It’s okay to ask for help.

I suppose it should have been a sign that tears form almost every time I’ve tried to write something over the past five years. Maybe more. Rather than deal with what I need to deal with, I’ve elected to stuff it instead and stuffing it has also stifled the writing side of me. That’s okay. I’ve been too busy anyway. Too busy to write. Too busy to deal with things. It’s easier that way. Except that it isn’t.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been forced to face the pain of some things that I’d rather not, but really need to. And I need help. I’ve scheduled an appointment with a doctor to discuss mental health possibilities. I’ve reached out to a local church for counseling. Having initiated these first two steps, I think I’ve allowed myself to start thinking more critically about things and am beginning to realize that I place more weight on the rejection I feel from people than I do on the acceptance of Christ. And I do not know how to bridge that gap. But I’m starting the process of trying.

I’m beginning by reading this little book by Zack Eswine: Spurgeon’s Sorrows – Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression. Perhaps for the first time in a long time I feel understood. Or maybe for the first time in a long time I’m allowing someone to understand me.

From Chapter 1

“We very speedily care for bodily diseases; they are too painful to let us slumber in silence; and they soon urge us to seek a physician or a surgeon for our healing. Oh, if we were as much alive to the more serious wounds of our inner man.” – Charles Hadden Spurgeon

This chapter begins with, “How do we get through them? The times that knock the breath out; when even our strongest and bravest must confess with desolate eyes, “I do not know what to pray,” … Words have no strength to venture with us into the heaving deeps that swallow us. And many of us who believe in Jesus don’t like to admit it, but we find no immunity here either.”

“We even wonder if we’ve brought this all on ourselves. It’s our fault. God is against us. We’ve forfeited God’s help.”

From Chapter 2

“Things in life can hurt us; circumstances we wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

“Let’s remind ourselves at the outset; In itself, sadness or grief is God’s gift to us. It’s how we get through. It is an act of faith and wisdom to be sad about sad things.”

“For some of us, we’ve been unable to live in any other scene but the one that crushed us.”

From Andrew Solomon in The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression – “Grief is a depression in proportion to circumstances while depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.”

“Sadness is neither a sign of laziness nor a sin; neither negative thinking nor weakness.”

“In our fallen world, sadness is an act of sanity, our tears the testimony of the sane.”

“Broken hearted one, Jesus Christ knows all your troubles, for similar troubles were his portion too.”

From Chapter 3

“Depression can so vandalize our joy and our sense of God that no promise of His can comfort us in the moment, no matter how true or kindly spoken. At it’s worst, everything in the world looks dark.”

“Many of us feel that if we were more true to Jesus we wouldn’t struggle this way.”

“Therefore we sufferers of depression in Christ may grow terribly weak, even in faith, but we are not lost to God…Depression of spirit is no index of declining grace. It is Christ and not the absence of depression that saves us.”

“Our sense of God’s absence does not mean that He is so. Though our bodily gloom allows us no feeling of His tender touch, He holds on to us still. Our feelings of Him do not save us. He does.”

“Our hope therefore, does not reside in our ability to preserve a good mood but in His ability to bear us up. Jesus will never abandon us with our downcast heart.”