I have begun what feels like a slow crawl of healing which requires that I carefully take less and less of the antidepressant drug Effexor. This choice frightens me no matter how much I tell myself that this will be a straightforward and matter-of-fact thing. And remind myself that I am ready!
This day has been years coming. Eight years since I fell into the major depression that would change me and my life forever. Eight years since I have gone a full year without a depressive episode that I was unable to pull myself out of. [I had one that began in May which lasted four months. But, with the things I have learned, I was able to recover on my own (By that I mean without my psychologist’s help.)] More than two years since I have had an alcoholic drink.
Of course I would desperately like to get off the medication but I fear the worst – the side-effects which I have read will mimic a depressive episode. I believe the medication is doing very little for me now. But I fear the crippling, seemingly uncontrollable plunge, the inevitable decline; though I know a number of things that I can do to keep myself strong. Still, the brain plays tricks and already has begun to whisper to me that madness will come, the despondency and stupor are inevitable. And although I am certain these are lies and I counter with what I know, what I have learned, and what I believe more than anything — that this is a spiritual thing. I must wait on the LORD, knowing what he has promised. This is vital.
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Blessed is the one who makes
the LORD her trust. (from Psalm 40, NIV)
I’ve said before that I am no good at waiting. When is comes to spiritual things it infrequently that we are only waiting for minutes. Usually on spiritual matters there is a waiting for months and at times for years. But God hears us.
He heard me. He pulled me from that grim, terrible place. My life has become (more) solid and sure. I am confident that He has given me words to hold in my heart and to write “a new song.” Selah!