The Black Dog

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So this week was tough. Dangerously tough. I was diagnosed with depression a few years ago. I got a few stories about things I’ve learned over the last few years with regards to it. But right now, I just wanted to say this week was hard. You see depression can be a fatal illness. So when I say “hard”… I ain’t kidding.

There’s been many times over the last few years that I’ve had suicidal thoughts. It’s one of the main characteristics of the illness. There’s no two ways about it, it sucks. It feels bad enough having to deal with the thought, but then you get even more distressed that you thought about it at all. Especially since I don’t want to do it. I just want to get better. It’s a really helpless and scary feeling. It’s quite difficult to react in a positive way. In your head you know it’s just emotion, but it feels impossible to get into a different head-space when you’re in the middle of it.

I’ve had to learn to be patient because I know from experience that the feeling and thought will pass. Where it used to be an everyday thing back when this little adventure started, it’s way less frequent now, thank God.

Paradoxically, having depression has taught me to separate myself from my emotions. I know what I believe, I got my Jesus, I know I’ve been given a future and a hope, and I will walk in it. So I don’t have to be a slave to my emotions. I am not just my emotions! Pity we humans typically have to learn things the hard way, right.

One of the most surprising things I’ve found is how many people suffer from this. I guarantee you that somebody you know has depression. I’m not talking about a one-off thing either. I mean they got the medication, they regularly see the psychiatrist and the psychologist. They’ve had major treatment and had to move through it. It manifests itself in different ways in different people. For me it’s more anxiety, like a cold feeling in your chest when you watch a scary movie. Frustrating. Depression has got to be a modern epidemic. There’s just too many people struggling with it.

A friend of mine challenged me today to answer “facts” with “truth” (thanks E-R). The fact is I have an illness and occasionally feel dangerously anxious and depressed. The truth is I am seated in heavenly places. The truth is through Jesus I am healed, whole, and walking in a glorious future. That is the hope Jesus offers. It ain’t just about some far off future where I can go to Heaven some day. It’s a relationship that comforts me when I’m anxious and flat-out saves my life when it’s worse. He talks to me. As I walk this walk I get better at recognising His voice. He encourages me. He lifts me up when I’m down. He goes before me into the unknown. He’s always had my back.

For those who have depression I wanted to say a two main things in this blog. First and foremost, Jesus will help you. He loves you and wants to help, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. Secondly, I want to help you. I know how much I need people around me that understand and care. Contrary to what you might think there are people out there that love you and want to see you do well. Ask some questions in the comments. Ask for prayer, or advice or… whatever. I started writing this blog for you. You do not have to do life on your own.

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6 thoughts on “The Black Dog

  1. Respect for sharing this Damien. It is a modern epidemic and so very many people struggle through it alone unnecessarily. Keep up the great work dude.

  2. Hey Damo.
    We support you in any way we can and are praying for you.
    “He who the son sets free – he is free indeed”.
    Blessings and love on ya.
    Tim.

  3. Wow Damien, what a post. Awesome, it realy hit me the bit about not being a slave to my emotions. Something to definatly pray about. That bit about getting your head into a differant space – wow how many timez do i go i just don’t care. However i do.:-) Will be praying that this week is not has hard as last.

  4. Dearest Brave and Couragous one. I am in awe of your post. It is raw and vunerable – thank you for taking the mask off. Catherine

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