Lost Depression Blog Found

Hey, just after the premier resigned I posted about depression and lost the post, so I thought, “I can’t be bothered doing it again” but I just found it on my other blog!

Here it is…

So we have lost our Premier hey?
Depression is like a silent shameful goblin that lives under many a bed.
I actually don’t think it is shameful, but I think for too long it has been that way. Over that last few years many have done a stirling job at making depression more ‘acceptable’. When Gallop came out with his announcement I believe there were many people who inwardly (and outwardly) cheered him for being so forthright in proclaiming his illness.
Many people live with depression on a daily basis, or at least a recuring basis.

My first brush with it was in my final few years of local church ministry at Whities. I just did not feel like getting out of bed in the mornings, I dragged my feet around etc. In fact I would say it was not just the move from the youth ministry into pastoral care and small groups that did it, I recollect I was feeling a bit down before that move, maybe that helped push me into a change. But after a couple of years of change I think I was even deeper into a dark hole. I was thinking that my work was suffering because of the depression, it’s hard not to let it slide when you feel like being in bed all day. Funny thing was, normally I would gain energy from being with people but during this time, every phone call, every meeting or knock at the door brought on a sense of dread.
I was told that maybe my depression was not causing me to be underachieving but I was not working hard enough and was underachieving and this was causeing me to be depressed. The answer? So I was told in my my work place, was to work harder, produce better results and the depression would go away.
Other advice I got at the time was ‘just trust God more’. Like this helped!! So now I am a slacker who does not trust God…and the depression got better??? NOT!
I found myself sitting on the bathroom floor crying one morning, I decided I needed to see my G.P. He is great but known for simple answers, maybe that’s just what I needed.
He said, “How is work?”
Well, I had been reading a book called Escape From Church Inc. by G Wagner.
I realised that my calling and gifting (and as it turns out my theology of Church) were way different to where I was working. I was in cognitive dissonance!! What I was doing was in opposition to what I was thinking.
The doc suggested a simple thing, could you get a different job?
I did.
4 years later…I am still depressed!
No seriously, I am 99% better.
I studied for two weeks under Arch Hart (my hero!) and he covers issues of stress and burnout and deprerssion in great depth. This was a great healer for me.

But in that healing I had to aknowlege that some personalities, people etc struggle with mild depression on and off from time to time. And in fact depression for all of us is the bodys way of adjusting our system after big events and adrenaline rushes etc.
So I am trying now to be more self aware. Knowing my body and my emotions.
Like for example every time I finish a book I feel flat, novels are the worst. I think I enter the life of the book, and when it ends I feel like I have just lost a bunch of new freinds or something like that! But it is the end of an event when you complete a book, so I get a touch of depression for a few hours to a day.
A new year, for me, brings about a bit of depression for some reason…or maybe it’s the end of the old year I am never sure! But I wander in the wilderness for a few weeks in January every year.
I think I am fairly motivated, I love to balance my life with reading, playing (attending cricket matches – NOT), woodwork, family, friends, prayer, and so on, but still there is this little demon, a thorn in my side called depression.
I am not saying I am depressed or even I ‘have depression’ as confessed by our former Premier, rather I am indicating that I see a change in my emotions from time to time, and it moves toward depression for a period.
Just thoughts…thanks for listening.

4 thoughts on “Lost Depression Blog Found

  1. Well Done Scott
    Your story is a brave one to share.

    It is a real issue through out our community and is not understood by the general public.

    A person with severe depression often “can’t” do things which are even normal and “can’t” think logically at times. To tell depressed person to “pull up their socks” or to “get over it” adds to the anguish of their position because often they can’t do simple acts let alone address a major crisis. You may as well ask them to jump over the moon because that is how it will appear. There is no anti biotic or magic cure.

    Often a person who is depressed can often hide behind ther public face and most people won’t see the personal hell they leave in.

    Spare a thought for the spouses as well. My wife suffers from depression and it is something we have learned to live with. Side effect from drugs and late night holding your wife who is sobbing for no apparent reason are tough. Not being able to fix things is hard for young guy who thinks he can rule the world but you can control this “thing”. And then there is the resentment that builds up that needs to be worked through.

    But at the end of the day, it is part of a journey that shapes who we are. Sounds cliched but it ring truer each day.

    Big Dave

  2. big Dave, could you email me sometime. I seem to have a worng email address for you and it just keeps bouncing.
    Re, this post – I heard a person say from the pulpit once that if you just ‘trust God’ depression goes away, meaning all those with depression don’t trust God??? Not helpful was it!

  3. Thanks Scott, that was a really interesting read.
    I think God’s bigger than a one-size-cures-all solution to depression. Sometimes trusting God will work, sometimes it won’t.

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