Things That Make Me Sad

I’ve been seeing a counselor, Bethany, for about a month. I like her. She is helping me work through my emotions.

My counselor also referred me to a psychiatrist, Dr. Kumar. I like him, too. He prescribed me some low dose antidepressants based on Bethany’s assessment.

My official diagnosis is ‘severe depression’ and ‘unipolar disorder.’

I’ve been on antidepressants for about 2 weeks. Dr. Kumar told me it would take a few days before I felt the benefits. Some days I think the medicine is a godsend. Other days, I think the pills are just a placebo.

Anyway.

At my last counseling session, Bethany asked me to evaluate the topics that led me spiraling into depression. Thoughts that are so powerfully negative, they cripple me.

So I made a list.

  1. Being a single parent.
  2. Missed opportunities.
  3. Remembering how my daughter was conceived.
  4. Knowing I’ll never have the family I wanted.
  5. Knowing my daughter’s father will never have to face any consequences for his actions.

The items on my Sad List make me feel indignant and helpless. And without fail, these thoughts thrust me into the depths of depression. Every. Single. Time.

So why do I even think about these things? Why do I completely disregard Philippians 4:8?

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Because depression is like Jim, seductive.

Not aggressive.

It’s gentle at first.

I feel in control so it seems okay.

When I finally realize how bad it is- it’s too late.

And just like with my Jim encounters, after a particular bad episode of depression I feel wholly accountable… and entirely helpless.

*Rae

Advertisements

70 thoughts on “Things That Make Me Sad

  1. It does take time for the rx to adjust to you. One thing my therapist wanted me to work on is not letting my depression define who I am. Easy to say, I know, and some days I lose that perspective completely. Yet it is true as it points out that we do have a choice to make and that we are in control. Therapy and the rx can be a helpful combination

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for sharing your struggle with us, Rae. Hang in there, surround yourself with good people who know how to empathize and love. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “God don’t make no junk.” It’s absolutely true. You are precious and good and your daughter needs your guidance to become the same sort of person. God bless. We’ll all be praying for you.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. So Sorry Rae. I also suffer from depression and was prescribed medication, but could never get used to them (I have trouble swallowing pills). You’re right: depression is seductive, Just remember that when you are feeling down Jesus is ALWAYS there to lift you up, just because you are worth many rubies to Him.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Molly says:

    Thank you for sharing. I love your honesty. I especially like the verse you quoted. Our minds, when not tamed can debilitate. But sometimes it helps me to remember I am not my thoughts. I am an eternal child of God. Its catching those nasty thoughts before they take root…it is a process.
    I am sending you hugs and prayers and hoping that the medicine works out.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I was thinking something similar this morning when I wrote “The Window Clingy.” I was aware that reflecting on the list of what is making my life so bleak these days is the antithesis of anything that is excellent or praiseworthy. However, had I not made my list and been hit between the ribs with the depression and despair, I would not have come to the truth….the more I lose and let go of, the clearer and stronger my connection to God.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. You’re right, Rick. It does. And I think that’s the hard part. Not letting depression define you. Especially when depression becomes prevalent and regular instead of a fleeting bad mood. Sounds like you have a good therapist.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I appreciate your kind words, Mark. God is getting me through. I grumble more than I care to admit. Each day I tell God I simply cannot go on. Each day He gives me strength to do the very thing I said I couldn’t do. God’s reliable like that. Again, thanks for your comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So you know how depression goes, too! I can’t imagine how difficult it must be having difficulty swallowing pills. You’re absolutely right, though. Jesus is always there. Dark depression would have me believe otherwise, but the truth is: Jesus is and Jesus knows. Great reminder!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I read your post and enjoyed it. Very relatable. I agree, too. Making a list of things that cause us pain show us truths within ourselves and helps us to understand why God doesn’t want us to cling to certain ideals. They say pain is an indication of something being wrong. I like to believe my depression isn’t just emotional but spiritual. That there is a lesson to be learned. What do you think on the matter?

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Can I offer some reframing of numbers 1,2 and 4?

    Who says that you will ALWAYS be a single parent? Depression adds the always, my friend. Sure, you are a single parent now, but you cannot predict the entirety of your future, sweetheart. God knows how hard your life is right now… and He cares. The same goes with your ability to have the family you want– sure, you’ve already started your family, and it had a rather traumatic start, but Rae– what if God has an even better kind of family in mind for you?

