A Day In The Life Of This Christian Living With Anxiety/Depression

When I wake up it feels like my eyes are literally in the back of my head.
My face tingles.
My breath is shallow.
My limbs are a bit numb.
My heart feels like it is beating at half the pace it normally does.
Kisses from my kids do nothing to move me.
I lay there looking at the ceiling wanting to pull the covers back over my head.
But I can’t.
Because I have to pay the electric bill by Friday or they will shut it off.
The electric company doesn’t care about my anxiety/depression.
I roll over and give myself a pep talk.
“Get up Carlos. Just get up”
When I stand I’m a bit dizzy.
I know by the kind of “dizzy” I feel that it will stay with me the remainder of the day.
Maybe two.
I fake a smile to make sure the kids don’t worry about dad all day.
I think to myself, “Read the Bible. It will knock you out of your funk” but the condo is tiny and the kids are crazy.
After getting ready and the wife and kids are busy homeschooling I sit on the sofa looking at the door.
“Get up and walk out. Get in the car. Turn the key. Drive to work”
I walk out and the sun is blinding.
I drive to my meetings.
I hear about 25% of what is being said to me.
I finally get a break to read my Bible and get in the word.
I still feel like crap.
I pray to feel better.
I say Amen.
I still feel like crap.
Dizzy.
Slow heart.
Sad.
Open laptop.
Type a blog post.
My fingers are shaking the entire time.
They won’t stop, so I do.
Drive home.
Walk in the door and the wife says…”I can see it in your eyes. Is there anything I can do?”
I don’t even have the energy to figure that out.
I zone through dinner, bedtime, and put my head on the pillow.
I feel the same as when I woke up.
This sucks God.
And in that moment He whispers…
“I know. I’m sorry. I love you”
Just then the wife slides her leg over and gently puts her ankle over mine.
As if to say the same thing…
“I know. I’m sorry. I love you”
And for a person struggling with anxiety and depression…
That small touch from The Father or the spouse or a friend or a child…
Is enough to hope the next morning will bring a smile and not a sigh.

This is what last Thursday and Friday felt like for me. ย I have them a few days a month.
This is what a day feels like for the 20% of adult Americans struggling with anxiety and depression.
And for some of them…that’s a good day.

In our numbness He feels for us.
In our sadness He will be our smile.
One step at a time friends.
And if this not you, be the feeling and smile for the one in your life who struggles.

It’s better that way…
Los

loswhit

Author loswhit

More posts by loswhit
  • Man you bring so much insight into a topic that’s not discussed much at all. I don’t suffer with this but have friends/loved ones who do and did very much suffer with this. This brought tears to my eyes – helps me to empathize with someone who lives with this. โ€œI know. Iโ€™m sorry. I love youโ€… oh wow.

    • Thanks Stacy. Thanks for listening…

  • Thank you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I’ve been having a really rough week, and the depression has just been overwhelming and I couldn’t communicate why. I think I’ve finally turned the corner, but some days…bed, sleep, the comfort of unconsciousness…it seems better than reality.

    It’s good to know I’m not alone.

    • The comfort of unconsciousness. Wow.

      • I always seem to be profound at the weirdest times.

        I didn’t think much of my phrasing at the time. Feel free to borrow!

    • Shannon

      When it’s like this, one of the few things that will do is the comfort of unconsciousness.

      Man, I can so relate!

  • Chris

    Carlos thanks for this. I struggled with anxiety FIERCELY while in high school. Before we knew what it was I was tested for everything…literally everything. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was always nauseous and had no energy. Being in front of a group of people was my biggest nightmare…still is. Funny thing is that God sees me fit to be a worship leader…in front of groups of people. Go figure right?

    I would get these horribly debilitating spasms in my stomach. Often the pain was so bad that it forced me to the floor. It sucked. It still sucks.

    I often wondered if that was my “thorn in the flesh” like Paul had…to struggle through is and share in the sufferings of Christ in my own life. I don’t know…still don’t know.

    I’ve never met you. Our paths will probably never cross. For what it’s worth know that I am going to be praying for you. Thanks for being an example of transparency and godliness.

    • Thanks Chris. It is haunting sometimes but I know tomorrow will rise…

  • Niki B

    I’ve felt like this for a while now and I’m having a hard time owning up to these thoughts/feelings/depressions/anxieties, etc. Thank you for sharing, truly.

    • It’s ok. It truly is.

      • I posted a few mins ago but i think the post got lost. Anyways, I just wanted to thank you. It took six months (getting over myself and the church stigma) but I finally went to the dr and was prescribed antidepressants this week. Praying I’m on the path to health. This post really made me take the next step.
        Thanks Los!

  • Stacy

    Thank you for sharing. I live with anxiety and depression and while I know people understand, it’s sometimes hard to put into words so others will know. I’ve had days like you talk about, weeks actually.

    I will pray for you, if you pray for me.

    • It’s ok. It truly is. Praying…

  • Alicia

    I thought I was a freak until I read your post.

    If I could transform how much I live out of fear and worry into how much I live in the Spirit … the whole world would know Jesus.

    But instead, I weep and my throat closes when I read the Bible and how people need to give up their lives to follow Jesus. And think about how I’m nowhere near that, I’m just too scared.

    • Alicia. Know this. My throat closes up too. I’m with you!

  • I’m thankful you have such a great wife, Los. I’m alone so much that some days I just curl up on the floor and cry because there’s no one I can turn to at the time. And God doesn’t always feel near.

    • That sounds like a scene from some of my nights in my hotel rooms. I understand Jason. Praying for you…

    • Missy

      I don’t know you Jason, but I’m praying for you, right now…

  • Thank you for this, Carlos!
    I had 2 weeks like this not too long ago…and I’m still recovering. Thank you for letting me know that you too still feel this way after reading your Bible. Thank you for letting me know that you too still feel this way after praying. For me, along with the darkness (The “nothing”, as I like to call it – from Neverending story) always comes a WHOLE LOT of guilt. It helps to know I am not a bad Christian. It helps to know I am not alone.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

  • Abby

    The winter season in my life surely comes, but the winter season surely passes. My summer days seem short lived and I hate faking my smile. Some say take meds, some say dont, some say give it all to God, some say get over it. It’s getting harder everyday to stay focused on Him.

