Thursday, August 14, 2014

Robin Williams, Charles Spurgeon and Me

I can't sleep.

Thoughts are tumbling through my head, one after another.  I have been aching to write. Something, anything!  But the words wouldn't come.  Then there were the headlines.  The blog posts.  The Facebook wars.  A kind and noble man was dead and we were all taken aback.  Scrambling to make sense of it.

It is frightening, really.  Michael Jackson's death took no one by surprise.  We saw that train wreck looming for years.  Stars often drink and drug themselves to death.  But Robin Williams seemed different.  I don't think anyone saw this coming. 

And it's scary. 

Could that happen to me?

I am not going to even try to give any answers.

I certainly am not going to condemn.

I just want to talk.

"The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy." Proverbs 14:10

I have been bouncing all over the emotional spectrum these past six months.  There is finally a discernable pattern to it.  It is definitely related to my hormonal cycles.  That doesn't make it any easier to handle. 

Last night I took several "depression quizzes".  Me and half of America.  I think everyone needs a little bit of validation, something tangible to tell us what we are experiencing is not without precedent.  That others before us have felt the same way. That there is a name for this.  A treatment, or cure, or some sort of protocol.

One of the results suggested I was highly bi-polar.  It's called PMS, honey . . .

Another said I was at risk for Seasonal Affectedness Disorder.  I sat outside in the sunlight today. 

What surprised me most was the tell-tale symptoms of PTSD are still showing up without me being cognizant of it.  I really thought I was over that.  Maybe I'm not, after all.

But internet quizzes are no substitute for a doctor's evaluation.  I had to click the disclaimer button stating such for every quiz I took.  The problem is, I'm afraid to talk to a doctor.  I don't trust anti-depressants.  I don't believe that it can all be explained away by a "chemical imbalance"  I have read enough to know that the chemical imbalance theory is just that, a theory.  I have also read enough to know that some people do become suicidal after taking Prozac.  That the pharmaceutical companies are dishonest.  That we are being poisoned everyday with toxic food, water and drugs and our home enviroment.  Sometimes, I think I read too much.  If you need any disillusioning reading material, I would highly recommend" Let Them Eat Prozac" and "The Emperor's New Drugs".

There is nothing new under the sun.  Depression of spirits is as old as sin.  What could be more depressing than living in a sin cursed world?  I can only think of one thing worse.  What if I had a taste of Paradise first and then had to deal with a murdered son, a murdering son fleeing for his life, thorns and sweat and blood and tears and hangnails, constipation and fig leaves for toilet paper.  Poor Adam and Eve!  They looked forward with earnest expectation to the advent of their Deliverer. 

And so do we. 

"But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren . . . that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." 1Thessalonians 4:13  This verse, often quoted at funerals, is primarily speaking of the believer's hope in Christ for a resurrection.  But I think it can be applied to all of life.  Living hurts.  But we have hope.  We die daily so that the life we live is not our own, but Christ living in us, the hope of glory.  Galatians 2:20  Colossians 1:27

 It is not by coincidence that I am re-reading "Bright Days, Dark Nights:With Charles Spurgeon in Triumph Over Emotional Pain" by Elizabeth Skoglund.  Such an important and needful book.  You can get it on your Kindle or from Amazon.  So worth reading.  Most people know that Charles Spurgeon suffered great depression though out his entire life.  It was debilhitating.  But oh my, how God used him be able to come alongside and pull up those suffering with him.  Even today he offers such wisdom and encouragement.  Encouragement that comes only with the experience that resulted in patience and hope.  There's that word again.  "Whispering hope, how welcome thy voice, making the heart in it's sorrow rejoice."

Brother Spurgeon wrote: "Excess of joy or excitement must be paid for by subsequent depressions.  While the trial lasts, the strength is equal to the emergency; but when it is over, natural weakness claims the right to show itself "

Yep.

I read this on my phone.  It so moved me that not only did I highlight it, I wrote my own note next to it. "This explains why I became depressed after surviving Elle's birth.  All the previous periods of grief and upheaval, coming from repeated loss of unborn children, loss of jobs and security, loss of my dad, all came crashing down on me at once.  What had been survived, but never properly grieved, finally asserted itself.  I am still dealing with the fallout.  Even though Ana's birth was a tremendous deliverance, there was a tremendous let down afterwards."

Holy Carpal Tunnel, Batman!  I can't believe I texted that whole thing . . .  I really need to write more often.

So, in closing I guess what I really wanted to say is:
 Depression hurts.
 But there is hope.
 Digging out is not easy.
 But there is hope.
 More people suffer from it than you can imagine. 
But there is hope. 

That hope is Jesus Christ.

 He did not die to make us happy.
  He died to make us sons and heirs.
 He died to conform us to His image, a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief.
 He has a purpose for putting me here in this place at this time.

 There is something He wants me to learn.

 Maybe it is that His grace is sufficient for me.

 Maybe it is so I will have experience in order to hold out hope to someone else.