    I do not have the family I once wanted… I too was a single parent. But around my son’s first birthday, God brought me together with my best friend in the world. And soon after, we became husband and wife. I got a Christian husband– a man that fears God– even though I had already become a mother. Don’t doubt God’s goodness, and God’s desire to care for you. Wait on Him. Allow Him to take the helm here. Trust Him and His forgiveness and mercy.

    Missed opportunities. Ok, I’m quoting Thomas Merton here, because he says it better than I could:
    “One who is content with what he has, and accepts the fact that he inevitably misses very much in life, is far better off than one who has much more but who worries about all he is missing. For we cannot make the best of what we are, if our hearts are always divided between what we are and what we are not.”

    If you have the time, pick up Merton’s “No man is an Island”. Chapter 7 changed my life. Seriously. And for the better;)

    Much love to you sweetie. It gets better. I promise you, it does. Don’t let depression cut off your hope in God. It LOVES to make you feel depressed AND spiritually hopeless. But you don’t have to let it take you into its hopelessness.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Incidentally, I struggled with clinical depression for much of my teens and twenties. It caused me to drop out of school at least once, precipitated job losses… in short, made me feel like a very miserable person.

    Meds can make all the difference. But, sometimes you have to try a few different ones before finding the one that works for you. Meds are a way to stop the psychically wounded from bleeding out. However, only your work in therapy and in your growing relationship with God can heal that wound for good. Keep doing what you are doing. You are doing exactly what it takes to overcome the D-monster.And, yes– it can be overcome!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I love your comments, Kristen! You’ve clearly been there and know exactly what I’m going through. I’m sorry for the negative experiences you have had in your past, but am glad they shaped you to be the beautiful, kind, amazing woman you are today. You are right on point about depression adding words like, “never,” or, “always,” to things that are unpredictable. Reason and emotion have never been friends. I’m glad you shared your experience being a single parent and finding a godly husband. To be honest, being a single parent did not bother me much at first. It wasn’t until I started going to Church. I know I go to learn and praise. But seeing families. Husband, wife, children. All happy and smiling and I’m so ashamed to admit that I feel envy. Of all places. In the Church is where covetousness rears it’s ugly unwanted head. Especially when my Bible study teacher uses generalizations for married couples. And I hate how my first thought in the house of the Lord is, “well I’m not married and I’m mothering a baby born out of wedlock. So I guess this is a pass for me.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the Lord and I love my Church family. And I so appreciate your words of wisdom because anything that will help me get past this stage is well worth the time.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I was raised in one of those traditional, nuclear families sitting together in a church pew every Sunday. This is where envy proves its short-sightedness– my Dad was a pedophile. No one in our church knew, and church itself was a shelter for his sin. My point being, we cannot judge by mere appearances (John 7:24). When my Mom became a single mom and left my Dad, our whole church cast a condemning eye upon her, and pitied all of us girls. When, in reality, it was the best thing that could have happened to us! I despise this aspect of conservative church cultures. Who is the greater sinner? The supposed solidly married couple where one partner is an abuser, and the other enables the sin to continue, raising children than honor keeping up appearances above all? Or the single mom committing herself to owning up to her mistake and raising her child(ren) to honor God despite her own failures?

    There is no such thing as a perfect family, where no sin abounds… regardless of how it appears to our churchy friends, lol! We are all unrighteousness apart from Christ, and finding ourselves IN Christ is brought about through God’s grace alone. No one should get holiness points for being married and going to church, rofl! But the very fact that this is how many church cultures work, leads to pew warming families like my family of origin:-/

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Thanks for having transparent authenticity.

    I once thought I’d always be a single mom because of the hidden issues in my kids, but God was good and sent me a godly man who just wanted not to go through the nursery years. My hubby even communicates with the kids better than I do. 😉

    I don’t have depression. Because of my food issues, I have a vitamin deficiency that causes depression-like symptoms. It’s hard (especially when the kids are bouncing off the walls and noisily enjoying life fully), but God can use those things too — Paul had that thorn in his flesh that was never removed, but it kept him humble and focused on Christ as his source. In those bad moments, be sure to connect and ask for help.

    Beyond Philippians, Romans 8 is always good for reminding me that Gods makes things work out good for His faithful — but it’s His good, His time, His way.

    Every family has a dysfunction of some kind. No family is perfect. Your case is single parenting. Another’s might be abuse. And yet another might be addiction.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. So many kind people replying that I’m not sure what different perspective I can offer that is cogent and helpful. I’ve had difficult years, some were decades – each had different roots: poor choices, death, being alone in another country, lack of resources, betrayal, anger & bitterness. Helpful things at different times: learning to hear God’s voice, willingness to do what He said, Vitamin D (a lifesaver at one period!), brewers yeast tablets/powder (more often than I expected), long walks in Nature yelling to God, just the right songs (thanks to some stations & YouTube) certain pets, sometimes friends, really good sermons (radio or online), some books, & developing a quirky sense of humor and perspective.