    Thank you for being raw with your post, my friend. Thank you.

    • It will probably get even harder. One foot. Then the other…

  • Thank you so much for sharing this man. So moving and so encouraging.

  • Thank you for being willing to talk about this. Although I do not suffer from this, I appreciate your desire to talk about it. I am sure there are some who are quick to judge you, but don’t worry about those people. Instead, embrace who you are and your struggles. Thanks for your honesty and willingness to stand up for those who struggle. I appreciate your honesty on your blog here regarding your struggles in life. If only more Christians were like this then maybe they would see us as being genuine instead of fake.

  • Thanks for this, brother. I had one of those kind of days yesterday, and it’s good to be reassured that I’m not alone and that there’s nothing spiritually wrong with me, and that in spite of how I feel, God loves me.

  • Sharen

    yes

  • Thank you for sharing this. Your words are so honest and simple which anchors them, they sink deep into the heart and bring healing. Beautiful. Praying for you.

  • Shirley

    Praying for you!

  • BriAnne

    I’ve had my days like this.. rare and strong.. I feel for those who go through this all the time.. I’ve worked with teens who battle this and so much more.. I’ve learned to be like your wife.. just simply ask what I can do and be there when they need me.. only down side is when I get like that, there is no one there for me.. I struggle alone, but do my best.. I’m just thankful it only happens once in a while..

  • Been there many times, Carlos. I’m sorry. I love you.

  • Me

    This is my day… today, even my birthday can’t make the fog clear. But it’s good to know that sometimes the struggle is ok… and always, it will get better.

  • Rachel

    This brought me to tears. I can’t even find the words to explain why. Thanks Los.

  • I can relate to this post. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kevin

    Thank you for your transparency, Carlos. I have struggled with anxiety and depression most of my life and the world just doesn’t get it. People try to help, but saying things like, “you just have to have a positive attitude,” “you need to read the Bible more,” or “you just need to pray more” does nothing but make matters worse. After my son died, my anxiety and depression exploded. For a while, people cut me some slack, but after six months or so, people seem to think you should be over it and “back to normal”…whatever that is.

    I’m thankful that God is there with me through it all. Thankful that he sends little glimpses of his love through people like you.

  • Carlos, Thanks for sharing. As the spouse of someone who struggles with mental health challenges, it’s encouraging to hear that I can make a small difference by just being there. I’d tell you to keep your chin up, but I know that doesn’t always work.

  • Airlantiss

    This once again reminds me not to judge a book by it’s cover. Although I seem to wear my depression and dysfunction for all the world to see, it is good to be reminded that looks can be deceiving.
    Pep talks….I can relate to that and there are days my greatest victory is that I didn’t go back to bed for most of the day.
    God loves us both and He does understand, and for me personally that means reminding myself to be kind to myself. Not to beat myself up when I do go back to bed or don’t walk or just sit and cry or any number of things. Be kind to yourself, this is a part of you but it does not define you.
    Thanks for sharing and I will be praying for you just like I do for me.

  • Thank you. Simply thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Praying for you bro. Thank you for your honesty, I have walked through that and know how it feels. Just know God has something in mind and He won’t allow more on you than you can bare. A few things that really helped me were digging in scripture and a constant confession of scripture. What ever worries were in my heart, I confessed scripture speaking against it… Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25 NKJV).

    Also unforgiveness and hurt… I went through a situation that left a lot of hurt, I didn’t deal with. At the time I didn’t want to except I was hurt, maybe a little pride. It eventually turned into anger then depression, I’ve learned since then to be honest with myself and God about how I feel. He says come to Him in spirit and Truth.

    Be Blessed Bro

  • Carlos, I’ve been you. Sometimes, very rarely, I’m still you.

    as I sat here reading this today I felt prompted to just ask… you wanna talk? I know when I’m dragging the last thing I wanna do is talk. But, like I said, for some reason, when I read your entry, my spirit seemed prompted to offer to make contact with ya.

    if you want, email me (danwaits@yahoo.com), or call me: 478.396.4731

    I have no agenda, no nothing – I just care & I understand

    • John

      Thank God, for people like you.

  • aussie monica

    Ok I heard your song on the radio and decided to look you up and what should the page open to…your struggles as a Christian with depression…as I have suffered for many years with the same. Thankyou for sharing.

  • Breanne Blanchard

    Thank you for your honesty…it’s so refreshing. I too battle depression/anxiety. I hate that anyone feels that way, but I love that you are willing to share it and be so open. People don’t get it. Especially when you are a Christian…and that often makes you feel worse. Always good to know you aren’t alone ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • WOW!!! This made me cry….I watch the commercials and they say it gets better on other sad issues…and I wonder for folks suffering anxiety “Does it? If so when? I will pray daily for your strength

  • Thank you brother.

  • I have been there. More times than I like to admit. I wrote about it too.

    http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/2012/02/developing-your-automatic-truth.html

    This is what helped me. Our thoughts, our numbness, our pain all have a beginning. Our reaction to them must be automatic to overcome. I am praying for you brother.

    Father, bring healing, wholeness, peace, and strength to Carlos as he faced the battle for his mind, will, and emotions. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

    I know that there are sometimes physical things that may be contributing to depression and anxiety. My husband suffers from this cause more than I did. If depression is affecting you or a loved on, medical intervention may be needed. To look for the signs of depression you can look here:

    http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-symptoms-and-types

    Be blessed.

  • Liz

    My exact feelings . Except I don’t have a spouse or family .
    And here lately hearing God has been hard as well. I’ve struggled with Anxiety my whole life and depression.
    I hate admitting it.
    It’s just a Scary feeling.
    I’m just a warped person living in a warped world.
    It sucks.

    Thanks for your words…

  • April

    Thanks of being real! As a wife of someone who has struggled, I am grateful for a man brave enough to talk about this so openly! Thank you for the insight into the struggle. Thank you for sharing what helps. “I know. I’m sorry. I love you!”

