Monday, September 19, 2011

Cliff-living: more on depression

"The war creates absolutely no new situation: it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it."  (CS Lewis, Learning in War-time)


War highlights what we already know to be true but we try to ignore:  that we are mortal, that we are fragile, and that the best of our works can so easily crumble to dust.  A succession of pleasant days can lull us to sleep, and make us comfortable in denial of these things.  But there is no pleasant sleep if our own backyard has become a battleground.  The bomb explodes and makes an enormous crater right in front of us.  We see what we were, what we always are: tiny blades of grass, on the edge of a cliff, at the mercy of the wind and the rain.

From the edge of the cliff Pictures, Images and Photos

Yet when I read that quote, I thought, the same can be said for depression.

 Depression creates absolutely no new situation: it simply aggravates my permanent human situation so that I can no longer ignore many things I would rather ignore (and I may even become emotionally overwhelmed by those things.)

Depression (in some forms) is simply an overwhelming sense of fragility, sadness, and the crumbling of all things.  "Change and decay in ALL around I see," and the person in the pit wonders, how can everyone else not SEE this?  Why do some people seem to be shielded from the grim realities that I see everywhere I look?

The depressed person is like a soul at war, a soul with a heightened sense of the dangers and death and threats all around.  And yet, everyone around seems to be oblivious, resting in some happy ignorant peace bubble, and looking at the person in the pit like GEEZE, what's wrong with HER?  Why can't you just look on the bright side already?  (I suppose it is only natural for the person at war to struggle to relate to the civilian, and vise versa. )

The soldier learns to cope, as a soldier must, and he learns to live and work and fight and pray all the while on the edge of the cliff that spills over into eternity.

 Likewise, I learn.  I learn to live and work and fight too, with the cliff always right there in the periphery.   Nothing, nothing, moves me to prayer like the taunting of that cliff.


Jesus, Savior:

Heal me and I will be healed.
Save me and I will be saved.
Protect me and I will be protected.
Give me life, and I will live.

Apart from You I can do nothing.

4 comments:

  1. Emily wrote: “Depression (in some forms) is simply an overwhelming sense of fragility, sadness, and the crumbling of all things.“

    That describes exactly how I felt when I went through the extended depression and ultimate breakdown.

    Excellent post. Excellent words. God has gifted you to touch on this important topic!

    Rich

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  2. Thank you for the kind words Rich.
    I find it so strange how, in those seasons, the sense of crumbling is SO strong, but the truth we know to help with this seems unable to reach the feelings.

    Good thing it is not up to me to think my way through those days, but to just be held by a gracious God who holds me whether I feel him or not.

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  3. I can relate to this post so well, I wrote about the cliff in my post 'The Battles Continues', about when my depression rears its ugly head, and the hands of God that pull me back over the edge of the cliff and places me back on solid ground, this happens time and time again. Your post was so well written I felt better about my state of mind just by reading it. Thank you for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting! It's such an awful thing, but saying it out loud helps so much... and so does hearing other people say it out loud- Yes, I felt this way, but it didn't last forever and God helped me through!

      Keep blogging, friend!

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