    Life has its ups and downs and I remember a few words of wisdom from my first, and late, husband: people are more important than things; it’s just stuff – we can always get more stuff; someday we’ll look back on this and laugh (weirdly, he was right); and any day you aren’t getting shot at is a good day (3 tours in Nam will make you think that way).

    Liked by 3 people

  16. The first cut analysis says that depression is anger turned inward. So, the first thing to do for this first analysis is to identify the anger(s)…and that, more than likely, points to an issue or issues that need to be let go of. Lists and letters come in handy here; I have, on occasion, written a letter or essay about a person or experience, had it prayed over by myself and others, and then burned. It was cathartic. As I am sure you know, letting go of something so that forgiveness is eventually possible does not require any knowledge by or interaction with the people involved.

    I am seriously considering making a list of all of the situations that are making life seem so bleak right now. These situations involve everything from banks and government entities to my own sister. When I complete this list, I intend to pray over it fervently for the strength to let all of this stuff go and then light a candle and burn the list. There’s nothing more pervasive and healing than Holy Smoke.

    My next point about depression is that while I was on medication for 13 years for bipolar disorder, I developed serious side effects from that long term exposure and ended up weaning myself off of all of it over this past year. I believe I was able to do that because in conjunction with my spiritual healing exercises, I also was serious about intense forgiveness of everyone for everything; I had a hunch my inability to forgive was hampering my spiritual development AND my physical health. I think I was right. I still struggle on occasion with short-term mood swings and residual side effects but because I have been through this so many times, I know that they are brought on when (or because) there are more aspects of my issues that need addressing and forgiving.

    The other day, I was reminded of the man by the temple waters whom Jesus asked, “Do you want to be cured?” (Some translations say, “Do you want to get well?”) For many many years I struggled with that question…and was not totally sure why it bothered me. Years later, I realized the problem was 2-fold: Who would I be without my mood disorder? and was I willing to do (or not do) what was necessary to be healed? When my life fell apart two years ago (after I had prayed for healing) it became crystal clear that the questions were no longer relevant: I didn’t like who I was WITH the disorder and doing what was necessary to be healed (forgiving others) seemed a who lot easier than living the life I was living.

    I have learned that any kind of dis-ease is an indication that something is wrong; I am either heading in the wrong direction, needing to address a lie (usually that I am telling myself), or simply needing to lay stuff at Jesus’ feet so that He can take care of it. Regardless, the changing of direction, identifying the lie, or presenting the stuff to Jesus requires communication with the One in Whose hands my heart lies.

    God want only one thing: our reconciliation with Him. I believe that is what this life is about…getting that reconciliation right and complete.

    Bless you, dear.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Thank you for your comment. Single parenthood isn’t easy- but you’re right about Paul. I always wonder what his “thorn” was. Either way, he had the right idea staying focused on Christ.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. controversialchristian1 says:

    I’ve struggled with depression since my late teens. It was particularly bad till I was about 30. Some depression seems to come from nowhere and some of it is obviously because of circumstances, in my experience. I don’t suffer with severe ongoing depression anymore but have reactionary depression occasionally because of my CFS. Keep asking God into the worst of your depression. That’s what He’s there for.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. controversialchristian1 says:

    Incidentally, both my parents were to my knowledge born out of wedlock, and that was in the 1930s, a very different age. But, It’s history and who really cares, and who’s business is it anyway? Interesting that you said you feel your single parenthood most acutely in church. That doesn’t surprise me, even though I know you are not necessarily saying they are being judgemental but that you feel uncomfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Thats rough, experiencing depression so early in life and consistently throughout. Im happy that you no longer experience the severe ongoing type. That’s the worst. And you know for a southern Baptist Church, the congregation is extremely true in their faith. They love and embrace each other and any insecurities I bring to Church are products of a judgmental suspicious mind. I think this is God’s way of humbling me. You don’t know the Rae I used to be… I was so damn prideful. So judgmental. Maybe I still am. But God ain’t done with me yet (: what is CFS?

    Liked by 3 people

  21. I’ve read much on Paul’s thorn… I think it boils down to the fact that even the last of the Apostles couldn’t expect to live a spiritual life without some aspect of difficulty, or as someone earlier mentioned “dis-ease”. Perfection is found in the next life– not this one! Contentment is far less of a challenge when we remember that even Paul struggled in his humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. controversialchristian1 says:

    Chronic fatigue syndrome. Not much fun.