  • JeannaB

    Thank you, Los. We aren’t suppose to admit to our internal sufferings. At least that is how I have always felt from those who don’t understand. “How can you be depressed? Your life is wonderful and you have Jesus in your heart!” is what I would hear from people (even if that isn’t what was actually said). So I learned to just live with it in silence, which at times means not living at all. My lowest point came when I was 19-20 years old. I remember several times when I was driving to work on the interstate thinking the entire time “Just jerk a little to the left, it will be over before you know it” and then hating myself for being such a coward and not following through. I hate that feeling, like fingers from some demonic THING curling around your insides. Then, I hate myself for not being “okay”, for not living. Too many live like this, one is too many really. Thank you, for sharing. For telling us we are NOT alone and we are NOT wrong for what we cannot help. I do feel alone, so much, because I don’t have that one who is the “feeling and smile” despite being married for nearly ten years. I’ve been listening to Tenth Ave North’s song Worn a lot lately, God is speaking to me through that, letting me know the struggle will end.

    • Andrew P

      I know what it’s like to feel those things. The shame for feeling like you want to die, and the shame that you can’t bring yourself to do it…. all to familiar. Thankyou for sharing.

      • John

        At work… crying… right now. Not just for myself, but for all of you guys who are feeling the same. Yesterday was not a good day, today hasn’t been either. The last 10 years haven’t been either. Somehow, I’ve made it this far. Who knows what tomorrow holds, who knows if I’ll have the strength, the faith, or even the hope to face it. One foot in front of the other, breath, repeat.

        Praying, constantly, for YOU and for me…

        NONE OF US ARE ALONE, no matter how alone we feel… There’s something to be thankful for.

  • Thank you so much for this post! I have also battled with depression for most of my adult life. Both of my parents have taken depression & anxiety medication for years. They convinced me it was hereditary and I succumbed to taking medication in my early 20’s. I ultimately tried to convince myself that God could ‘fix’ my depression and that I didn’t need any medicine. Thoughts such as, “God gave me these emotions and I shouldn’t numb them with medication” began running through my head. Questions such as, “Isn’t there a reason why God is giving me these feelings?” overwhelmed my thoughts. I’ve tried Zoloft, Paxil and a few others, sometimes with the side effects being worse than the actual condition. An ex-girlfriend convinced me to try going without the medication and I’ve been off of them for about 3-4 months now. Some days are better than others. Some days I reach for the left over medication that still resides in my kitchen cabinet, but I stop myself and say a little prayer. I know there are others out there that struggle far worse than I ever have. My heart goes out to them and everyone else that suffers from depression & anxiety. God meets us in our darkest moments and it’s there that I find the strength to make it through some of my tougher days. Thanks for posting on a topic that is controversial in our society, especially in the Christian arena.

  • Minister

    I am a minister who is experiencing my first real bout with crippling depression. Two weeks ago, my life was “normal”; since then, I have been overtaken with hopelessness, overwhelming sadness, coaching myself on how to breathe and how to walk, and contemplating What I would do if this feeling never again goes away. I worshipped…silence. I read Scriptures…silence. I prayed, begged, cried out…silence. Life is just too hard to continue this way. I am finding in the last two weeks of hellish existence that other dedicated Christians suffer from this and THERE IS HOPE! Talking about it is the first step. Your post was like God’s first words to me in a long two-week period of “See, my child, I make all things new. Healing is ahead. You are not alone.” Please pray for me as I learn about this horrible disease. Thank you for discussing it.

  • Kristen

    My brother suffers from depression and it is such a battle. It breaks my heart that what I take for granted he has to fight so hard for. His medications are such a pain in the ass – he is always having to change them and find what will work better. Some of the side effects are not ideal & I often feel his is way misunderstood because people tend to think, “Well. Jesus can heal you.” Just because He can doesn’t mean He always DOES. Sigh…

    Praying for you as I pray for my brother Danny.

  • Betsy B.

    I’m drowning right now. Can’t get myself to do my homework. It’s 4:15pm and I haven’t even eaten breakfast. Can’t find a second job. Am relying on the city’s free clinic for health care. Their mental health care though isn’t so helpful. I just found out that I’m on a waiting list to get in to see a therapist. That may take a month to get that appointment. However, in order to talk to someone about adjusting my medication (since Paxil isn’t cutting it any more), I have to see the therapist three times.

  • Hardest-learned lesson of my life: the fellowship of the suffering.

    It knocked the breath out of me and made me ask innumberable questions about my faith and my place before Christ. But then…then…the willingness of one walker-of-The-Way to tell me their raw story of darkness and light, clouds rolling in and clouds rolling out, opened my eyes to see how high, how, long, how wide, and how deep the Father’s love is for me.

    Carlos, thank you for being the storyteller today. We have to tell the truth of our “dark seasons of the soul” and of the reality that it so often has nothing to do with our measure of faith.

    And that there is a Savior who sees the end from the beginning, but will sit – in the dark beside us – and weep over our pain.

    Oh how He loves.

    Thank you for this today.

  • Andrew P

    There are days where I’m so upset and down that I go for a walk. I tell myself to just wander into traffic, but I won’t. I tell myself to wait for a semi by the highway so I won’t feel it. But I won’t. There are days where these kinds of thoughts race at warp speed around and around my head. Even though I have no desire to actually follow through, still they continue.

    There are days where I have difficulty following a single train of though from beginning to end… because the train comes to a fork, each split path splits again into 3,4,6,10 different thoughts each. And I frantically try to contain them so I can focus on the situation at hand.

    There are days though… where I smile. There are days where I can manage, and actually feel happy. There are a lot of days though… where the world feels dim. Where “negative” feelings and lap at my conscious thoughts like waves on a lake. Hardly enough to upset you, but the steady slap, slap, slap…. wears on me.

    Rarely is it enough to make me want to stay in bed (usually I’m out of bed and making coffee before I’m fully awake and aware)… but by the end of my shift I’m tired. Either from physical labour, or from the rare good day that I try to suck as much happiness out of it while I can, or from the constant waves and train-of-thought-gone-crazy.

    And I don’t go for help… because my doc just wants to cover it up with pills and not get to the root of the issue. So I face it alone. My wife doesn’t understand… and in some ways I would never want her to understand – because to understand you’d have to experience it…. and yet in some ways I wish she did so I wouldn’t feel so lost on my “dark days”

    Thanks for sharing Los… Mental health is not something discussed in churches, unless it’s scornfully “You just need to pray/read the bible/worship more.”

