Thursday, January 05, 2006
And When She Was Bad She Was Terrible...
Sometimes I look back to my depressing Nevada Years to learn more about how I got there in the first place--and so that I'll never end up there again. No, I don't mean never returning to the state of Nevada (heh) but instead, to the ugly state of depression I experienced there.
Back in those dreary days I'd ask, "How did I get here? Why do I hate to get out of bed and dread every dark, lonely afternoon before Naomi gets home from school?" (I could pull myself together for her sake after school, which should tell you something...but that may be another post).
The main problem? I kept asking myself why I was depressed, but I was afraid to ask God--because I knew (knew, knew, knew) He would tell me something I didn't want to hear. He would make it sound like the fault was mine. (Mine? That couldn't be!) And so like many people, I waited years-- until I got dreadfully sick and tired--and then I finally asked God where I'd gotten so lost that I had tumbled into such a deep pit.
It's all so clear now, yet in the middle of those horrible days I can honestly say I had no idea why I was the way I was. I had major trust issues with God and basically, I thought I knew better than He did what I needed and wanted.
No wonder I was so depressed back then:
I kept a running mental list of everything that was going wrong in my life and talked about that list all the time.
I held grudges against anyone who hurt my feelings.
I complained that we lived where we lived and I always whined about having to live in the God-forsaken Nevada desert.
I read articles which said I would be happy if only I had an outside job or went back to school, yet I didn't want to do either of those, so I just sat around and let my mind be yanked around in that tug of war.
I read magazine articles (lots) saying that I was wasting my time and talents at home, so then I felt like everyone 'out there' was a happy success and I was an embarrassing failure.
Tom's job took him out of town for four days each week so I'd be lonely because I was depending upon him for my happiness. Then when he'd get the next four days off, I would nag him the whole time about how he was always gone (which just made him want to run a whole lot of errands and never be home on his days off, either...which caused more arguments...etc., etc...).
I had no new friends where we lived (since I was shy and just stayed home and felt miserable) so I began living for the mail I received from old friends I'd left behind. When I would receive no mail, I'd feel despair, then upset at anyone who didn't understand (and relieve) my pain.
I became active in our church to try to find personal fulfillment and appreciation, but that didn't work so I only became more lonely and desperate.
Because I was afraid of what God might say to me, I spent no quiet time with Him getting to know Him better.
I was holding onto something (a ministry) which God had told me to let go of because He had finished with it long, long ago. But I held on to it anyway, even when God used other people to tell me to let go. I believed I knew best and they were only trying to hinder me(pride, pride, pride).
And here was the biggest cause of my depression: I loved every person in my life more than I loved God. I relied on everyone else for my happiness instead of relying on God.
My, my, my... Like I said, it's all so CLEAR now, but honestly, I was blind to all of this back then--because I didn't WANT to see any of it. I just wanted to believe if only everyone else would change... and if my address would change... and if my circumstances would change, then I would feel good once again.
Only when I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired... only when I was ready to hear from God as to where I had gone wrong--and admit my faults/sins/errors... only then was I able to climb out of the deep dark hole I'd dug. And even then I had to take it step by step, year by year.
And now there is Light.
And all these 13 years later I have never again crawled back down that dark cave (are you kidding?). I've only peeked down from around the upper ledge so that I can now, as God leads, give an outstretched hand to those who are still suffering deep inside that horrible, terrible dark pit.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36