When the Darkness Won't Let Go

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

There is a part of me that I don't reveal to people especially when I was younger. Nowadays, I am more comfortable with who I am and realize that we are all broken. So why hide it? Since I was a child I have struggled with anxiety. Not your run-of-the-mill variety, but rather the type that gets a hold of you and doesn't let go. In 2006, I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). As with many anxiety sufferers, I endure another beast...depression. Anxiety and depression are linked for many. It has taken me over forty years to come to terms with these two monsters. It has taken almost that much time to even admit to others I struggle with both. I recently added another category on my blog that you can find on the sidebar: Anxiety and Depression. You are welcome to browse through the different posts that are already there. As time goes by there will be more added. Silence enlarges suffering...it is my goal to share my experiences with others so that they may have hope and find healing.

For me, anxiety strikes and if it stays put it eventually leads to clinical depression. I can now recognize the signs and the spiral downward after years of practice. Those years have made me aware so that I can fight them before things get so ugly I can't pull myself out, and I know that if there ever comes a time again that I can't get out of the pit that I must seek help. No one beats anxiety and depression on an island.

If you have read my blog for any amount of time you know that I am a fan of Edward T. Welch's books. The first of his that I read was Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest. Such an excellent book on the core problem of anxiety and how to deal with it. Later I read Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection as I struggled with the shame of several broken relationships. You can read my posts on shame here.  In the past few weeks I have been reading his book on depression. I am struggling with another significant loss in my life, and I can feel darkness seeping in a bit. I felt that this was as good a time as any to read Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness. I have to say that his depression book is as helpful as the rest of them! It is like looking in a mirror as I read his descriptions of what depression looks like and does in a person's life.

Just listen to what Welch has to say...

"Depression is a form of suffering that can't be reduced to one universal cause."

"Beneath some depression you are likely to find a person who is reeling from the sins of other people." {This is totally me! I so identify with his statement!}

And Welch gives practical advice on how to fight it...

"Hope, as you will find, is a skill that takes practice. There is no verse, pill or possession that will make it magically appear."

I would encourage you that if you are suffering from depression or even wondering what depression really is and how to fight it pick up Edward Welch's book!  His words are filled with help and hope. He not only speaks to the sufferer, but to those that live with and love him or her.

Also, I have to HIGHLY recommend a series of posts that a dear friend, Candace,  has been doing on depression and Welch's book.  Please check out her posts! She offers her thoughts on the book and helpful suggestions when dealing with depression. Her blog also has many other posts that deal with the issue of depression.

My prayer is that you will find help and hope if you are struggling.


Candace Crabtree said...

Thanks for sharing my link. So funny that we were both reading different books by him and being blessed at the same time! :) I'm thankful to share this journey with you...not thankful that you struggle, but thankful for the friend I have found in you because of our common struggle. God is faithful and He does always bring good from our darkest seasons.

norma said...

Hi Debbie, I was diagnosed with GAD 20 years ago and you are absolutely right if you don't catch the feelings of anxiety and you nurse them it does turn into depression. Thanks for the book recommendations and for sharing :)

Debbie P said...

Thanks Norma and Candace for stopping by! Not that I would want anyone to suffer like I do, but it is good to know that we are not alone in this struggle.