    I’ll shut up now… I feel like I’m rambling. And I feel a bit naked sharing this so publicly. But it’s what I deal with…

    • John

      Andrew, you are not alone. Never. I can’t even explain how I’m feeling after reading this. Just know there are other people out here, like you, walking behind a mask, not sure where to turn, dealing with it everyday. Feeling like those around you either don’t want to hear, or you don’t want to burden anyone else with your struggles, and trying to put on a smile for your family. It’s hard, wow…

      We don’t know each other, we may never cross paths, but I will keep you and this in my thoughts and prayers every day. As I walk and as I struggle, I will know I’m not alone and I will close my eyes and say a prayer for both of us. Thank you for sharing. People are listening and praying for those just like us.

      Los thanks again for being so transparent and giving people a community to share and love and pray for each other. You’re a blessing brother…

  • aleta

    staring blankly, not even into space. a nothing space. hoping not to think, and when thinking starts trying to shift it to something that will cause me to move, i have to move anyway. when you have to be provider, and no one else cares, you have to move. I lose my place, i lose my thoughts, i know i am not functioning well, no one notices. they just think duh get on with stuff. yes i pray, seems like all the time. i can even praise God for all He has given and done for me. But i still feel lost. more than when i was.

  • Anon…

    This is my life. Every single day. For a very long time. And I’m the “healthy” one. While raising 5 kids, one of whom has PTSD and suicidal ideations, going to school full time, and running my sick husband from one appointment to another, I hang on for dear life, barely able to see thru the fog. Hoping a panic attack doesn’t strike on the overpass from the 10W to the 215S again… that bridge is high. The meds they wanted me to take made it worse. My family tells me I don’t need them, that I’m doing “so well.” I don’t have time for doctors for myself anyway. So I soldier on. Some days it’s all I can do to not just get in my car and drive away… though I don’t even know where I would go. I hide in my laptop, I struggle to make sense of every word someone says to me. It’s dark in here… really dark.

    • John

      Praying, for you…

    • David F

      I am praying for you! I identify so much with what you’re saying! Please please please try to find someone that you can talk to to be supportive of you. A counselor a Pastor, from another church or denomination, it doesn’t matter. I have been where you are. I had to leave my church of 31 years (since age 5) to find a supportive community. This is too much for one person. Running harder is not the answer or even an option. You are strong but not made to handle all this. There are 5 kids counting on you to be healthy and be around. Take care of yourself, you must. Feel free to email me at d.fritch@hotmail.com

  • Chris

    Thanks for sharing Los.
    For me, it’s something that I can’t even see. For some days, it’s living my life behind a thick plexiglass screen and my brain is holed up in a tiny plastic bubble, and I think I’m the only real person in the world (like the Matrix). Sometimes, I even deny that I am stressed – in those days, I often get sick and don’t know why.

    Thanks for your openness, your sharing, and I do hope that God sends some godly Christians your way who care so much more than just friendships ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alisha

    Thank you Carlos I also live with this! A debilitating fear and uneasiness I do the same go into robot mode to function with my four kiddos and busy household! I was on my knees today praying just speaking to Him directly trying to give over my worry then worrying about buggin him with my mundane! I have learned to smile through the pain smile thru the hurt and I wish I knew how to make it go away! Just be gone!! Thank you Carlos for shedding a light on something many people don’t understand!! I will say an extra prayer for you!!

  • A

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve dealt with depression for years, undiagnosed until the past year, and it has been so tough on me, my husband, and my marriage. It was more than we could handle
    ..he stepped out of the marriage, loves someone else and doesn’t want to stay with me. Its so tough…being accused of using depression as a crutch and being accused of not stepping up and getting over this depression. I don’t know how to get him to see the real me. God is so good…sustaining me throughout all this. But i just want my husband back.

  • Thanks for putting things simply, Carlos.

    I stepped down from my position as Worship Pastor/Elder-in-training a couple weeks ago as a result of a deep physical and spiritual depression that I’ve finally allowed to come to light.

    It makes it especially difficult when the darkness becomes a part of who you are, and you don’t even realize it. But when it robs you of all joy, it is near impossible to pretend like everything is okay.

    Came across this quote from Charles Spurgeon. I pray I (and we) will one day see our depression/anxiety as he saw his:
    “The cloud is black before it breaks, and overshadows before it yields its deluge of mercy. Depression has now become to me as a prophet in rough clothing, a John the Baptist, heralding the nearer coming of my Lordโ€™s richer [blessing].โ€

    • yankeegospelgirl

      Damn, Spurgeon FTW.

  • This is quite timely as we approach National Suicide Prevention Day on Monday as, at least in my case, it is the voice screaming “you are alone” that leads me to that place where death seems my only respite. Thank you for authenticity. For risking judgment in order to be real. For showing fellow sufferers that the screams are lies. Thank you.

  • Thanks for sharing this. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my struggle with depression/anxiety/fibromyalgia. It’s true-you can tell the second you wake up how it’s going to be. Thanks for helping bring awareness to this common but largely unspoken condition. Keep on keeping on!!

  • As Christians there is this odd pressure to be happy all the time. Maybe i just put that pressure on myself. But what is most frustrating is that you can have such good days. For me nothing triggers a bad day. It just happens. My best description is that i am frozen. Losing hour after hour doing literally nothing but desperately wanting to. And the advice. ” Drink more water.” “Have a to do list.” It’s not that simple. But i dont know, maybe it is. But this post and comments are encouraging. Im new here but starting to really love coming here.

  • Thank you so much for your honesty and candor. It is important that people realize that God did not call us to be “Super-Christians” but broken people willing to follow Him. Keep up this important work.

  • elaine

    You are realy lucky!!!

  • AJ

    Thanks.
    It’s nice to know I’m not alone.
    I still feel like crap.

  • These past few years I’ve been occasionally visited by anxiety and depression and I usually just feel like I’m going crazy.

    Thanks for being a crazy role model.

  • Will

    Thank you. Have those days too. Some days I want to quit and just hermit away in my chair at home with every window blacked out forever. Learning to face, deal with, heal with, live with it though. It’s tough. Glad to know I’m not fighting alone.

  • Brenda

    Thanks for writing this. I had a time in my life where things were so bad I literally didn’t have words. I started painting to try to express what it was like to think that living might not be the best option any more. I’m extremely thankful that my depression is (for lack of a better term) in remission, but my heart aches for everyone still in the midst.

