Thursday, March 13, 2014

Divining the Purpose of Depression

“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel
Oh God if you are real,
Please help me now to feel,
I cannot describe this pain,
It’s impossible to see sight of gain!
That’s what’s worst about this fog,
I cannot get out of this bog,
But if you were to show me you’re real,
Then I’d finally be able to feel.
***
DEPRESSION is that horrible exercise of mental, emotional, and spiritual torment. Add to it the double whammy: depression with anxiety. How often these two go together as if in a waltz through hell!
As if it isn’t bad enough to be swallowed whole by such a sapping of energy as depression, to be racked with fear of unexplained proportions and source is sincerely maddening.
The downdraft of depression is a horrendous reality. To think we are not through it yet is harrowing. How is it that life has become so unlivable? Just that thought, in itself, consumes so much energy. Energy we don’t have!
Finding Some Hope in the Haze
Whether we would call it a fog, a bog, or haze is probably beside the point. There is just no clarity, no purpose, and no rational reason for why life is as it is just now. It is frustrating and angering, if only we had the strength to be angry or the emotional capacity to feel angry. Yet, somehow, anger overwhelms us at the least convenient moment.
Finding hope in the haze can seem impossible, but perhaps the hope we need is to be founded on a purpose that will soon transcend us.
We have to hope that there is a purpose in this depression.
We cannot afford not to have hope. But to hope this way requires faith, and a steady-enough resolve, which of its own requires strength. We need to pray for strength; for the resilience to hold extraneous moments in hope.
***
Could it be that the purpose of depression is to show us an ever-present weakness that threatens every human being? Until we have battled this scourge we don’t know what we’re talking about. But then, afterwards, we are granted wisdom as a prize for having not given up.
***
The downdraft of depression is a wild ride through such debilitating illness as to feel truly abandoned and helpless. But such an experience bereft of the blessings of God is never wasted. God is using it, prodding at our weakness, so that we might know the bountiful nature of his grace.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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