Depression

The best step that I’ve taken in these last couple of months was when I dropped my Sunday post. Shortly after this I decided I wouldn’t read blogs on weekends as well. This has been really good for me. It’s given me a chance to shut out all distractions and simply listen. 

One weekend I opened up my YouTube app to listen to some music. While listening to one song I browsed through the comments. Someone had left a Bible verse that I couldn’t help but “like.” This got me following God’s bread crumbs. At least that’s what I call them. So I clicked through to this person’s YouTube account where I found a video series on depression. 

One of the things I took away from listening to Dr. Neil T. Anderson was that I’ve been grieving loss and didn’t realize it. Dr. Anderson says that loss is one of the leading causes of depression.

I suspected that my depression was partially circumstances. However, I never gave much thought to loss and grief. Probably because I’m a “plow through things” kind of person. Unfortunately, plowing through things only led to over studying and writing (or becoming a work-a-holic for God) and hasn’t helped me to get out of the pit I fell into. 

There is definitely more than one reason this happened:

  1. I didn’t know how to process loss (loss of health, work and dear friends.)
  1. The loss of our business made me suddenly feel useless, so I felt the need to make myself useful. 
  1. Identity issues. Forgetting that what I do or don’t do for a living doesn’t define who I am. I’m a child of God and that’s enough. 
  1. Isolation and loneliness. After we shut our business down we became more isolated. The pandemic only added further isolation. 
  1. It’s really difficult to get to a place of acceptance and healing when you don’t realize that you’re still experiencing grief. 

This has only been the tip of the iceberg. I have a lot more to share, but as I continue to spend more time listening and processing I’m encouraged and hopeful as things begin to click. It’s the sticking part I’m slightly worried about, but I’m processing that, too.  

If you could benefit from listening to a series on depression or know anyone who could, I’ve compiled a playlist of that series below as well as some of his more recent videos on loss and depression. 

(Photo credit goes to Pixabay.com user jnusch.)

33 thoughts on “Depression

  1. That’s a lot of stuff to deal with and that’s only the tip. I’m not happy that you have had to deal with this stuff, your a good one, but I am pleased that you have shared this. We have to make it more acceptable to talk about Depression. The more who do then the more likely people will reach out when they at their lowest. Take care.

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, I agree that we need to talk about this. I slightly hesitated to share, but after reading a less than compassionate and uniformed take on depression recently I felt that it was important to shine a better light on the subject. Whether it’s a chemical issue or a natural reaction to loss and grief (or even a combination) depression isn’t something to be ashamed of or shame anyone for.

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      1. What you wrote was perfect. If anyone didn’t learn something valuable from what you wrote they couldn’t have been reading it right. It made me teary!

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  2. I think sometimes it boils down to the fact that people who have not experienced depression simply do not understand because they have no touch point to relate to. Also, often what people don’t understand, they fear, and so react in a negative, critical way. There was a time when I didn’t understand why people got depressed, though I did not become critical, just questioned myself why this would be so. That is, until I suddenly got “hit” with depression myself. That was many years ago, and I never did figure out why it happened, or what triggered coming out of it even more suddenly than it descended. To this day I have no idea of the cause or the cure, but I did learn many things during the maybe 3 or 4 years I was under its influence. My book Shadows in My Valley deals with that time in my life. I published a shorter version years ago under a different title, and had many comments by readers of how it helped them. So if our experiences can help others, it is worth it to go through the experience though it is most unwelcome and very difficult and painful at the time. God bless you Tina for being courageous enough to bring the topic to the fore.

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    1. Yes, I’ve noticed that people can sometimes be critical of things they have never experienced themselves and don’t understand. That’s very sad. But sadly, I haven’t always been understanding of things that I haven’t experienced myself. Now I do try to listen more and my empathy has definitely grown.

      Because I have listened to you read your poetry a couple of times now I could hear your voice when I read that. 😊 That made me smile.

      When my mentor passed away, I listened to three of his sermons. For the rest of the day everything I read I heard with his very strong southern accent. ☺

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      1. I like to be able to imagine people’s voices when I know them too. I have done some videos of me reading chapters of a couple of my books. They will eventually get into some posts, but are now available on YouTube. I have also posted an audio with my latest post reading another poem.

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  3. Thank you for this post! This is very helpful. I can relate to many things you touched on. First, I too have been trying to stay off of WordPress, social media, and such on the weekends. But I still need to be better about listening, as you touched on. My brain is always working and it is difficult to shut down. Also, I tend to plow ahead like you said. If I was sitting and waiting for someone or something, I will ask myself what I can be thinking about as not to waste time. Crazy, I know. I don’t know how to just be still. Although yesterday I did pick up my crocheting again which was a step in the right direction, hopefully. I too have had major identity issues. Mine though deal with the fact that I have never had children. I try not to think about it because it hurts too much. So I just stuff it down. I have thought in the past that it might be a good idea for me to read a book on grief for this very reason. So I found it interesting that you mentioned loss and grief. The link you had at the end didn’t work for me. But I will google the doctor’s name that you mentioned. Praying for you on your journey. Thank you for sharing the process with us because it has been very insightful on my journey as well. ❤️

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    1. What has helped me to shut down my brain some is taking my thoughts in smaller portions. I can take a thought and run in so many different directions with it. So It’s been really good to look at one smaller aspect of something, and then leave the rest for another day. I don’t know how I made that work. It has to be God because I was over thinking everything. My writing has slowed down since I’ve done this. It feels a lot better.