  • Thanks for this window into your world. Appreciate your honesty.

    What’s a typical days food intake look like for you? I know I always sound like that “tinfoil hat” wearing guy when it comes to nutrition, but we’ve so many people get out of a lot of disorders and derangements just by keeping their diets pretty lean. Depression and anxiety are one of the few areas that we see a good bump in.

    Sounds crazy, but if you haven’t already try eliminating wheat and grain products from your normal food intake. Many neurological ailments stem from what seems like a completely unconnected area (the intestines). Wheat and most grains wreak havoc inside your gut!

    Anyways, just throwing a little unsolicited advice your way, since time and time again I benefit from the advice you freely offer up in your blog posts!

    Blessings!

    • Clarifications:

      We’ve SEEEN lots of people get out….

      And keeping their diets CLEAN (not lean)! Some good fat (more than most people think they need) is actually beneficial!

      Carry on!

      P.S. I’d also like to offer (as I read through the comments) that I’m praying for each and every commenter on this post that is struggling with these issues as well.

      Blessings!

      • Andrew P

        Russ… I’d like more information on a “depressed diet” (LOL at my own dark humor. Ok maybe not. Its lame to laugh at my own jokes)

        But… I have a metabolism stuck on Warp 9, combined with a physically demanding job that requires me to be on my feet and handling heavy objects 8hrs a day. So, if you see this and wouldn’t mind offering some assistance or guidence… or maybe just a listening ear….

        honda97@live.com.

        • Not lame, Andrew.

          Remember (this is my favorite beattitude):

          Blessed are they who laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.

          ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Your metabolism might be stuck on Warp 9, but my sense of humor is.

          Hang in there!

  • Arielle

    Thank you for this. Thank you to those who have shared their testimonies as well.

    I lived in depression for two years. This has been the first year since the depression started that I have felt almost complete freedom from it. Occasionally I can feel it start to seep into my life once again, but Christ always comes through and surrounds me with joy.
    However, I am currently dealing with extreme anxiety on a weekly basis. Standing before people in class with all of the attention focused on me… I spend two days a week feeling like I have the flu and I almost passed out in class the other night.

    Jars of Clay’s ‘Valley Song (Sing of Your Mercy)’ is a song I listened to daily within that two year period. It says:

    “I will sing of Your mercy that leads me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy… Though the pain is an ocean tossing us around, around ,around. You have calmed greater waters and higher mountains have come down.” Joy will come, and you are not alone.

  • Been there, done(do) that; actually about once or twice a month, like you. Some folks understand what we go through, others don’t. For those that don’t, your blog post gives excellent insight into how it feels. Thank you for always being direct and true – it’s so appreciated in a world full of wanna be’s and pretenders.

  • Tam

    i don’t know that i’ve ever shared this publicly, but, i battle with anxiety and panic attacks. it’s only been the last two and half years or so. i am on a low dose med to help level my head out. it helps. but i hate that it came to that.

    i am sorry carlos. i am deeply sorry. i hate that i can relate to what you sometimes feel but am also grateful that i can because i will be honored to partner in praying you through this.

    tam

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  • Andrew P

    Hey everyone… I dunno about you, but this song brings me comfort (in addition to hearing everyone share their stories on here. I don’t feel quite so naked after reading everyone else’s posts)

    Anyway… have a listen. If its a rough day I’m hoping it will give you a bit of a lift. And if it’s a good day, listen and remember to have a listen on a not-so-good day too.

    Peace, ya’ll

  • David F

    Carlos, like others I thank you deeply and sincerely for your transparency and vulnerability in sharing your story. My wife has struggled with SEVERE debilitating anxiety since December of 2009. I mean bad bro. She hasn’t driven since that time and has had stretches where she’s barely gotten out of bed. It got to the point that last July she had consecutive panic attacks non-stop with little sleep for two weeks. It was over a month between showers bad, she sometimes needed help going to the bathroom bad. Just writing about it I literally feel the pain of that again. Through all this I am taking care of her, trying to run a business, leading a small group in my home, taking care of our girls (5 and 2 then) virtually by myself. Pretty soon I can’t handle it anymore. And then… I would love to share the story of how we, with God’s help climbed/are climbing out of that pit, but it’s a long one.
    I am sure many shake their heads and wonder how such a thing can happen. Why she can’t just “snap out of it”. Mental illness is real. It’s as real as the Cancer that took my father in law’s life, as real as the Renal Failure that keeps my Dad on dialysis, as the choke hold that put my friend in a coma.
    The reality of mental illness is just one of MANY THINGS I have learned and changed during this process. A nightmarish process, which I have come to value to the point where the other day I heard myself say “I wouldn’t trade it for the world”.
    I believe God will redeem all your heartaches, soul aches, body aches and family aches. To all you suffering, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! YOU ARE POWERFUL! YOU ARE NOT BROKEN! YOU ARE NOT ON GOD’S SHELF! HE IS DOING SOMETHING AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL IN YOU! I love you all.

  • David

    Thank you, Carlos. You’re an honest one on behalf of many.

    Is there any way I would write you privately?

  • This post – it’s powerful.

    The words, sure, they’re “just” words. But these words, the rhythm, the cadence, the way you take us through your day and show us how you feel, how you function, it allows us to understand, even if we’ve never been there.

    As someone who’s been there, it leaves me nodding my head in solidarity. I know that shaking, that tingling, that not absorbing what anyone says to me because I’m so lost in my own head.

    The journey is long.
    It is hard.
    It leaves you wrecked, broken, wondering why, crying out inside but fighting to ensure you look alright on the outside, making the battle *that* much more exhausting.

    My heart goes out to you. My heart thanks you. God is carrying you, God does love you, and He will never let you go. On my hardest days, I picture myself literally hauling myself into His lap, resting my weary head on His chest, and letting His arms wrap around me. It is there, in that quiet time, I find peace, even if just for a moment.

    May you find your peace, even if just for that one moment at the end of the day.

    I also want to invite you to start using the hashtag #listof3 on Twitter. I started it as an extension of #ppdchat (a hashtag dedicated to supporting families struggling with Postpartum Depression). #listof3 is easy – list 3 things for which you are grateful every morning, and 3 things which made you smile/laugh in the evening. Simple yet it has helped me refocus my thoughts so very often. (I’m @unxpctdblessing on Twitter.)

