I’m pretty cool, but I cry a lot.

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I’m about to talk about something extremely personal. For people who really know me, this is not something that comes easily for me. I don’t necessarily feel the need to share my feeling with anyone. So, for me to share with you what I’m about to share with you, it must be something significant, so pay attention.

A few months ago, I started noticing a behavior in myself that I have never had before. I was distant and numb. I didn’t want to spend time with anyone, including my family, and that scared me. I also was suffering from pretty extreme anxiety. I began to think and pray, trying to figure out what could be wrong. Then a thought entered my brain. Could I have depression? Awe, don’t be dramatic, I thought to myself. You are probably just tired, or need a break. There is a lot going on and its normal to struggle sometimes. Your thyroid is pretty much useless, I’m sure its just that.  The excuses kept rolling through my head. After a little time, I decided to do a little digging about Clinical Depression, just to see if it looked at all like what I was going through. I was very surprised to find that I was reading about myself. Then other questions came to my head. What would people think? Can Christians have depression? What would my husband think? Does this mean I’m crazy?

I have to be honest. It was scary to say out loud that I think I have depression, but I had a decision to make. What was more important to me? My pride and fear or my health and the people around me? So, I spoke with my husband and we decided to see a doctor. The doctor was wonderful and helped me to have a clearer understanding of depression.  I have been taking a antidepressant for a few months now. We are trying to find a good dose to level out my hormones. So far its been difficult.

I want to share a little about what it feels like to live with this. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about depression. Many well meaning people make comments like, “You just need to trust God more!”, “God is all you need, you don’t need medication” “God can overcome anything in your life.” While all those things are true, you treat a physical condition with a physical response. When you have an infection, you take an antibiotic. What people often times do not understand is that depression is a physical problem going on in your body. It is the result of a chemical/hormonal imbalance in your brain. So, I am trusting the Lord and making use of the medication He has made available to me for a physical problem.

Here are some of the thoughts I struggle with on a daily basis:

  • You are a failure.
  • You will never get over this.
  • You did something to cause this.
  • You are a burden to your family and friends.
  • Your children will hate you because you are like this.
  • This will define you for the rest of your life.
  • Your husband deserves better.
  • You shouldn’t be in a ministry.
  • People are better off without you.

While I know that all of these area lie, its exhausting being attacked by these thoughts every day. Its like being in a constant battle in your mind. I am extremely blessed. I do have a loving, gracious, kind, long suffering heavenly Father who loves me just as I am and continues to encourage me through His Word. I also have a loving, encouraging and good looking husband who helps me and holds me when I need it. I have 3 beautiful children who bring me joy. I have a wonderful supportive family and amazing friends. I am blessed! 

I have other friends that suffer from depression like me. I have spoken with them and they experience much of the same misconceptions from others. I suppose the point of this post is to help clear up some of that up, but also maybe to encourage someone else who may be going through the same thing. You are not alone. You are not crazy. You are loved and you will be ok.

People, be careful with one another. Be careful with your well meaning words. Educate yourself before you try to offer advice on a subject that you completely do not understand. Bare with one another, lift each other up in love and be careful not to judge. You never know what might be going on in the heart and life of someone else. 

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12 thoughts on “I’m pretty cool, but I cry a lot.

  1. Thanks for sharing Caira and for being so transparent. I think the list of questions you’re plagued with are questions many of us struggle with in silence. No season of life defines who we are, but this season will enhance the beautiful person you are as God uses it to draw you into a greater dependance on Him.

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  2. I too have dealt with anxiety and depression. I thought what I was thinking daily was “normal”, just attacks against me by my brain as I walked closely with God. After all, we all struggle with thinking on that which is pure, good, right, etc,, correct? I also did not realize that people did not think about suicide almost every day. Of course, I just considered that another attack by an unseen but very real enemy. A dear friend who I casually mentioned this to one day sort of looked at me quietly and stated that that was not “normal” and people do not deal with that on a regular basis. She asked me to talk to a doctor about it, which I would not have done. She also told me she was going to check back with me on this subject. I appreciate her telling me this and realized she was right and that I was in denial. Just like you, I knew Gid would not give me any trial He could not handle, and I would pray and shrug off negative thoughts, but I never considered I needed medical help. I did not realize the extent of my problems until I went for a physical at a dictor’s office where I did research for 6 or 7 years. They noticed something I did not…I had become a “picker” and was literally tearing my arms up the hole time I was laughing and joking with them. The provider noticed and became very serious and stated she would like to talk about something with me. Since I had worked there and she knew me, she came right out and told me she was noticing behavior I had never done before (the picking) and asked me if there was anything wrong. As far as I knew, I was just fine, but she pointed out my wounds and said there was a name for that, and it wasn’t just itching from doing a lot of gardening! Well, I hated the thought of having a problem I was not dealing with but that others could see and that their was a name for my spots in my arms – really?! She reiterated to me about chemicals in the brain changing and how sometimes we could use a chemical solution to a chemical problem . I am so glad I listened and humbled myself to get help. It was extremely tiring to fight negative thoughts about myself every day while thinking that was “normal”. With help and support, my arms are healed, my soul is at rest, I do not have to tell myself every day that God loves me (though I always “knew” this) and that I am His. I am at rest and secure in Him, and I give Him all the praise and glory. Thank you for sharing…God is with us!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story Debbie! I think the more we can be transparent as sisters in Christ, the more healing and support we can find. We should be a body that helps heal its own members. Love you dear friend!

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  3. Wow…. all these years and you never said a word. Or did this get triggered by one of life’s more recent distressing events? A baby, family stresses, the geographical moves? Crying is something I cannot do and never do – wish I could. Going to bed and staying there is a typical day – that way I can numb all those feelings/beliefs about myself you shared earlier, sleep away the pain, sleep away the day, sleep away my life. (yep another sin I am guilty of by wishing my days away until I reach paradise with Christ) I don’t have a good loving family back home ( probably contributed to who I am) or friends here who understand me or my ‘black dog’ or Satan on my shoulder…. my husband is away from home often working and we don’t have fun with friends and rarely enjoy vacations together. There are days I feel beat. There are days it grows old for our marriage. Thank God for meds…. wouldn’t be here without them. Great blog, beautifully written.

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  4. You are a strong and smart woman! I too feel that trusting in the Lord can also mean trusting in the advanced medicine He has given us. I’m glad you’re on the mend!

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  5. Thank you Caira for sharing your heart. It’s funny how we see people in church every week and never know what they are going through. I admire you for sharing your struggles online. I am sure it took great courage but it will probably help someone to either also share or consult like you did. It’s not because we are Christians that we are sheltered from those things. Over twenty years ago I went through a major depression that lasted for 4 years. God helped me through this rough time in my life. Many years later and I have to be daily in the word of God so that I don’t fall back into depression. God is the one who sustains me. One my father’s side, there is not one single person who has not gone through a depression. It is kind of scary but very real at the same time and the worst is they don’t have God in their lives! The only thing I can tell you is stay close to God and do what you have to do in the natural and God will do the rest. Bless you sister!

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