A dark hole – and seeing the light

Good morning, dear friends. I hope this January day is finding you pursuing the heart of Christ. I am still working on my post about seducing a lower-drive husband, and I promise it will be ready for you soon!

I have been really challenged recently by this series of blogs, and if you follow me on Twitter you will see that I encouraged you to read it this morning.
I wanted to share a part of my journey with you all today in hopes that it would encourage you and perhaps challenge you.

I struggle with depression.
This ongoing fight has been present for more years than I can remember, but last winter was the darkest period of my life. I was post-partum and pre-partum. I was “stuck” as a stay-at-home mom in a cold house through dark nights and short days. I was reconciling myself to many, many lost dreams. I needed to grieve. So I ran. I hid myself in books. In fact, in the three months at the start of last year I read over 100 books. Yes, you read that correctly. And they were not life-giving. They were smutty, trashy novels. Anything to get away from the reality I was trying so hard to deny. Any spare moment I had I was sunk deep into my Kindle. If I wasn’t reading, I was crying. Emotions were an overwhelming part of that season, and I didn’t know how to respond to them.
Spring came, and with it some relief. I slowly picked up and moved on. Spring turned to summer turned to fall…and with fall came a sick feeling in my heart. I could feel myself being pulled back into darkness.

Over the past few months I have been fighting the good fight. I have been to see several counselors, and I am currently taking a regime of vitamins with hopes it will help me to crawl out of a deep well. I have a prescription for stronger meds just waiting at the pharmacy, but I am hopeful that through nutrition and suppliments I will be able to face my own personal demons and find that the light of Christ shines in some dark places. I am in a better place than I have been in a long time, and I believe God is meeting me.

But oh, how often I find myself taking two steps back. A few days ago my husband and I got into a really petty argument. Petty. And for some reason that was enough to send me into a tailspin. I have spent the last 48 hours starting into my computer screen desperately trying to escape. Mostly through Hulu, Pinterest and gossip columns about stars. Online junk. And it’s humbling to admit, but when I run away, I run away from everything. Like Evie recently wrote about, I shut down my heart – including my sex drive. I become a shell just doing the minimum to survive. My kids suffer. My husband suffers. I suffer.

Joy, at Grace Full Mama has been writing some things recently that have helped me to crawl back out of the hole. I have been reminded that I have to abide in Him. To cling to Him.

I am praying for you today. Praying that you also are clinging to Him. Praying that you are finding the strength to face your own demons and fight. Fight, dear friends. Fight in every way and in every place you know how.
Look to Christ. Have hope in Him alone. Ask Him to rescue you from yourself.
And pray for me today, too. Pray that I would find the courage to do the small, simple tasks that I need to do (hello, Christmas decorations that need to come down). Pray that I would have the strength to focus on my husband, my children, my home.

I treasure you, and this space. Thanks for letting me be honest here.
Annabel

15 thoughts on “A dark hole – and seeing the light

  1. Annabel, I have been in the coldest part of the rockies on a long vacation due to hubby’s health issues, and haven’t had internet for some time. Today I am back on and have to thank you for sharing your “hole.” Depression is very embarrassing. We just don’t want to come acrosss self-absorbed. We want to focus on others. To not be able to do this is sheer torture, aside from the depression itself. A terrible cycle of sadness and guilt is set up. So many of us are on this cycle– or can get BACK on it easily. Thanks for sharing!! You are loved!

  2. O sweet one! I feel your pain, for I have struggled through depression in my life. I am praying for light to break through — and for healing that is permanent. I am fighting with you, dear sister in Christ! Thank you for your honesty. You are so courageous, and so genuine.

  3. sweet sweet Annabel,
    when i read about those who struggle with depression i find myself between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, I know God can do ANYTHING he wants to. I know that I can do ALL THINGS in Christ who strengthens me. If you were told you had cancer, would you only pray for healing? would you only get counseling? what would you do to try to beat this obstacle? To me, depression is NO different. When God formed you in your mother’s womb, he knew exactly what you would face and he is soverighn. I don’t think that prayer is the only action plan God has for healing. God gave gifts to us all. To those he made Doctors and scientists he gave the desire and the knowledge to help “his children” heal physically AND mentally. I suffer from panic disorders and my husband was hospitalized for depression. I have seen us both fight the good fight with prayer alone, and with medicine included. I needed only 5mg and my husband 10mg of medicine and we were lifted up out of our darkness and fears. We were able, with christian counseling and medicine to accept the way God made us, to learn coping skills for LIFE. To this day, it pains both of us that we were so reluctant to medicine, thinking God can fix this brokeness that neither of us REALLY saw what our teenage son was up to…..he was using and selling drugs and we were too unsettled with ourselves to really FOCUS on our son. I hope you understand how much I love God and never would doubt His authority to heal through the power of prayer…..cause i will be praying for you my siser.
    Debbie

    • Debbie,

      Thank you so much for your words, and I know they come from a place of love. I agree. I think medicine is a wonderful gift, and can be used to help us so much. I hope my post didn’t come across and “anti-medicine” because I am not in that camp at all. I haven’t filled my prescription because I really feel led to try the natural route first. I believe that food & supplements are a medicine in and of themselves. My husband and I have agreed to do an 8-week trial period of the supplements and then reevaluating. I have an amazing PCP who is walking with me through each step – he loves the Lord as well & is encouraging and praying for me in this journey. I also have some dear people in my life who have struggled with various psychological challenges who have found great relief through meds. It may come to that, and I am completely okay if it does. I am just trying to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for me.