      I tried crocheting recently. I wasn’t impressed with how it was turning out, and I got bored with it. So progress on doing other things apart from reading and writing is going slow.

      I can really relate to your battle to be still. I was there for so long, but that is changing slowly. I know that I really need to be still.

      I went through that grief of not being able to have children, as well, but for some reason when I realized that I wasn’t ready for children that helped me to get past it faster. Maybe I mistook my state of mind in my grief for not being ready, but some how that lack of confidence my readiness was all I needed to let that go. I am an odd case I guess. There are still things about not having children that has bothered me though. It’s kind of put me in an odd place as far as relating to women who have families. And I think it’s another reason that Andrew and I are a little more isolated. Yeah, it’s definitely been a different sort of life. I’m not a mother, but I can definitely mother people. Or smother them if I am not careful. ☺

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      1. Hmm. I like what you said about looking at a small aspect of something and leaving the rest for another day. I need to try that. But yes I can totally see how God would have to be behind that. I am always going in so many directions, so only God would be able to slow me down. But I do know I need to learn how to slow down some how.

        I can relate to getting bored with crocheting. I have in the past months too, which is why I haven’t touched it much. But I feel that for me that is due to not being able to slow down.

        I am truly glad that motherhood is no longer a struggle for you. I hope and pray that God can get me there too. Yes it does cause other issues of not being able to relate to other women, and vice versa. People assume too much when they hear you don’t have children.

        Praying blessings for you, my friend!

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      2. It would be really valuable to explore why women have such a difficult time slowing down. I think part of that is avoidance. We plow through everything to mask how we feel. I know that when we gave up our business I had to fill that void NOW. I think I am always trying to fill voids, but what if I just let go and let God, right? It’s easier said than done, but that’s definitely the direction He’s leading. I have to learn to let go of things and trust Him. I also have to learn that I am enough. Someone commented this recently and it made me cry. Thank you so much for the prayers, Bridget. I shall pray the same for you. Thanks for being such a blessing. ❤

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      3. I think you’re right about avoidance. It can be easy to forget our struggles when we don’t have time to think about them. Letting go is easier said than done. But I believe God has been nudging me (and many others) to do just that.… Oh, I LOVE that – I am enough. Funny you should say that. A couple of weeks ago I wrote something in my journal that was similar: Jesus is enough! I can see why that made you cry. Many of us have a pile of insecurities on the inside, we feel like we can’t measure up, and we keep striving. But Jesus loves us just as we are!!! Thank you for the prayers and thank you for being a blessing to me as well. God has been using your posts and our conversations to nudge me in the right direction ❤️

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  4. I like the term following God’s bread crumbs. God indeed leads us (sometimes slowly) to where we need to be, the direction we need to proceed for healing and comfort. Loss can be so overwhelming that it is easy to lose direction and He gently steers us toward the right path. Sending you peaceful thoughts and cyber hugs! 🌼

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    1. Yes, it’s definitely sometimes slow. I need more patience, but you don’t learn patience without the practice, right? Thank you so much for the peaceful thoughts, cyber hugs and the visit. It’s always appreciated. ☺

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  5. Yes, love this and so many amazing comments! I also love the bread crumbs analogy as it seems all pieces lead you towards God’s greater goal. I too, have become a workaholic due to personal trials and tribulations and I am working on reconnecting with myself in order to find that balance of stillness and productivity. It seems that this is our common focus at this time 🙂 it is lovely to stay connected with you during this time. Blessings!

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    1. I think it’s quite common for women to carry too much on their shoulders. It’s the why and the how to stop that mentality that I’m still trying to work out. I always feel as if I can never do enough, but then I do more than I can handle and burn myself out. I definitely have things to work through, but I have to trust God to lead the way through it. It’s lovely to stay connected with you, as well, Kiki. ☺ Blessings back at ya.

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  6. Recognising what you are going through and giving a name to it is the first step in beginning to deal with it. I am so glad you share this as we often don’t dwell too much on when we feel low or down. We tend to just push through those difficult feelings. People are not shy to share how much time they spend at the gym or how healthy they eat and can easily talk about looking after ones physical health. But why so much hesitation when it comes to looking after your mental health.
    I went through a time I now know I was depressed but did not at the time. I just used to push through and feel so demotivated to do anything. After quite a while I allowed myself to think back on that time to dig deeper into what I was feeling so that I recognise those feelings and am more aware.

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    1. Yes, and mental health is so important. I think there are a lot of fears that cause people to hesitate about their mental health: appearance, (what will everyone think?) nobody understanding, being a burden or a wet blanket. Depression is tough, though, because there often is anxiety in the mix. When I was struggling from depression after I had to switch thyroid medications I experienced a mix of both depression and anxiety, but I’m a bit of a maniac so I just plowed through those fears. Yeah, I don’t stop until I hit a wall or burn out. I’m still in the burn out phase waiting for my my fire to be relit. So slow is my aim. This leaf isn’t going to be turned over quickly, and even when it is I have to learn not to leap tall buildings in a single bound. 😆

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  7. Awesome that you have the video series as a resource and that you’ve been able to identify what it is that’s causing you the set back..praying for continued healing!!

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