As a Priest and trained mental health professional, I know what depression is. I also know how it feels as from time to time I suffer from depression.
Thankfully it’s not a daily battle but more like once a month or less. It usually lasts a couple of days. If I allow it to, it will significantly interrupt my life, affecting how I relate, my concentration and my energy levels to name a few.
I know why I have it, it entered my life soon after Judah died. I mostly manage it with medication, but occasionally the intensity is more than the meds can handle.
In these moments I deploy what I call, ‘the hike method.’ Imagine being on a long hike, you start off full of energy and excitement, enjoying the view and the fascinating conversations with colleagues on the journey. After 10 or so hours and a rough night of sleeping, suddenly it becomes about finishing the journey. The joy all but dissipates, the energy drops. At this point, you just do what is required to complete the hike. One foot in front of the other.. pushing on, pushing through.
In the same way, when depression strikes, I make the decision to just keep going forward. Keep exercising, eat well, engage with people as best I can. The ‘hike method’ isn’t about pretending everything is fine, but about pushing on despite how horrible I feel.
In my Bible reading this morning, I read Psalm 77 that sees the writer moaning to God about all that is bad in their life. He feels abandoned and rejected. But in verse 11-14 it reads,
I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old. I will meditate on all your work, and muse on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples.
Not only do I just keep on going, pushing through the pain, but I bring to mind all that God has done for me in the past. It brings my present challenge into perspective. I thank God for His wonderful mercy!
Is it time you recalled God’s majesty in your life?