Depression, Family, Friends, and Jesus

When I say that some days are better than others, I really do mean it. And today is no exception. I know I have obligations to the world, but on many levels, my brain and my body do not want to engage in any activities today. They just flat out want to quit, and be done. In reality, that is not possible, because I have those obligations, and they mean something to someone out in the world.

An interesting statement was made to me today by a friend of mine. They said, the more that they read about my depression, the more they are finding they are not that strong. They added a frowny face emoji on the end of the sentence, just to make the point. She is a mighty prayer warrior, with a very strong spiritual side, and someone who I can rely on to be very honest with me no matter what. She has a different view than I do, which I really welcome. Well, I have known this person for a while now, so the statement kind of shocked me, and made me wonder how many others out there are like this. I know what context she was getting at, but still, I wonder, how many people out there feel powerless when it comes to depression, or being someone in love (family, friend, or significant other) with a person who has it.

Everyone is at different stages of their life. Whether you are someone who is depressed, or knows someone who is depressed, just know the journey that you are on today is preparing you for tomorrow. Depression impacts everyone differently, so, what is my depressive state could be worse or less to someone else, but never is it any less a depressive state. I include those who know or live with depressed individuals, because not only is depression a disease internally, it is an external social problem as well. Kind of like someone who is in the hospital, there is a patient and families who help pick up the slack for the patient. So, the impacts are great, and they run deep. Take my wife, she has to deal with me when I have these issues, and God only knows how she does sometimes. On the flip side, I have to deal with her when she is having emotional issues as well. There is a give and a take to it all, just like everything else in life. It takes special people to live with someone with mental illnesses, but it always takes a willingness of the individual with the disease to seek help. That is the only way that you can overcome it. Even if you are by yourself, there still has to be a willingness on the part of the individual to do something about it.

The real path to a stable healing, that I have found is reworking the foundations. The fundamentals in my healthcare, medications, doctor support, etc. Getting back to the basics with my religion. Being a committed Catholic, but understanding that the Confessional is no substitute for the psychiatrist couch, or vice versa. Also, the person that is living with the individual has to just be willing to understand and honest with the person, no matter what. You can not expect an open wound to heal in a day, the same is true with depression. The very nature of the disorder is intertwined between actual physical causes and soulful causes. Its complicated, but resetting the foundation is a good place to begin. It takes compassion, and some strength, but in the end it takes lots of love.

I write my story because I hope that someday, somewhere, someone will find it useful to them. I write it as an insight to my life, and hopefully inspire someone to see God’s work in my life. My friend is very strong in lots of ways, and is someone who has a lot of things to offer in this world. She and I have shared stories about our children, our backgrounds, and have laughed constantly at the things happening at work. I have never seen her as anything other than a very good person, with a huge spiritual side that is screaming to come out. She counterbalances my Catholicism with her Protestant views, and has challenged me on a few things (questions are always welcome about being Catholic or what the Church really teaches, if I don’t know the answer, I will find it..), so, today’s message from her took me back. I know that feeling she has very well, because I have it on a constant basis. The I am not strong enough feeling. It’s a tough feeling to deal with.

One thing I am learning very well on this Lenten journey of mine, is that no matter what, even though my Cross is heavy, I have help when I look to the Lord. All of us, family, friends, neighbors and strangers, we are all in this whole big world together…. so, even though our Crosses get heavy, and make us feel weak, we should always be willing to lend a hand and help others carry their Crosses as well. Everything is easier when you work together. I pray that everyone finds solace in the burdens they have, and that if you need help, you will find the strength to ask for it, and that someone, whomever it is, answers that call for you.

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