    When God took Saul to task for fanatically persecuting the early Christians to sometimes violent murder, the man who became Paul could only forever be chastened by his deeply sinful past fuelled by ignorance of God. If God can forgive a violent religious fanatic like Paul, He can forgive anyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I’m really truly sorry that you’re experiencing this depth of depression, as I can relate too well. Hang onto God as tight as you can, because He is holding you tighter, hugging you close beneath His wings. I know my words will seem impossible, but things really do get better–even if it seems to take a long time–patience is hard when we’re hurting so deeply. I’m 64, and my depression nearly killed me several times–but now I look back (still struggling with times of recurring depression some days), and KNOW that God won’t disappoint me, won’t ever let go of me. HE IS FAITHFUL–and I absolutely believe He has so much more in store for you than you can imagine at this time. I will keep you in my fervent prayers. It helps to keep thanking Him, and declaring His promises for your future (Jeremiah 29:11, I think it is, about His plans for our GOOD Future and HOPE)–even when you don’t feel like it; and never mind about the verse you quoted Phil 4:8–what I mean is, don’t allow satan to put you under condemnation, if you can’t think on only happy-good thoughts. Just try to speak gratitude and faith regardless of your feelings–because the words of our mouths are so powerful, and can speed up the process of healing and victory; this is something it took me a long while to learn, so I’m speaking from experience 🙂 God bless you and your child from His Abundant Provisions of Love and Favor!

    Liked by 3 people

  24. ceponatia says:

    I hope your counselor is going to do something with that list in your next session because writing down a bunch of negative stuff that you can’t change doesn’t seem super helpful lol.

    Like

  25. ceponatia says:

    My counselor back in the day had me write letters to my parents about how I felt about them (fortunately I didn’t have to read them to them haha) and it did help me realize a lot of things after he went through them with me. I suppose the main thing to take away from it is that you CAN have the life and relationship that you want, it just takes some work on the front end.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. See that’s where I get caught up. I can’t have the life I want as I want it. Because I wanted to not have a child with Jim. Lol I guess the thing is to accept we can’t get what we want. Which sucks

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I appreciate your sentiments but finding a man has never been a top priority or desire in my life. I don’t mind being single. It’s the parenting aspect of it that makes life so difficult. But I get what you mean (:

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I would like to add this to the letters and forgiveness subject: even though two years ago I prayed to forgive everyone who had ever abused or neglected me from birth to the present, I am only now able to feel capable of truly letting go of my pain and forgiving them. The will and intention to forgive was there two years ago; it took two years for my feelings to catch up. And stuff still comes up. It’s a process that is not over until it is over…thanks be to God.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Two thoughts…I’m over 60 and no longer think about being paired up with anyone; I see myself as a self-contained unit…not needing completion.

    I was once told that I just needed a good man. I replied that I have a good man… Jesus. He had to admit, Jesus is the best

    Liked by 4 people

  30. Keep in mind that we have what God wants us to have…and, for a reason.

    Go back and read http://www.theviewfrom5022.wordpress.com/this-is-why

    There is a reason for you to be where you are with what you have experienced. You are to do something with and because of your experiences. You have wisdom and insights to help others deal with similar issues. The opportunities to serve Christ as a ‘wounded healer’ may come now or 40 years from now but there is a God purpose for all of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Rae, I just found you blog and Wow, I am blown away. Not only is your writing transparent and heartfelt, but your support is HUGE. What a wonderful group of believers who are surrounding you. You WILL get to the other side and see God’s handprints all over the struggle. That’s what has happened to me. 😉 God bless and keep you close to His heart!

    Liked by 3 people

  32. God Bless Rae, this is a fight for your very life.

    Trust God and expect that listening to his wee small voice inside will lead you into doing all the right things to come out the other side victorious, re, counseling, meds, church family, etc.

    For me, I had to hand it all to God first and accept he can handle us being ‘real’ in whatever way is authentic to us.

    My big breakthrough was understanding that we CAN control our thinking.

    I took the time to train my mind to immediately, recognize and reject, negative thoughts entering, which eventually got me to the Philippians scripture stage.

    As soon as thoughts appear, I now say, I know who that comes from and I’m not going there and switch to thinking about good things.

    It becomes almost unconscious, ‘oh no you don’t’, automatic thought barrier after a time.

