it’s hard to read the stories

(I’ve been busy lately writing a couple of guest posts here and here. Because they were both kind enough to publish my posts I wanted to give them a “heads up” and suggest you check them out.)

google images
google images

But back to this post. Because I’ve been busy with the above and a bunch of other things, I haven’t been able to read as many posts about depression until tonight.  I try to take Sunday nights and do a lot of reading. I want to know how other’s are experiencing their depression. You would think that after all the years of my own suffering, nothing would surprise me. But it continues to do just that. Surprise and haunt me.

The surprises are not that I read anything unusual but that they sound so much the same. Let me explain. The experience of depression is remarkably similar. I’ve addressed this often this past year-the fact that the symptoms of depression are universally common. (There are way too many posts to link to but if you check my archives under the word “depression”, you’ll find lots of information.) Every time I say that” the symptoms are common”,  I shudder because it sounds so clinical and unfeeling. I don’t mean it that way at all. What I mean is that however unique the situation, however individual the case, sufferers themselves use almost the same words to describe their depression. So that’s obviously not the surprise. The surprise is that as aware as I am of this, I’m still touched by each story I read. That’s because,

while the symptoms are much the same, the sufferer remains an individual, a person in deep hurt. 

No matter whose story I read, no matter how similar they sound, I always “get” that their pain is uniquely theirs.   I never want to read a post so casually that I forget that the person who wrote those words is hurting and reaching out for help and that’s what haunts me.

Especially the younger ones. The ones who are inflicting physical pain (cutting themselves) in a macabre way of “bloodletting” that they feel will somehow heal them. Or they feel if they hurt themselves enough physically, they won’t feel so much pain emotionally. I never did that but as I think about it, I wonder why I didn’t. Honestly, I think it’s because I just never thought about it. Nothing more noble than that. Besides I found other ways too hurt myself.

The theme that runs through every story is the need to be unconditionally loved by another person and the need to  love themselves. Of course, there are hundreds of implications that result from these two conditions, dreams, hopes, achievement, security,  etc all stem from the fulfillment of these two needs.

Tonight I read the post from a sixteen year old girl. She is confused and hurt, so lost.  I commented on her post the best I could but one never knows how it will be perceived. I worry sometimes that if I’m too blunt I may push someone over the edge so I choose my words carefully, but I am also honest.  I avoid promising their pain will go away if they’ll just do “thus and thus”. (Heck, mine didn’t. It still doesn’t sometimes and I’m very well-informed about mental and emotional conditions.) This sixteen year old probably wouldn’t believe that it’s twelve hours later and I’m still worrying about her, a stranger. She is me at sixteen and it doesn’t take much of a leap for me to feel her pain and despair of life. But I’m only one person and she’s probably already been hurt by many more than that.  Can one person undo the pain that the many have caused?

Yes, one Person can.

Maybe that’s why I read these posts on Sunday nights.  It’s a day of comfort and peace in my life. A day usually free from the “to do” of life that is always present.  I try not to preach but as I’ve promised on both my blogs, that while I won’t preach, I also won’t shy away from my faith. (It is my blog after all. 🙂 You have the option, as always, to quit reading but I hope you won’t. I read lots of posts I don’t agree with but how will I understand people if I don’t listen to what they say? It doesn’t threaten me or my beliefs at all. )  So here goes.

I would not be where I am today without God’s grace in my life. It took me a long time to feel God”s unconditional love but I do now. It took me a long time to love myself. but overall I do now.  If you’ve tried everything else to ease your pain, may I suggest you at least give God a chance.You don’t have to do anything but ask him to reveal himself to you however he chooses. Read the bible and don’t concern yourself with understanding it. God will help you understand his truths within the timetable of his plans and your maturity.

That’s all. If ever you want to know more just ask me. God bless.