I wrote a post at the start of the year called Black Depression. It received a lot of attention, but on reflection (because that’s what I do), I honestly feel as though ‘I didn’t land’, translation: I didn’t make a clear point.
I’d like to apologise for that first of all.
Not long after I posted that, I was having a discussion with a colleague who unbeknownst to me is a regular reader. His words were “it didn’t say much about depression”, my response was that it wasn’t supposed to; the aim of that post was to highlight the need for self-care when dealing with other people’s depression. But this discussion and the popularity that post received made it clear to me that this is something people wanted to know about, something they needed answers for.
My fears and worries stemmed from the fact that I didn’t have any answers to give. I didn’t want to be held responsible for supplying false or unhelpful information or advice. I myself had never been clinically diagnosed with depression. It’s a term that seems to be thrown around pretty easily these days despite how real the issue is. I was forced to debate with myself as to whether or not I could claim to have suffered such.
But the feedback I was receiving on this post, positive and negative, was putting a lot of pressure on me. Through all of this, I had to come to terms with the fact that whether or not I had seen a doctor and ticked off a few boxes, I had in fact experienced depression and the real reasons I was so against discussing it were due to shame and fear.
Years ago, back when I still blogged on Our Thoughts, Your Eyes… I shared a poem that I had written during the darker times in my life; I made sure not to promote it at all and after a week I took it down, deleted the file from my computer and then deleted it again from my recycling bin. What use was a poem that shared my sorrow and pain if it didn’t come with any useful information? I was the girl people came to for advice. I was the girl who shared her story and shared the outcomes of her experiences, I aimed to teach people lessons, to inspire and to motivate. How on earth could I talk on a topic that I understood so well if I didn’t have ‘top tips’ or ‘5-minute solutions’?
Yes, it was true, I didn’t have the tips, advice or step by step guide to overcoming depression because I didn’t get my freedom from a textbook or a doctor. I got it from God.
I refrained from saying this in simple terms because the truth is, this is not what people want to hear. They don’t want to be told that God will solve all of their problems, or that He is the missing link in their life. But this is the only truth I can tell.
I didn’t turn to man, neither did I turn to blogs. I got fed up of the state I was in. I got fed up of living a life that I was so desperate to end. I got fed up of being drowned in tears every night, fighting myself for not having the strength to carry on and being annoyed at myself for not even wanting to try. I had accepted that ending things was not the way and I had also accepted that the burden was too much to carry, I was under the impression that no-one cared and that no-one would understand.
So I turned to the one being I had already concluded did not even exist anymore, because what harm would it do?
That was what saved me. Rather, He was the one that saved me. God is the one who brought back my #Schmile.
This doesn’t mean that therapy and other forms of professional methods aren’t helpful, but it wouldn’t be right of me to promote what I have not tried or experienced.
So I’m sorry if my last post misled you into thinking I was going to discuss depression. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. Because I don’t have the words to help you. But I’m pleased that after all these years I summoned up the courage to point you towards one who does and will.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11