    Again, thank you for this post. So much.

  • I’m so sorry you have to deal with this! But thank you so much for writing about it and being so honest. Anxiety and depression affect more people than we probably realize.

  • Traci Smith

    Wow, thank you so much for posting this! I have struggled my entire life with depression and anxiety. For so many years, I told myself that I must not have enough faith or I must be doing something wrong. Now that more people are talking about it, I realize that it is truly a chemical imbalance and I am normal! I pray for help everyday to deal with it but I also take medication. Thank you again and keep on keeping on!!

  • Kevin West

    I know that world, thx for sharing it helps to know I’m not alone.

  • ryan

    “…be the feeling and smile for the one in your life who struggles.”

    beautiful.

  • Aggie

    I experienced this a few months a go. I call it the “blah” where no amount of motivation motivates me. It’s like being separated from the presence of God. It’s a phase.

    It means a lot that someone cared demassify this oppression.

    You’ll get out of it brother, in JESUS name.

    It’s either something really big is coming the enemy is so threaten you’ll advance God’s kingdom 10 folds in your life or you will minister to another in the future that;s why you had to go through this experience for authenticity’s sake.

    In my case I allowed sin to have a foothold in my life. When I radically amputated the root of it. I got out of my “blah” almost instantly. Praying for discerment and the courge to remove that which does ot help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jen

    Thank you so much for sharing this! You feel what I feel!! The only difference is my heart races, it doesn’t slow. Thank you for “laying it all on the table” and going through your day step by step so that others can get a glimpse of what it is like. Sometimes knowing the Truth makes it even harder because you wish God would just take it away and make it better. Then you realize, you KNOW the Truth: He is gracious, and faithful, and loving, and IS there. After a few days of going through the motions, a peace always comes over me. That’s when I get up, pull myself up by the bootstraps, and get going. Nobody said it would be easy, they just said we would not have to do it alone. Your wife is an incredible woman, to just know and know exactly what to do. God’s great that way, when he designed someone specifically for us. I’ll be praying for you, Carlos, and celebrating the never ending victory we have in our awesome Daddy!

    • I’m with you… my heart races rather than slowing down and I usually feel like I’m going to throw up.

  • I’ve found some of my only relief comes from worshiping. I recently described it as feeling like Saul. His only relief from the spirit that tormented him came when David played his instrument. It’s not fun to compare myself to Saul… since I think torment is the only thing I share with him, but none the less it’s how I feel. Thank you for being so open about your struggles. It encourages the rest of us to keep going on days like these.

  • JJ

    Thank you for this post. It is a very difficult thing to deal with, but I’m glad there are other people who can relate and understand the feeling that comes with anxiety and depression.

  • Matthew

    I always feel like I am not doing something right as a Christian when I become severely depressed or have thoughts of self-harm. I then begin reading some of the Psalms where David is just despondent and hopeless, and it actually encourages me that such a man of God, and such a hero could feel the same way I do. This provides me some comfort. Sometimes, however, I just have to hang on and think of my little boys, and what would happen if I was gone.

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  • Anonymous

    Your post made me cry. I am so sorry that you have days like that in which it just takes all of your strength to keep putting 1 foot in front of the other. I bet it’s also very hard when you have to be on the road for such long stretches of time. At 1st, I’d recommend to go to counseling, but that costs a lot of $$ and living on a pastor’s salary with the normal expenses of life at home, that doesn’t leave much for $100/session, ya know?

    If you need someone to converse with or want to talk about it, you can reach me at the email address which I submitted when I sent in this comment (am assuming that you have a way of looking that up somehow).

  • Dear Carlos:

    I could empathize with your blog on many different levels – as can a lot of readers. As an overseas missionary, mother of 5 and wife of 15 years, I know all about depression/anxiety too well. I spent over half of my life suffering with this and not really knowing what was “wrong” with me. 2 years ago, I went to the Psychiatrist because I knew something was not right and the ups and downs became so bad. I went from being depressed “ocassionally” to several times a week. In fact, it got to the point that I didn’t know who I was going to be when I woke up (happy, energetic Jessica or depressed and in a fog Jessica). To spare you ALL of the dirty and yet beautiful details, I would like to tell that I was diagnosed with Bipolar II (please don’t be scared of that diagnosis). It scared me at first, but now that I know it has saved my life. My mission recently sent me and my family back to the states for 6 months so that I could have proper Psychiatric care and intense counseling. Guess what? Now I am on an even playing field as someone who does NOT suffer with a mental illness. Now I am embracing it and working through it day after day. Thanks to medicine, counseling and LOTS of Grace, I am a newer, healthier, not depressed person.

    I share this with you because if you are having “episodes” of depression a few times a month, then it is possible that you are suffering with Bipolar II as well. All Bipolar means is that you are “up” and “down.” If you had constant depression then you would just be depressed ALL the time, because depression is “unipolar” and not up and down. In know way am I trying to diagnose you AT ALL. But your post resignated with me on so many personal experiences. And then when I read that this happens to you several times a month, a flag went up and I wanted to share with you. Please do some research on Bipolar II or see a Psychiatrist who can just talk to you a lil’ bit about how you feel occasionally.

    I know you did not ask my opinion, but thank you for reading.

    Blessings, Jessica

  • Honest writing. Thank you. The most comprehensive approach I’ve ever heard about depression is from Pastor Steve Schell and his “Understanding and Unlocking Depression.”

    Pastor Schell comes at the topic of depression from a spiritual, physical, lifestyle, and mental approach. As I said, the most comprehensive I’ve ever found. Since he dealt with deep depression from high school into his early forties–even as he was a youth pastor and senior pastor–his talks are both empathetic AND effective. Please check it out. You can find his teachings at lifelessons.org

  • I saw you post this on twitter last week, but just now got to read it.

    I know how you feel. I have anxiety/PTSD and some days it’s all I can do to get myself out of bed, ready for work and put on a fake smile. I want to be happy or relaxed and I know it’s there, but the moments that I do feel that way are so fleeting that I don’t always know what to do when they are there. Thanks so much for being so honest and putting a voice to what so much of us feel, but can’t find a way to say ourselves.

