Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seeing In Color

I have dreamed about being able to write this post for 8 months.  I've struggled with depression since the birth of my 4th child in 1998.  In March of this year I was diagnosed with Major Depression.  For two weeks I was literally catatonic.  I just sat in bed, unable to feel anything.  I did not talk.  My eyes were open but I saw nothing.  My brain was frozen and I became 'stuck inside myself'.  

Following those two weeks, I continued to be very depressed but could hold short conversations.  I really didn't want to be around anyone.  I preferred to be in bed but I could not sleep so I just sat there.  My computer was my friend.  I played solitaire for hours on end.  This went on for over 2 months.  During that time I was unable to care for myself or my family.  After that I slowly began doing a little more.  I was still stuck inside myself and not able to get out fully.  

I desperately wanted to be well.  To feel something good.  To be a part of the outside world.  I saw a Psychiatrist and a counselor.  I'm going to be honest, depression is a terrible thing!  It's a thief and it robs you of time, happiness, the ability to receive love, and so much more.  It is made worse by the fact that there is no specific cure.  There are many medications which may or may not work and the only way to figure out what works for one specific person is through trial and error.  

It has only been in the past few weeks after my most recent medication change that I have begun to be "me" again.  I hear myself laughing, I mean really laughing and it feels so good!  

I wrote a post about only being able to see shades of gray while I was sick.  This is no longer true.  I am seeing things with new eyes!  I'm not usually someone who admires nature but I have seen the most beautiful sunsets and blue skies lately!   I have a new appreciation for what it means to be able to experience the kind of joy that warms your soul and fills you up.  

Ironically, despite being extremely depressed, I grew so much spiritually.  That may seem strange considering some Christians equate depression with spiritual warfare or a lack of faith somehow.  Not true.  I was hurting deep inside and there was nothing anyone could do for me.  I had a dream that Jesus was in a sleeping bag on my floor right next to my bed.  In my mind's eye I could see Him right beside me.  I felt his presence.  I was so alone emotionally but not spiritually.  I read my Bible and experienced God in a way I hadn't before. 

Now I am learning to let go of some pain and anger that I carry as a result of feeling abandoned, let down, and hurt by others during this time.  I don't really blame anyone, I just think depression is very hard to understand.  I don't think people know what to do for someone with depression and many people feel helpless to not be able to "fix" the person.  I was also vulnerable in a way that I had never been before.  I'm used to being a leader, in charge and the one people turn to.  My depression was shocking to the people who know me best.

I have a new appreciation for my health and what it means to take care of myself.  I owe it to my husband, my children and to myself to make sure I am healthy.

I know that in my life, it has been through the difficult times where I've grown and been used by God the most.  I  look forward to perhaps helping someone else as a result of my experience and I thank God for the ability to see in color! 


Anne said...

I'm right there with you, Gina! I also have Depression, and it was okay with a little medication for many years; then a major life change threw it all out of whack, and I had to do much trial and error, as you mentioned. . . Then it was okay again for some time. I recently changed medications, too, after many years, and was doing okay, but just the last few days and weeks have been more like what you were just going through. It's so unpredictable! And I appreciate how you talk about being closer to God through it. You explained it very well. Most do not understand!!!

Jenny said...

Gina, do you know who Shaun Groves is? He used to be mainstream CCM, now he sings/speaks/travels full time for Compassion. He went through a similar depression last year (I think it was last year) and has some wonderful blog posts about it: http://shaungroves.com/series/beggars-fortune/

I've so appreciated your posting about real life in the last year or so - the good, bad, and ugly. Even though you've moved far far away, it's still a blessing to know you, even though it's just on the internet now! So glad you're seeing in color now. :)

Jenny Curtis

Gina Lind said...

Thanks for sharing that Jenny, I'll check out his blog.
Anne, if there's anything I can do to help/encourage you please let me know.

Stacey Granson said...
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Candy said...

Depression is the pits. I remember feeling like a mountain of sand was ontop me and I was given a spoon to dig out. Along with meds,I too had to forgive many people, some for abandoning me, others for causing me to crack and myself for not being the mom/wife that I thought I should have been. Through it all, God has carried me, taught me, reminding me over and over that this life is not about me. And I believe he will use me to comfort others going through depression. Thanks so much for opening your heart. There are alot of us out here that need to know we are not alone. Love you dear one!!!

Anonymous said...

Depression is such a hard illness to admit...and sometimes it takes a professional telling a person over and over and over again that the stuggle is depression. The first time I ever admitted it to an MD, I just cried and cried and cried. Even looking at dirty dishes made me want to crawl into bed and not want to do anything for myself or anyone else. I slowly, by God's help, got better. Then, it hit me again, and it took a counselor to tell me over and over that my struggle was depression. So, finally, I did admit to myself that my sadness and lack of energy was indeed depression. So, by the grace of God, I sought help from my MD and have been on meds for over 3 years. Those meds keep me grounded and leveled out my emotions. My husband has been nothing but a godsend and my kids are wonderful, too. Depression is truly an illness that needs tending. Although it's difficult to come to terms and admit the problem, there is help out there. It've easy to put up a facade and not let people in...but, when the time is right...it's wonderful coming to terms with your emotions. Thanks for sharing your story!

A Life Being Lived said...

I'm so glad you are seeing some of the light!!! It can be such an unbearable state. Glad to know that something is working.

rachel said...

thank you gina - you're so amazing. i'm praising God for your continued healing!

A Life Being Lived said...

Check out my latest post- you've been given the Cherry on Top Award :)

Anonymous said...

I understand..I am being lifted out of Mahor Deppression..It is such a dark place..I was also bitter because everyone but one dear friend, just dropped out of my life..Later, I started understanding that they got scared, the loved me and didnt know how to help so they ran...Still hurts..But I know that Dark Place and I will always reach out to some one depressed..jo_kines@yahoo.com

AdmGln said...

I just stumbled on your blog recently. I like the name of this post - Seeing in Color. Having depression does feel like sometimes seeing the world in shades of gray.

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