      I appreciate all prayers, and I am trusting that God will give me, my husband, my doctors and my counselors the insight we need. THANK YOU for standing with me in this.

      Annabel

  4. Thanks for your honesty Annabel. I really appreciate it. This stuff gets so messy. Glad we’re not alone. Your candor makes us all brave enough to talk about it. And let’s us know someone is listening.

  5. kuddos for your vulnerability here… this is a hard place to be and often one unintentionally shunned by the Christian world – “you should have victory. you should have dominion etc etc” But I know with one of my dear friends that it is a very real place that Christians sometimes walk in…. and yes there is deliverance but as others have said, there’s also the time and wisdom to seek help (as you have). Thank you again for your vulnerability here – not just in the spicey wife role – but also as a Momma and a woman who faces very real trials.

  6. I love how honest you are, Annabel. I love how courageous you are in being honest. I love how God is glorified in your honesty. Thank you so much for encouraging all of us, and always praying. God has recently laid you on my heart, and I have been praying for you with passion and hope. Remember, we serve the God of Hope! Hallelujah!

  7. I am constantly learning how to fight depression. One thing I have learned, that my husband gave to me, is that the truth and the lie cannot coexist in me. Jesus is the truth and the enemy is the lie. I was force to acknowledge the lies I believed to be true and then fill my thoughts and speech with God’s truth. I wrote scriptures that identified who God told me I was and repeated them, read them, prayed on them; I have 2 pages of scripture. It’s taking me some stop for my mind to catch up and grasp the concept but I know God will heal me; I believe He is truth and I believe the enemy is a lie. I also take natural medicines to help – vitamins and GABA helps with anxiety and mood, another that I once used is 5HTP which helps with low serotonin levels; a supplement that helps relieve depression. I stopped because I ran out and decided to use GABA only. I also get regular “real” massages to help relieve tension in my body. Thank you for sharing your story. God will heal me, you, and everyone else that serves Him, in Jesus Name, Amen.

  8. I’ve had a similiar story myself – I’ve had depression for years and have struggled with knowing where my “flesh ends and my spirit starts”. (Your body’s health effects your thoughts) I have also done the natural method to try and stabilize but after almost a year of trying one thing and then another the depression got to the point that both my husband and I saw without a doubt that we had no choice but to use standard medication (which in a lot of ways isn’t really very different than using herbs – they both change things biologically). I saw a nurse practioner of a ?physiologist? who recommended Buprobrin – what made both my husband and I teary eyed was hearing her explain how it’s used. Once I’m feeling a 0 – 1 regularily (on my depression scale of 0-5) the clock starts and I’m on the med for 1 year then weaned off it. The NP said 80% of people don’t relapse other than b/c of new major circumstantial issues. It gave us a LOTof hope that I wouldn’t have to be on it forever and that “?could I really be doing that well consistantly??” and it’s been working greatly. Though I still need to take care of myself/my issues/etc. or I get overloaded for a day or two. The med has given me the ability to work through my issues — where before I was “building the walls of defense” through prayer/scripture memorization/Bible study/obedience/etc. but the depression was tearing them down quicker than I could build. Sorry for the rambling – thought maybe it would give you a little hope that if God takes you through the natural method and it doesn’t work (other than to refine you 🙂 there may be other options. Feel free to email me if you’d like.

    • Ann,

      Thanks so much for your story! I appreciate it so much. I am very open to taking meds if this process doesn’t work – I have a wonderful doctor & 2 amazing counselors (including a psychologist) who are helping me to process and make the wisest choices for my life right now. I am seeing wonderful results from the supplements I am taking, and pray that it will be what I need to continue with a healthy lifestyle.

      If I ever have questions I will be sure to email. And thank you again for your support!

      Annabel

      • I’m really glad that you’re seeing results 🙂 It’s wise to have set times to evaluate if the current regiment is working. God bless you and give you (and your care providers) wisdom.

  9. Annabel, thank you so much for your honesty … I too have had and still have my struggles with the “soul sickness” called depression and negative thoughts and moods. I am not usually one to write much online, but please be assured that you are not alone and there are many of us out there struggling to move away from the darkness and towards the light. You are in my thoughts and prayers today.

  10. Thank you so much for your open honesty. I struggle with depression also and have since my young years. I have prayed for you today. It was not hard as I know where you are at. God is good, and his arms are big enough to carry all of us.

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