“Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you.” John 12:35 (The Message)
A dear friend sent me this today. She knows I’m having a hard time. And I was so grateful for it.
Oddly enough, I believe that prayer can solve a multitude of things. Prayers can be answered for anything and miracles can happen as God sees fit. But there is a misconception that prayer can cure clinical depression. I’m not saying that it can’t, but many times medical intervention is needed. Whether that’s via a therapist or pharmaceuticals – many people need help to get over the hump. I’m one of those people and I don’t think there is any shame in that.
My depression is a unique combination of a hard year, a really bad holiday, hormones and chemicals floating around in my brain. There’s not much on this list that I can impact just by trying harder or just by forgetting the past and looking to the future. If that was the case, I’d be set. Unfortunately, much of what I’m experiencing is not about my divorce, but triggered by it. That’s why therapy and drugs come in to play.
My marriage counselor turned in to my personal therapist because, frankly, I didn’t want to repeat the story over again. It was too long, confusing and painful. I meet with him weekly. There’s been work on my past, my transition through the divorce and help with my kids. We focus mainly on my personal and spiritual growth right now. He’s really good at helping you frame what you want for the future and working to getting it. There are always little diversions about the divorce or the kids that come in to our chats, but primarily he is my life coach. I also find it a bit odd that some people think having a life coach is a positive strategy, but having a therapist is a sign of weakness. I’m thinking I’m getting a great deal because my guy has a Ph.D. and insurance pays for it. 🙂
As for the drugs, well, they help. They thin the fog & help you see the road. Even though you know the road is there and that this too shall pass, it’s the ongoing battle of depression that makes it very difficult to move forward on your own. It’s a personal choice. There are things that can help besides drugs, such as sleep, a balanced diet and regular exercise. Gee, there’s no surprises there. Like those things don’t help with life in general. But not all the time are they enough.
And then there’s prayer. I’m not meaning to blow it off as a non-solution. I think that lifting it up to God is very critical in helping. I felt better today just going to church, lifting my hands and being fully absorbed in worship. I shed some tears and felt touch by God today. That’s helped carry me through most of the day. Enough in fact to help me devise a plan of action for the week. Because I know exercise and being intentional with my time and my days will help me through this speed bump on the road, I spent time today at the church coming up with a plan for the week. It was something I prayed about, thought through.
So now I’m set for the week. Maybe I’ll make it through tomorrow doing everything on my list. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll spend some of it in bed. Sometimes that’s what’s needed on a particular day. Either way, I will start my day with prayer and a little white pill. And I know that with both of these things helping me out, I will get through this. I will find my road again. And it will be a nice ride.