Archive for the ‘depression’ Category
If you would have looked into my eyes two weeks ago, and had the fortitude to lock eyes with me for more than a few seconds, you would have seen brokenness and pain.
Our eyes really are windows to our soul.
I discovered that truth on a whole new level last weekend.
I need to back up just a little…..
A few of you who know me personally, know that I have not been able to cry since I was 16 . (I’m currently 54)
I can pinpoint the day it happened.
My brother and I were wrestling and it went from a good natured match to an all out fight. He kicked my butt. To make matters worse, he was a year younger and it happened in the presence of my mom and dad.
I can still remember the shame and humiliation. I swore in my heart I would NEVER Ever, experience that sort of thing again.
Well, unbeknownst to me, somehow, deep within the recesses of my soul, I flipped a switch and could no longer cry. Only once in the 38 years since do I remember weeping…I won’t go into that now, just to say, it was in the midst of some intense emotional pain.
So last weekend during the course of a men’s conference, one of the things we covered was the fact that all of us have areas in our hearts of brokenness and shame. …
Things people have said to us. (or not)
Things we’ve intentionally done that nobody knows except us.
Physical things about ourselves we are ashamed of.
it might even be your name…. the list is endless, but the results are still the same. We begin to carry around this ever increasing load of hurt and shame.
I was able to identify 4 very specific hurts last weekend.
That situation with my brother.
Secondly, a vague but very real, dislike for how I looked as a youngster growing up:
My name if you can believe that..
and finally, on a very personal note, the fact that I was a very late bloomer…didn’t physically mature into late into my senior year of high school. The shame and embarrassment of those years in high school really did a number on my self esteem. Gym class was Hell. Yep, I was a runt all through high school. Not the last one picked when we chose teams.but one of the last.
All of it is bull shit (that’s german for garbage) .
Another word picture…
Our hearts are full of cracks. They leak like a sieve….and until those hurts are brought into the open and addressed, we will attempt to fill those cracks with anything that gives temporary relief. Food, shopping, sex, alcohol, people, $, our jobs, blogging, e-mail, face book, video games, hobbies taken to excess, etc.
None of it lasts. Before long, I’m looking for another fix.
The food addict, is no different than the shop-a-haulic or the sex addict. All three of them are dealing with the same crap, just going about it in different ways.
If someone cared enough to look to look deeply into our eyes…no sunglasses on …. they would see the pain.
To make a long story short, God touched all 4 of those hurts in a very specific way.
I no longer feel their weight.
I look @ that picture of my younger self and like what I see. I LOVE my given name, (my real name isn’t Doug btw/ it’s Douglas) I am in touch with my emotions…(I wept at least 4 or 5 times last weekend) and finally, I’m OK with being a late bloomer. I suspect it saved me from a lot of heartache.
I’m sure there are probably still pockets of brokenness to discover, but for now, I don’t have the same compulsions to check e-mail, face book , or even blog…all ways I think I was trying to connect with people in a way to satisfy the longings in my heart.
Thanks for checking in. DM
I learned at CCEF ”almost anything can be at the root of depression: a recent illness in which you get behind in your work, hormonal changes, a reversal of fortune, the consequences of simple negligence, guilt over a particular sin, self-pity arising from jealousy or a disadvantageous turn of events, bad feelings resulting from resentment, worry, etc….the important fact to remember is that a depression does not result directly from any of those factors, but rather comes from a cyclical process in which the initial problem is mishandled in such a way that it is enlarged in downward helixical spirals that eventually plunge one into despair.
Mine came about due to the death of a vision.
WARNING: Going to talk about my faith….if that sort of thing gets under your skin….stop now…you won’t hurt my feelings.
May 4, 1980 7:48 PM I wrote this in the front cover of a little New Testament: “I made a commitment to God to live my life for his Glory’
Translation: Just like a person entering into a marriage covenant , I entered into a “covenant” with God Himself….as an adult I made an intentional decision to become a believer.
