Fighting Clinical Depression

I wrote this article on depression long ago and it was published in HealthMad e-Zine.  They have since rotated it out (can’t keep everything forever, can we?) so I am free to repost it here.  This is not an issue I am currently dealing with, but I have been in discussion with some who are.  This is for them.

depressionMy journey through depression began long ago, way back when I was ensnared in servitude through employment. I suppose I had always been prone to bouts of melancholy; they were troublesome but, with one or two exceptions, never amounted to much. But there came a point where my life had for some time been wracked by a slow series of personal and spiritual failures culminating in the collapse of my “house of cards”.

A co-worker, my supervisor actually, who had made this journey herself recognized the signs in me early on and encouraged me – repeatedly – to seek help while I could. She was my light on the path and I will be eternally grateful to Anna for her vigilance and gentle persistence.

My climb back to the high ground was a long one. But once a spiritual reawakening flamed up and drove back the mists, I have been diligent to keep that fire fueled.

On occasion, when I become distracted and the flame burns low, the tendrils of depression and desperation close back in surreptitiously. But I see them now – I did not recognize the danger initially – and I am reminded to gather dry wood and stoke the fire to dispel the demonic fog.

Help Yourself: Help Others

Just yesterday I had a brief encounter with a young woman at a filling station. I know nothing about her except that she drove a truck with a flat tire, and she was crying; had been for some time from the looks of her. I offered to help.

As I aired up her tire she sat in the cab of her truck and dabbed at her eyes with a Kleenex.

I told her that the tire was full again and I didn’t hear any leaks, but she should keep an eye on it. She turned and looked at me. Her eyes were red and puffy but the look of deep gratitude was unmistakable. She said, “Thank you, thank you so much. God bless you!”

I felt compassion for her and was tempted to question her as to her circumstances and whether I could be of any further help, but I have learned the hard way that such prying often opens situations I wasn’t meant to get into. If God opens the door, I will walk through and deal with what’s inside confident that I was meant to. But if I open the door I generally just get in His way. So I told her that I was happy to have been able to help, and wished her a good day. As she started her truck she gave me that look again and said, “I will… now. Thank you!” and she smiled through teary eyes as she pulled away.

I could tell that my simple act of kindness had made a difference in whatever was causing her such grief. Maybe it was just the flat tire, but somehow I got the sense that the tire was just one piece of a puzzle. Maybe helping her snap that piece into place will help her to locate where the rest go. I hope so. In any case, being able to help her stoked my camp fire to a bright blaze. Had I simply sat in my truck impatiently watching as she fumbled with the air hose, we’d both have missed out on a blessing.

Other Helpful Resources

This Was My Locky Day
Confessions of a Clinical Depression Survivor