An explanation of sorts

As my father (who has started blogging recently over at A Place to Stand) pointed out to me recently, I haven't posted anything since the end of July. The reason for this is simple. My mental health has declined and blogging isn't as high a priority as feeding myself, changing the litterbox or getting to my doctor's appointments. Blogging requires thought and thinking too much can be dangerous for me when I'm in this dark a place.

I will share this story with you all, however. This past weekend, I found myself crouched over the hospital bed of a dear friend while we waited for the psych consult to arrive. At one point, she was frantic and deeply concerned that God didn't love her because she had done bad things. In order to comfort her, I told her that I also often feel that I am a horrible person who has done unforgivable things. But I also know that God has forgiven me and that God loves me, because He has told me so. I believe that if He can forgive and love me, then that love and forgiveness must be accessible to everyone, because I am so not special.

I don't know how much she retained of that conversation, as her memories of our night in the ER are incomplete and scattered. I do know that in the moment, I was able to comfort her because she physically relaxed a little. It's moments like that, when I can draw on my long and ugly history of living with mental illness, that I can make some sense of why He would let me suffer the way that I do.

I ask for your prayers for myself and for my friend, but especially for all of the people who are helping to care for us.

Elizabeth Bathurst

P.S. I am starting to feel better and hope to be back to blogging soon.

1 comment:

RichardM said...

I have had my own battles with depression over the years. If this were to turn into an I've-suffered-more-than-you contest I would surely lose. But even mild depression is painful and debilitating. I most vividly recall coming into this office on Saturdays during the last couple of years of my tenure run and finding that my usual methods: drinking extra coffee, smoking strong Honduran cigars, Running two or three miles at the track or sitting in the sunshine for an hour or so were not working. I just sat and stared at the computer screen and reminded myself that not publishing anymore could lead to the loss of my job and financial disaster for my family. Running out of things to do to "snap out of it" is unnerving. I'm glad that there are additional treatments available besides cigars (my personal favorite by a long shot) and can see why someone in the trough of a depression would look to anything that might help.

What is the spiritual meaning behind depression? There's no good answer probably. In a general way we can say that this world is one in which pain of many sorts is an ever present reality. Evils we can do something about are a challenge, but evils we can do little or nothing about except to endure are a blow to our pride, a reminder of our weakness.