I have battled depression off and on for most of my life. It began as a teenager because of growing up with an alcoholic father and brothers who mistreated me. My mom and my brothers took the brunt of my father's abuse, and I hid and listened to the arguments and fighting. I overcame depression in my late teens when my dad quit drinking and my parents reconciled their marriage, only to battle it again in my early twenties. At just twenty years old, I became a single mom. Working full-time, going to school full-time, and taking care of a baby on my own really took a toll on me.
I found the love of my life when my son was six years old. He took so much pressure off of me. He loved me and my son unconditionally. It was hard for me to return love in the same way that he gave it because of the way other men had treated me. I thought my husband was just being so great to me so he could get what he wanted; but he's never been that kind of man. After a couple of years of marriage, we had a son together and for the first time in my life, I experienced postpartum depression. I feel like this was the worst kind of depression that I've ever dealt with. It just came out of nowhere and I battled with wondering how I could be so depressed when God had given me such a beautiful gift. I felt so much guilt. I looked at the baby with resentment. I had feelings that I couldn't understand. I tried going on medication, but they put me on something that I was allergic to and I got violently ill. I decided then that I wouldn't go on medication again.
Fast forward a couple of years down the road and depression came back. I was lonely and felt isolated, but instead of seeking out friendships, I isolated myself from the few friends I did have. The depression got so bad that I started picturing myself telling my boys goodbye, kissing them goodnight, and then getting in the car late at night while everyone was sleeping, and driving off the road on purpose. I believe that God intervened by giving me an ailment that I thought was brain cancer or a stroke or something else that would be terrible. I suddenly started seeing each day as a gift and realized that I really didn't want to die. It took me two years before God healed me of this thing. Doctors never figured out what it was, but I knew in my heart that it was placed there to bring me back to reality.
Depression does occasionally try to creep back into my life, but I recognize it much more quickly than I use to. I realize right away that Satan is attacking me. I seek God quickly to restore me back to a completely healthy mind.
Stay tuned for more posts on depression. I want to discuss ways of overcoming depression and what to do (and what not to do) when your friend or family member is dealing with depression.
Be blessed my friends!