Random conversations. Facebook messenger. Email. Text. Coincidental meetings. All females with the same issue…loneliness. Many with depression. We are all the same age and all in the same phase of life.
Out of those conversations came these remarks:
“I go home and just go straight to bed.”
“I go home and just go to my corner of the couch.”
“I never go out with friends because I don’t have any.”
“I sit and watch television by myself.”
“I’m in bed when I go home, just me and my glass of wine.”
“…and since I don’t work, I don’t even have work girlfriends.”
“Maybe we should start a no friends girlfriends club!”
“I feel like social media leads to a lot of depression.”
I’d like to pick it up with the last remark. We smile and waive, laugh at puppy pictures, “likes” on baby pictures, “love” on scripture pictures or postings, all the while using social media as our backup friend. Yet we are the people posting the puppy pictures, babies, and even pictures with our husbands that are either never home or never in the same room. I don’t think society allows us to deal with reality because our character will be judged. Personally, I have never cared. Oh, I lie. I do care or I wouldn’t have dealt with depression since age 18. But, here I am.
According to USA Today, “The suicide rate for white children and teens between 10 and 17 was up 70% between 2006 and 2016, the latest data analysis available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although black children and teens kill themselves less often than white youth do, the rate of increase was higher — 77%.”
We are losing too many of our young adults to suicide and asking why. Yet we can’t deal with our own depression and suicide issues. It is very hard to help someone else when you cannot help yourself. I get it. It is the “walk in my shoes” syndrome. I’m there with you.
If you look at the symptoms in children and adults for depression according to Mayo Clinic, many of the symptoms are the same. Symptoms such as:
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
You might ask, “What does this have to do with me in the bed when I come home?” A lot. I look at my son and I wonder what he thinks of me. Then I remember my mother on the couch my entire childhood and it all makes sense. Depression.
What does God say?
I like what how the Message phrases Galatians 6:1-3:
“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”
Stoop down and reach out!
How do we decrease the rate of suicide? How do we uplift the depressed? We share burdens. Are you too good for that?
Even with Jesus, loneliness and depression is very difficult. Satan is very powerful and he knows how to turn every thought against you.
There are moments of pure vulnerability and uncertainty no one sees but God during your loneliness. You try to make sense of it all while nurturing raw wounds embedded deeply within your soul. These wounds may be from many different sources such as death, a spouse, children, or even church.
I have tried to throw myself into scripture and prayer crying out to God. I’ve tried to be around friends at work to forget the loneliness.
The struggle is real. It is real with depression and suicide.
These are topics people do not like to talk about. Just like you don’t talk about sex at church, or depression and suicide really. Well, I will talk about it.
A friend of mine said while teaching bible study that sometimes we like to find our answers when we cry out to God in our darkness by opening up the Bible to a random page and just pointing to a verse. We then believe that is the scripture the Holy Spirit sent to us as an answer to our problems. As much as I would like to believe that God works that way in coping with depression, I’m not sure that is His intention. He wants us to seek Him constantly – in and out of depression.
Do you just want to throw in the towel?
Some days. I believe God does heal our wounds of depression. I believe he binds up our beautiful mess with a proper healing. I know He provides sweet conversation with friends of like mind. Though they may be few, they MAY be all you need. It is all in HIS timing. It might be the day I see Him FACE TO FACE! I can only tell you with my experience, it can be debilitating after losing a child. The most hurtful thing you can say to a mother is that it is time to get over it and move on. Nope, nada, ain’t gonna happen. Not soon. I’ll grieve, in some manner, with an amount of depression, (even a thought of suicide, maybe) for the rest of my life for my baby boy. But my faith is NOT diminished! I know that God still holds me in his hands and I take comfort in the song that says… “It’s your breath in my lungs, so I lift up my praise, lift up my praise to you only”.
I’m still on the road…a long and winding road.
But be encouraged! Oh Jerusalem!
“But now take another look. I’m going to give this city a thorough renovation, working a true healing inside and out. I’m going to show them life whole, life brimming with blessings. I’ll restore everything that was lost to Judah and Jerusalem. I’ll build everything back as good as new. I’ll scrub them clean from the dirt they’ve done against me. I’ll forgive everything they’ve done wrong, forgive all their rebellions. And Jerusalem will be a center of joy and praise and glory for all the countries on earth. They’ll get reports on all the good I’m doing for her. They’ll be in awe of the blessings I am pouring on her.” Jer. 33:6-9