Almost two months ago I slid into the worst period of depression I had experienced in years. I decided to blog about how I was feeling during this period in my life to perhaps help other Christians understand that mental illness can impact the lives of Jesus followers just like anyone one else in our society. I also hoped that people who were caregivers might read my posts and gain an understanding about what it is like to be depressed. Even though my blog is not widely read, I hoped that adding my voice to this issue might help demolish stigmas that some people still attach to mental illnesses such as depression.
Perhaps there is nothing more frustrating about being depressed than the fog of apathy that seems to descend upon me. I liken it to a fog because nothing seems to be clear to me. Ordinary and simple decisions seem complicated and complex. It can be a time of heightened paranoia and fear, and God can seem very far away.
In my case, this fog can last hours, days, or even weeks. Sadly, for me, there is no “happy pill” that I can take to make it all better. I have tried numerous antidepressants, but the side effects to them are worse than the disease. So, I am left with seeking support from friends, family, and health care professionals. My church, like so many these days, is not equipped to deal with people who are depressed. It is strange because there are so many people who battle depression in all age groups. I am thankful for the friends who have offered to connect with me during these times. These tend to be busy people, but they have been kind enough to reach out, usually by text or email, but sometimes in person as well.
The fact that I am writing this message is an indication that the fog has begun to lift. I think this is the fourth or fifth attempt to write about the fog and every time I have started, only to put it off for another day, never to be finished.