Saturday, October 1, 2011

Peace Be With You - Excerpt from Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression

Toward the end of college, I felt as though my life was in full blown crisis.  Regular cocktails of anti-depressants, downers and alcohol only numbed the pain that was hiding just below the surface.  The temporary alleviation of suffering created a false reality that only isolated me further.  “Nothing seems real to me anymore” I remember telling my psychologist at the time.  He immediately said with certainty, “Then Jake, you need to be in a place where things can feel real again.”  What was he saying?  Did I need to be in a hospital?  Institutionalized?  Was I that bad off?  I don’t remember much of those days, but I remember that moment very well. It was a sobering realization that my life had spiraled out of control.  One question remained: Where was God in the midst of this downward journey into an unknown abyss?  

Even attending church, spending time in prayer or reading scripture became an uncomfortable experience.  I suppose that even my image of God was distorted, but ironically my faith was growing deeper.  My convictions to know Him more fully and serve Him were growing as well.  But like a car stuck in the mud, the more I spun the wheels of effort and faith, the deeper I seemed to sink.  My prayers became mundane, spiritless and forced.  I would frequently find it hard to focus on God and my anger and frustration soon became directed more toward Him.   I began to envision God mockingly holding the key to my healing.  Dangling it just beyond my reach, He would smile as I reached out.

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