This morning, I woke up heart-broken as I remembered the tragic news about Robin Williams. This news hit so close to home for me on many levels. This post is not going to be a memorial to the genius we knew as Robin Williams…instead, I would like to just shine some light on a few things. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. (Ephesians 5:13 NIV)
Depression is not what most people think it is and it doesn’t always look the same for different people…it does not mean that you walk around visibly sad all the time. During my most depressed moments, I have been the life of the party. I felt alone. I felt unloved. I believed that people only wanted me around to fulfill a function for them. But, I smiled and faked a confidence that could have won an academy award for the performance I put on. I thought that being fun and funny would make people love me more and I desperately wanted people to love me more. I wanted to matter. I even served more…it was not all self-focused sadness…I felt disconnected and mission-less. Depression, for me, was not a woe-is-me time as much as it was a desperation to matter and feel loved. I could not pray my way out of it and, if I had let anyone know, they couldn’t have reasoned me out of it. I was chemically imbalanced and could not control what was happening inside me. It was not weakness or a pity party. These were truths in my head…and while the rest of the world may not have perceived them to be true, they were true to me…and that is what carries the most weight to a person…what they believe to be true…not necessarily what is actually true.
Suicide is also not what many people think it is. During the poisoning aftermath, this was something I considered. I used to be ashamed to admit it but I did…I thought about it. I saw myself financially draining the family with no end in sight…I thought they’d be better off without me. Lots of people experience these kinds of thoughts…yes, even Christians. The thing that I can not stress enough is how important it is to share what you are feeling with someone safe. Once I verbalized it, I felt accountable to not follow through with it. I had someone checking in on me and helping me to get into a safer head-space. I had someone speak real truth to me…God’s honest truth…not perception…not feelings…not stuff that was hormonally subjective…but things that I held to be true that were in direct conflict with what I was experiencing. This helped me to slowly turn back to a safer path. I hear people talk about how selfish suicide is…I can agree to a point…but in many cases, people think that they are being selfless.
Lastly, I think that people are velcro. Now bear with me…have you ever looked at velcro up close? On one side you have the rough little hooks while on the other side you have the soft fuzzy stuff. One hook by itself is not strong enough to hold anything together…but when you combine the strength of many hooks together, it can hold your entire body weight up! So it is with people. We were not designed for the stresses and tragedy of this world…we were designed for Eden…a far cry from where we are now, I’d say. But, we are not left alone to deal with the stresses and tragedies on our own. People. People are a tremendous gift from God. Like one hook of velcro, I can not carry the burdens that I must carry…but when you put a bunch of hooks together…amazing things can happen and the weight of the burden can be dispersed until it doesn’t weigh nearly as much. Do you see how the impossible becomes possible when we band together and carry our burdens to the cross alongside each other and for each other? That is where hope gets renewed.
So how are you doing with all of this? Have you experienced depression? Do you love someone who is depressed? What is your approach? Are you trying to reason your way through something that is not reasonable? Are you sharing what you’re thinking and feeling with someone safe? How can you break the silence for yourself or someone else today?
Today I am praying for us all to hear truth loudly and clearly and lovingly. I am praying for hope and intercession on behalf of anyone who needs it. Much love friends,
P.S. PLEASE HEAR THIS: I love you. God loves you. You are valuable and you matter. Please, always consider giving it one more day. And talk to someone. Statistically, about 150-200 of my FB friends see themselves as not having a single close friend that they can talk to. If that is the case, please consider me your friend and let’s talk. There are better ways to handle whatever you are going through.