing it to rule your life but turning it into something that you can grow from and move forward. I believe in understanding our strengths and weaknesses and taking measurable steps to come up with a grounded plan and initiate it. I believe your mind is powerful and you can do anything you want if you use application with your thoughts. Don’t just think it, do it! Put action into the theory. But not everyday is going to be a good day and I have come to realize this and trying to heal myself through knowledge and help from my Father God is not an overnight success story. In my war, I have to fight many small battles and learn to overcome many things as I go while each battle has it’s own victory or defeat.
I haven’t completely recovered from all of my loss, and I struggle daily as a result. Every night, I go outside and stare at the night-sky and I open my heart to God as I unload the day’s burdens washing my face in my own tears. That old familiar question is always the first to pop up. “Why?” I never get an answer, but am always reminded that my condition was not caused by sin and I can always come to my Father God and bring my weariness and my burdens and He gives me rest. Not so much in sleeping the entire night through, but rest as in peace for my soul and I go there constantly to get my dose. It’s kind of like a subscription, and I have to get my renewal. It’s not a one-time peace treaty, but definitely a place to find what I need when I need.
Don’t judge me by my words I’ve written this day. I’m not the only silent sufferer and I do know for a fact there are many others who also keep secret the depression that resides in their lives. Life can be harsh and not every day is going to be a “great day!” But I do learn in every day I am blessed to participate in that it’s my duty to fight my war, but my battles I have to give to God when they are too much or too heavy to deal with. We all have our vices. Yours might not be depression, but you struggle just the same whatever it might be. Why can’t the church open up to this dilemma rather than pass judgement and push it under the rug? Why does the church want to put you on the firing range if they find out you suffer? Why can’t the church remember what they are there for? The sick? The sinner? Not the well and high and mighty who look down on others less than them. Yes! I do have it in for those who think they are above anyone and I can smell it a mile away. I am an underdog. I am a nobody. But I’ll be the first to defend those who can’t defend themselves or don’t have the courage to and I’ll be the first to remind you that “whatever you do to the least of your brothers and sisters, you do it unto Christ.”
I am broken. I am flawed. I do not completely have my act together. But maybe through my brokenness, I can use my voice or fingers to reach others who also feel they just don’t measure up or feel they are too far gone. If I remember correctly, throughout the Bible, God did not choose the righteous or those who were perfect. He chose a king who committed adultery, a king who murdered. He chose a Hebrew with a speech impediment. He chose foul-mouthed fishermen, a prostitute and a tax collector. He even chose someone who persecuted Christians and the flawness goes on. I’m not capable of much but God doesn’t need for me to be capable, He just needs me to be available so therefore I am. If you suffer depression, feel free to reach out to me. We can do this together and hopefully it will spread as we forward our availability to help others. Let’s not do this alone anymore…