    ‘This too shall pass’. 0000000XXXXXXX

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Time for some Jesus encounters 😉
    Theres a song I’m sure you’ve probably heard, an old hymn, that goes

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace

    You’re on the right track (: there’s a time to face your sadness amd let Jesus wash it away, but there’s never a time to focus on it that won’t lead you back to that prison because the devil thrives on those memories and fear is his worship.

    I woke up with this song in my heart this morning that goes

    There’s no place I’d rather be / No place I’d rather be / No place I’d rather be / Than here in Your love, here in Your love

    And a second like it,

    In Your arms of love / In Your arms of love / Holding me close, holding me still / In Your arms of love

    Father thank-you so much for my friend Rae. Give her a new and fresh revelation of your love today, hold her close in your arms of love and wipe every tear from her eyes. Take that list from her heart, it’s such a heavy burden, heal her heart, mend her wounds, and give her joy unspeakable that won’t go away. Hide her in your life, in the life of your son King Jesus and in His beautiful and precious name we ask all of this. Thank-you Father!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Thank you for sharing your powerful stories. I cannot imagine they are easy to share, but you are very brave for doing so. I’m proud of you for seeking help, even when it doesn’t always feel like it’s working. My mental health issues are not the same as yours, but they can be crippling and so very painful, and I am praying for you through this journey, sister. You are not alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Lindsay, I don’t know about brave. But it’s kind of you to say so. I’ve read some posts from your blog and like it. Stay strong in your journey, too. Mental health issues are tough- period.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Rae, it takes a strong woman to share her story. Allow you story to be your blessing and to bless others. God is real and he is on the throne. What the devil meant for your harm God will turn it around for your good. I declare that No weapon formed against you will prosper. I was so glad to see you quoting scripture. Stand on it and it will not return to you void. God’s word is alive, it’s the living word, and the word is more powerful than anything. Don’t allow feelings and emotions to dictate your life. I know it gets hard but we must fight the good fight of faith. Continue to use his word to move you toward happiness and an abundant life for you and your daughter. I will lift you up in prayer and all the others that responded to your blog experiencing depression. I created my blog to bless the world. I’m new to blogging and it’s been a bit of a learning curve. However, I’m determined to get going soon. The world needs Encouragement. Visit The-Berakah.com for encouragement to win at life. Post are coming soon. It was no coincidence that you liked my post today. God is working.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Berakah, I take comfort in that. Knowing the God is real and He is on the throne. You’re absolutely correct about that. Thank you for your words and keep blogging. 🙂

    Like

  38. Rae,
    Thanks for taking the time to read my post. It is nice for us to be honest about the things that shake our dungeons, our beliefs, our core, as they actually provides relief/assistance for someone who may not feel comfortable talking about the pain that they experience. But what I have found is that sharing pain, heals pain. I just want you to know that I am praying for you, and your success in your endeavors, and journey to wholeness! Much love, take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Lauren Scott says:

    Thanks for the like on my page and thanks for sharing your heart here. I’ve dealt with depression from chronic illness and side-effects from treatment (had to be on high doses of prednisone)–and the issues it raises when caring for little ones are myriad. Praying for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Your Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) are destructive because they are inaccurate but seductive. Remember what you said in “The Tissue Test. O Rly?” “Solving made-up problems isn’t sexy, it’s sleazy.” Being a single parent may be very difficult, but it doesn’t make you bad. “Missed opportunities” are just learning opportunities. Learn not to miss the next ones while knowing we sometimes only recognize opportunities in hindsight. “Remembering how my daughter was conceived” sounds like a problem made up by religion. Don’t let that define you as a bad person. “Knowing I’ll never have the family I wanted” is always/never thinking and fortune telling. You have no idea what family might be in your future. “Knowing my daughter’s father will never have to face any consequences for his actions.” So what? Punishing him is not your job. Focus on what you can do something about.

    Be skeptical of your ANTs. Ask yourself “how do I know that’s true” and “is this thought helpful to me?” Be as good to yourself as you would be to your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Sorry to hear that. I assume you’re dealing with that in therapy. If it’s causing PTSD and your current therapist does not do EMDR, find one who does. It’s very quick and very effective.

    Like

  42. Jesus, please bless and heal Rae completely and bring her through this depression so she will be stronger on the other side. Bless her daughter. Please, Lord, provide for both of them and let them know how much You love them – and that you will never leave or forsake them. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I am praying for you lady.I am also a single mom. I wish I could hug you and tell you that it will be ok. I remember feeling like I was trapped in this psychological box of single parenthood. I just pray that you can believe that life will get better. If you ever want to hear my story and some encourage me feel free to reach out. I hate to see other women going through it. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s