Life is Work, Hard Work (but there is a ray of hope)

To want–to strive–to long for more is to be human. Isn’t it?

We are all on that journey of life, which for some comes so easily and for others, I include myself here, is work, hard work.

Jesus says in John 8:32 “the truth will set you free” and that I believe.  It is what makes me a believer.  The truth will free me from my constant desiring, striving and longing for more out of life.

But in the meantime it also can make you quite miserable don’t you think?

As Richard Rohr says, “Medieval spiritual writers called it “compunction,” the necessary sadness and humiliation that comes from seeing one’s own failures and weaknesses … Without confidence in a Greater Love, none of us will have the courage to go inside, nor should we. It merely becomes silly scrupulosity and not any mature development of conscience or social awareness.”

 

Desiring. Striving. Longing. It can become a burden.  And a weight.  And before you know it you are running from the truth, any truth.

What does that have to do with my nearly ten-year wrestling with major depression?  That experience made me into a different person.  I stopped running.  I began to face the past, the present and the future and admitted how scared I was.  I began working on my life. And it was hard work.

But I have become a different person.

I am more content and able to just be than at any other time in my life.  I once was filled with the pain of needing to prove myself, heavy with the belief that I had to be significant and do incredible things with my life in order to be loved.  I thought I was unlovable.   Instead, I am different and happy for the first time in … as long as I can remember.

  • I found my way back to Belief.  I know I am Beloved.
  • I am a more empathetic, genuinely loving and generous person with my time, resources and life experiences.
  • I am able to face my addictions:  alcohol (three years in July), cigarettes, shopping, work, to name just a few.
  • I have forgiven and I have been forgiven.
  • I have learned that in telling my story others are somehow compelled to grow.  It is almost as if knowing what I have been through opens up a place in others to believe that it is possible to be healed.

I took some time this summer to write briefly about my experience and it will be published in a book titled Not Alone — It has stories of living with depression.  The book is available for pre-order.   I hope it helps and encourages others who may suffer with this confusing and difficult illness of depression.

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From the book:

Depression is a very real experience for many people. The causes can be varied. Abuse. Chemical imbalances. Divorce. Rejection. There is no one reason that a person might suffer depression. However, one common theme is that it can leave the person feeling isolated and alone. Because of the stigma that is often associated with depression, people often remain silent about it, never knowing that the person next to them is going through the same thing or has experienced it in the past. Instead, they hide away, believing that no one understands, believing that no one cares.

In this book, the authors break the silence, boldly sharing their stories of depression.  Whether sharing how they first discovered that what they were feeling was depression, telling how they sought help for their depression or giving words of hope that depression can be managed, the authors all tackle the lie that you must suffer in solitude. With courage and honesty, these stories give a glimpse into the depressed existence. While you will not find a cure for depression in these pages, you will find a sense of community. You will find words of hope. You will find that you are Not Alone.

And here are links (chronologically and a list) to other things I have written here about my experience with depression.

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