  • You are not alone. I know you have heard this before. But, it never gets old to those of us who Jihad with depression every day. I call it a Jihad because I believe it truly is a holy war I fight every day. Me and God vs the depression Dementor. It is always there. Meds help. But they take the edge off and enable me to be a little closer to how “normal” people deal with depression. Normal, ha! I now know “normal” is relative.

    For me, it’s the constant feeling of “It doesn’t matter.” Nothing I do, say, think, believe, want, need matters. Nothing will change. Everything will stay s#!++y. But, it doesn’t. Things do and can get better. I choose to remember and focus on all those times it has in my story.

    Suicide is always the finale scene in the story of those of us struggling with depression. It is always out there. Looming about. Whispering in my ear that this choice is the only one that will resolve everything.

    But then I think about all that I might miss out in life. I think about my two kids. My wife. My friends. My family. I look back on all of those things and remember those amazing, breathtaking experiences that I would’ve missed out if I had made that choice. The tickles and laughter with my kids. The sexy kisses from my wife. The new craft beers I’ve shared with my friends. Officiating my sister’s wedding…. it causes me to cry, but I think “I can manage this.” And I try. Me and God. One more time.

  • Kayla Grace Barker

    That’s my life. Except without the wife and kids. Y’all are awesome.

  • hebehemi Sato

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  • Jamielynn

    This is me! I feel this way every day but worse! God bless you! This post gave me hope that I am not alone!

  • mommyevans

    Thank you! My husband and I both fight this feeling every day. And I feel like no one understands sometimes. Or they just choose to ignore it. Who knows. But I really hope that more awareness will eliminate the stigma some day. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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  • Annie

    This post helped me today. I will recall it on these days of my own.

  • Nikki G.

    With tears in my eyes…all I can say is Thank YOU!! You’ve given voice to my inner struggle and though the feeling is still there at least I know I’m not alone. This helps for when my emotional pain drowns out His voice. Again… thank you

  • kelly

    Carlos this was beautiful, I had tears in my eyes for the power behind the words of truth. My anxiety has been out of control since November (its now July)..The last time I was out of the house and about was Christmas day and that was on some-type of med to help me get through traveling and being around people.. I have three children and have missed my children events for all these months… MY poor husband tries to have patiences and knows I dont choose this but it doesnt make his job any easier.. He works all day and then does all the outside errands that I dont do anymore.. My friend, tells me that I need to push against this and my hubby would pay anything to get back his old wife.. God Bless you Carlos..’

  • It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way but it’s so real and I can identify with so much of what you shared. I struggled with depression and anxiety on and off for many years. It was horrible. And no matter how familiar the funk was, it never made the next time easy. Each time was rough. Some people say it’s “just the blues” or “take it day by day”. Not everyone can identify. Not everyone will. I have learned, by God’s grace, to take it moment by moment. Because a day or even an hour can seem like eternity. But moment by moment, He’s carried me through. And moment by moment He will do the same in your life. Thank you for sharing and allowing God to use you even in the darkest hours. You are not alone and you will come out shining.

  • joleolsen

    Thank you. That is all I can manage right now, but you understand.

  • John Smith

    God word says in I John 3:20 that “if our hearts condemn us, know that God is greater than our hearts.”

    Please allow me to offer a prayer, followed by a few scriptural quotes and an image of a beautiful bouquet (along with a warm cup of something hot) to help us fight in this spiritual warfare against our minds.

    In the name of Jesus, bless the author of this post and the commenters with greater confidence in You and to turn away from all of our sins, whatever they are so that our collective anxiety, pressure, fear, self-condemnation and anger will be put under the authority and power of Christ.

    This post brought me and my wife to the table with a small breakfast prepared and with tears and our mutual confessions to God…..and we decided to read Our Daily Bread. I started to stay in bed but after reading this, I accepted my wife’s invitation to a light breakfast and

    I have to admit that my wife and I count ourselves with many of you, in the struggle for greater confidence in what God has done and is doing in our lives, despite our anxiety, in spite of our depression. Maybe anxiety and depression is the evidence that we don’t trust God. Could it be that our confidence in God has been compromised?

    Also, because of what one Commenter said, something about the root cause of her anxiety/depression being sin, I meditated on my own sins from the week and confessed them before God in my private prayer. God is greater than our anxiety-ridden and depressed minds but I have to admit that my sins are a big factor in why I’m experiencing the anxiety and depression, too. So, we can seek God to remove that stain of sin when we confess, repent and be free from the guilt and shame of it all. I’m not saying that all anxiety and depression is due to the sins but I’m admitting that is the case with me.

    Romans 8:34 where it states “Who then is condemning us? No one. Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” There is no need for thoughts of self-harm because we are free from the law of death, free from the law of sin, free from the law of condemnation.

    “O Death where is thy sting?” -the risen Savior (Jesus) I Corinthians 15:55

    Since death itself has been conquered by God through Jesus, then the emotional death (depression, anxiety and even thoughts of suicide) that we may all to some degree share is conquerable by Him also, right? But, if such is the case, why do any of us continue to feel defeated, condemned, useless, hopeless, afraid, unlovable? Perhaps the key is to not ignore the “feelings” but not to give life to those feelings and worship them! We now know that anxiety and depression are real but not to let those painful anxious and depressing feelings overwhelm us, rule us, define who God says that we are: FREE from sin and its effects!

    And, for those who are not believers in the Truth, the Life and the Way, God still loves you even though you may not fully comprehend just how great that love is for you and all of His creation.

    With love,
    John Smith

    The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8

  • Rebel Leader

    It is heart breaking to read this…..I know it’s true, but still sad. We as Christians have the Truth/answer, and yet, it’s not working in our own life. The depths of that sort of dispair is hard to describe. I too, was in that condition and had been for years! In May 2012, I was healed, and introduced to the REAL Father God. Holy Cow!! What a dif sort of experience. I trusted the leaders to train me with a correct view of The Father, not a distorted/harsh/dictator. God doesn’t punish to train me, but sees me (finished) “in Christ” and therefore~in His eyes, I am perfect!! I am a daughter, not a servant/slave. When I began to relate to him as a real dad (a good one)…..lights on.

    • GG

      How were you introduced to the REAL Father of God? I need him now.