As is often the case, I desired to be more effective in reaching out to other people…there was this restlessness in my life. Looked at 50 different Christian Colleges, trying to decide whether to be a formally trained pastor, or marriage and family counselor…Moved from Iowa to New Jersey in 1985 (with two kids in tow) , enrolled @ CCEF, decided I was being called to be a bi-vocational pastor . Carpenter by day, teacher/facilitator when I could….1990 returned to the Midwest with a strong sense of purpose. I’d experienced 5 years of intense discipleship/mentoring in New Jersey and believed God had brought us home to pass on what I’d learned.
Things were great for the first 2 1/2 years, then began to butt heads with our pastor In hindsight, God set me up- we had two completely different understandings for a healthy church. His was a more traditional model- I on the other hand craved deeper relationships that can’t be cultivated when you’re sitting in rows looking at the back of each others heads. We had two different models..not wrong/ just different. I know I wore him out with our intense discussions. It finally came to a head in November of 1995- we left the church- the hardest decision of my life (till then) – 90% of my closest friendships were in that church/ someone told me later, it felt like a divorce- (it did).
I was confused, I was angry-(I’m not giving you all the details- this would get too wordy)- I believed I would eventually be a co-pastor that church….instead I was on the outside looking in.
The depression probably started two years previous, and lingered another year. Things gradually got better since 1996 – here we are 12 years later and there is still a bruise on my soul. Just this morning, as we’ve been organizing our office, I came across several magazines and books related to mentoring and discipleship- I pitched the magazines, and am selling some of the books on e-bay. I have no aspiration or intention of ever taking an active role in leadership in a local church. I’m no longer depressed just broken- and there is a big difference.
Have you ever wrestled with depression? What triggered it? What brought you out of it? (if you’re out of it?) What good came from it (if any)?
Have you ever watched your life goal die? What was it and where are you at in the process now?
I originally wrote this in 2008 . I was interacting with someone this morning about depression, when I mentioned I’d gotten a little taste of it myself, they asked if they could hear my story…decided to re-post it for my new readers (all 3 of you) DM
“Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, (heavy-hearted)
but a sudden good break can turn life around.”
The first part of that statement.
Words are powerful so on one hand I do not want to give voice to the negative thoughts that bombard my mind
So I’ll tell you a story about someone else.
Last year I attended a teachers orientation @ the local community college. There were 30 some of us. We were an eclectic mix. An older teacher sat across the table from me. The more he talked the more I felt sorry for him. He had a pronounced lisp. Drove an old car. He was a former jr high history teacher. Long story short. the guy was just getting by financially. He did not radiate optimism. I was embarrassed for him. Had looser and failure stenciled on his forehead.
I’ve only been depressed (as far as I can tell) once in my life.
and I feel it coming on.
My emotions are starting to flat line
I have lots to be thankful for, so I try to focus on that..but it hasn’t helped.
My friend Don is a lot worse off than I so I went to see him yesterday. His place was a pit when I got there. His wife is battling cancer, she recently left him, charged him with all sorts of stuff that is total nonsense. He suffers from PTSD, is severely overweight. yea, compared to Don, my life is a cake walk..but that still doesn’t fix my heavy heart.
If you’re curious as to what’s got me by the scruff of the neck you can read this post
(Things have gotten crazier since I penned that.)
Physically, I am in good shape.
I’m active, working outside- brain is not turning to mush sitting in front of a computer for hours
(I only mention that because in the past these have been contributing factors to a mid winter funk)
So I’m doing everything I know to stay on top of things (guard my thought life, reach out to others, get physical exercise and eat right) and I’m not shaking it.
Long term disappointment can apparently do that to a person
I didn’t really want to be around people yesterday (Christmas / family get together)
Listening to what some of them spent this year on gifts was disgusting. especially, when I was going around our house last night checking the wattage of light bulbs, trying to think of ways to save a few dollars. talk about humiliating.
Sorry if this post is a downer, but when I started this blog, one of my goals was to keep it real. DM