I remember two years ago while at a writer’s conference I had a consultation with an author. There were three topics I spoke with her about. One was teaching on the personalities, another was depression, and the other was about growing up in an abusive home. She asked what I wanted to write about. I said all of them. I could not decide. And I still do speak on all three topics, but I am beginning to focus more on speaking to others about depression. The biggest complement I ever received was when someone came up to me after a talk at a church. I did speak on the personalities, but I also spoke on depression and growing up in an abusive home. After the talk someone came to me and said, “no one speaks about this at church…” I was so touched. I cannot tell you how touched I am by the stories I am privileged to hear after my talks. So I have decided to share with you my journey into how I found out I had depression, my struggle with insomnia and anxiety, and how I was able to get treatment.
.. I must begin by saying that my depression was not diagnosed until I was in my late twenties. It was after I got married that Bobby, my husband, noticed the symptoms and got me to a doctor. I have had depression since I was a young preteen, but we did not know the signs at the time. Not to mention I hid a great deal from my mom and others as I grew up. She was going through so much. I would play outside with my brother and cousins until I was a preteen. I then began to withdraw from from them. I started staying up all night watching old movies and sleeping during the day. I became terrified of everything. I felt guilty for everything. I could not deal with the fact that I was not perfect. I stopped eating and sleeping. I was almost unable to function at all. The anxiety was unbearable. My mom was able to call the pastor from the local church. His name was Charlie…I tease that he looked more like a hippie than a pastor, and he came and shared the love of Jesus with me. I accepted Christ that day. I remember the darkness leaving and feeling flooded with Light…the Light of Christ. Sadly, I still struggled with depression, but Jesus knew I was sick even if I did not. He still loved me then and does now. He did and still does hold my hand in my journey with depression every day. He cared that I was hurting from the depression. He cared about my pain and about me. He saw past the depression and saw me. He knew I was lost and needed Him. The depression did not matter to Jesus, only I did. I was all that mattered, not my illness….Tomorrow I will share what Charlie told me about Jesus…
The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”