      • HappyToBeKLB

        @disqus_kTLmyvV0wH:disqus were you ever introduced to the REAL Father God?? I hope you’re doing well. I would love to tell you about Him if you still don’t know Him.

  • kaylanic83

    The feeling comes over me like a wave, dragging me down deeper and deeper until I can’t even begin to see the surface. It’s that feeling of being completely alone. I have gone days without speaking to anyone, unless spoken to first. Not on purpose, but I simply couldn’t find the words to speak and was afraid what might come out if I tried. So, instead I just stay quiet. My friends are wonderful, but they have their own lives, their own relationships…and I have the quiet. My family loves me, but wouldn’t understand. What gets me is the feeling that no one else will get it…no one else understands. I come from a church back ground where we are all just supposed to count our blessings and magically be joyful and go on with the day. Joy can be a choice, but when your brain and heart aren’t communicating, it’s not a choice you can make. There is no magic antidote. Sometimes I even pray for God to send someone to just give me a hug, because I can’t ask for one. I can’t show someone that something is wrong. So instead I put on a brave face. That’s when I doubt. I doubt I have a purpose. I doubt I am loved. Even though I know the Bible tells me God loves everyone, I doubt He has any reason to love me. So…I pray…I read…I play…I sing…I sit…I listen…somewhere between the tears and the doubts there comes a voice. It tells me two things, “I chose to create YOU” and “I choose to love YOU.” Sometimes I have to hear it several times before I actually hear it and trust it again. My head comes out of the water, and I can take a breath again. There is no telling when another wave will come, from where, or if I will stay afloat. Thankfully I do serve a God who sees the waves coming and is there waiting for me when I finally ask for help.

  • Adam

    Carlos, your testimony could have my name in on it. As I write this I am on day 3 of a depression/anxiety cycle. I started taking medication about 12 years ago sometime in my very early thirties. It all started with the dizziness and really not any emotional symptoms. As time has gone on I’ve tried to wean off the medication and in recent years have started with the panic, depression and anxiety. With my wife homeschooling and me the sole bread winner, the responsibility really weighs on me.
    I worry too much about work and my responsibilities there. My oldest is 16 and is also very challenging to deal with. All that said, I truly believe God has a purpose for it. Since starting with the cycles of anxiety and depression my Bible study and prayer life have really improved. As much as it pains God to allow us to go through these trials, He knows we’ll come out better for it on the other side. It still stinks though!! Don’t be ashamed to take medication. I believe that God can absolutely work through Doctors and medication to help or heal what ails us. My prayers are with all who deal with this for whatever reasons and don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for their prayers and support as well. Just remember, we’ll all be perfectly healed one day soon!

  • Kari Romoser

    It is only a God thing that I found your blog. I grew up with Shelley Giglio. Had seen a comment if yours on Instagram and them found your blog.

    I have suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life. I chose chemical cures for years. Ended up suicidal and addicted. Spent 4 months in a treatment center in 2008.

    I’ve been clean & sober for 5 years now. But, the depression and anxiety still plague me. Some days are good. But, I am struggling today.

    This blog described me in many ways.

    Thank you and God bless you.

    (I blog a tiny bit at This Perfect Mess. kariromoser.blogspot.com )

    I will def be reading you blog. You have blessed me on this blue day.

    Kari Romoser

  • Finnly

    Thank you. Thank you so much!

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  • Veronica

    I have found a natural way to change my feeling, going back to when Jesus walked on eart. Essential oils, Frankincense is just one of the calming oils I use to balance myself. There are so many oils that Refer from bible. If you would like more information, please contact me for love and understanding. I love sharing this because I have become a better person using what god gave us to heal us!
    http://www.youngliving.org/1686319

  • Steve Roudebush

    Thank you. I’m not sure sometimes why I keep following you years after you moved from my church and years after I stopped going to church do to inauthenticity. Things like this remind me why, You love God, I love God. You blessed me today Los!

  • Josh C

    THANK YOU so much for being open and honest about your struggle which so many of us share. It helps me each time I read about your struggle to realize that I am not alone and that there are others (many) in the Church that have dark days like I do. I wrote about my own struggle a while back http://www.joshcanady.com/new-blog/2014/8/13/my-story-of-depression . Seriously, thank you Carlos.

  • Natalie Armel Ramirez

    Beautiful.

  • johnny

    Going on 3 yrs…yeah it suxs…I’m to busy to feel this junk… Ugh

  • Ashley Bonner

    Thanks Carlos! Your post was the “small touch” I needed today!

  • briansellers

    Check us out at anxietycentre.com. I have fully recovered from severe anxiety and you can to, but you must have the skills.

  • oya ngo

    Hello My name is nadineIm 32 years old Ive been a chrisitan ince the age of 15 and was hit by depression at 25. Uptil this year I was struggling with it I lost jobs, friends some family members connection because of my mood swings etc. suffering with depression has sometime caused the fear to loose my faith in God as i have racing thoughts as well. However I found a great nutritional regimen this year that in my case has lifted up the depression significantly. If you re interested please feel free to contact me because as a believer my worst fear was to completely loose my faith or hope in God out of mood swings and racing thoughts.
    depressiondefeated@yahoo.com

  • Beka

    I came across this blog as i sit here feeling utterly alone. I have suffered from depression ever since i was a little girl. I have had moments in life when i felt i was “pass the depression”. But…. It seems to always sneak up on me. My husband see it as a weakness a moment of pitty party or a mistrust in God. Perhaps he is right perhaps not. All i know is i feel alone, hopeless, frustrated, irritated, annoyed, sad, teary eyed all day long. Those who i come in contact w on a daily bases are not supportive. They point out my flaws and laugh at my weekness as if its a joke. I dont have much i can look back and say i have accomplished being as though i made some dumb chooses in life. I cant even see beyond this moment. Lord help me.

  • Marnus Vermeulen

    Dude, you spoke my mind… I often have days where no amount of pep talks, reasoning or caring people can take away the numbness that cripples my soul into a state so dead, I wonder if I’ll ever get up again. If I’ll ever smile again. And nobody understands (though, to their credit, they try). Depression has been my unwanted companion for as long as I can remember. I wish it would stop. But even if it only does so when I’m dead, God is still good. Thank you for this post…

  • disqus_hrefsMj8vo

    What happens when this isn’t a
    few days a month but every day for 5 years?