Depression is worsened by denial. It may get a little better with some safely released anger. But depression is helped most by learning to grieve our losses; those that are real, abstract, imagined and potential.
Learning to grieve our losses is about honouring the truth of our realities.
There is no benefit to any of us in denying what is patently visible; if someone could see right into us they would see what we can see. Why do we not acknowledge those things that continue to sting us? There is power in truth, especially via the agency of empowerment we feel when we have validated our own losses, however bad this makes us feel.
But the truth is, a loss grieved – no matter how embarrassing it is, or how guilty or ashamed we feel, or how much we miss the person – is a loss we can learn to live with. Somehow there is grace given by God to accept what we can no longer, in any way, change.
Depression, itself, is nothing to be guilty for or ashamed about. No mental illness is our fault. Our biology and our upbringing have caused us to grow up a certain way; our experiences have forged a hard-track and depression may have appended itself to us. Nobody wants to be depressed or to have to deal with depression, especially the clinical variety.
Much depression can be drawn to losses where grief was never entered into. Then there was a second loss, and then a third. Before long, the bag of our losses is far too heavy to carry. Well, there is One who can carry such a load! He is God.
God wants us to own our truth, and he gives us the capacity to endure such horrible realities because of his grace, which is the most amazing love anyone could contemplate.
When we value the truth enough to be counselled to grieve our losses, then God can heal us. We give God nothing if we cannot come before life in the glory of its truth.
It’s no biblical cliché: the truth will set you free. Jesus actually said those words. We can trust them. Sure, it will take courage, one day at a time, and soon we will experience what so many claim to have experienced: healing.
Choosing to live courageously enough to admit the truth opens the door to healing losses that need to be grieved.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.