Depression StoriesQUESTION: Depression stories - Is victory possible?ANSWER:
How bad can depression stories be? As bad as a black hole, relentlessly sucking you down. And victory over depression? Out of the question! My own depression story started when I was 21 years old after I had already spent for four years attempting to find something that would bring me happiness. I tried everything I could think of! It seemed happiness was a creature who hid from me as long as I chased after her. Like a tiger trying to catch his tail, I felt my search was not going to end well.
I sought every pleasure available to me. My lifestyle was completely hedonistic; I was devoted to the pursuit of my own pleasure. I had one rule: If it brought me pleasure, go for it; if it was not pleasurable, forget it. Following that rule brought me to the place where I stood: empty, without purpose or meaning in my life. Instead of a report on happiness, it became a story of depression. There was a great hunger in me but I couldn't find a way to fill it. I had reached the end of my strength. What use was there to go on? My conclusion was simple: happiness could not be obtained. Fun could, for a brief time, but lasting happiness? No. This awareness brought me to great despair; I felt completely drained.
Depression was a monster that had grown larger while my desire to live had become fainter. Depression starts out seemingly harmless; a feeling of discontent -- a sense that something was lacking. But as it grew, it became stronger and took on more dangerous qualities. I didn't even realize where it was taking me. The thing that makes it so dangerous is it is an alluring siren's call that draws a person deeper into it. Before you know it, you're in over your head and death seems the only way out. It's like the Venus flytrap plant that draws the insect into its lethal caress. The poor insect goes willingly, unaware that the plant is more than it appears to be.
Well, since I'm writing this, you know that I survived. But how did my depression story end? Did I discover some inner strength that allowed me to fight my way out of depression's clutches? No. Absolutely not! I'm alive today because of intervention. Not the kind used by recovery groups. Something even more powerful: Divine Intervention.
God desired to heal the great sadness within my soul; to fill that part of me that felt empty; to fill it, not with parties, alcohol, drugs, sex, or __________ [fill in the blank], but with something greater than I could ever have conceived. He desired to fill my being with His presence!
On the last day of my depression story, the Lord directed one of His children (a redeemed child of God) to my home. She arrived uninvited by me, but her arrival couldn't have been more timely. As we talked, I began to pour out all the overwhelming sadness I had closeted within me. We wept together and there on our knees, she prayed for me. I joined her, asking the Lord to help me, acknowledging my helplessness. But there was a third person in the room. The unseen guest. Christ was very present and victory over depression was very real. And that empty spot? He filled it with joy!
Can a depression story end well? That day was the beginning of a great adventure. Would you care to join me? He still makes house calls.