A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Faith

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Curt Sunshine
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A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Faith

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Jan 2014, 22:48

The following post was written a few days ago by a friend who was the Relief Society President in our ward years ago. It is one of the most raw, honest, beautiful posts about depression and faith I have read - ever.

Please read the post, and, if possible, leave comments there, as well as here. I would love it if she could know about any impact it might have on others.

"The Real Me" (http://betchadidntknow.blogspot.com/201 ... al-me.html)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SilentDawning
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by SilentDawning » 17 Jan 2014, 22:55

He has questions I have asked myself before. But he has a premise -- that God has placed him in new surroundings, etcetera -- as if God directs his life. I don't believe God does this as much as I once believed he did...so I kind of checked out of his comments.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Jan 2014, 23:07

Relief Society President = she :D
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by Roy » 19 Jan 2014, 10:07

I posted the following:
Hi Patty,

I am touched by your realness. Sometimes we semi-rationalize the suicide of others by saying to ourselves that it was only a matter of time. My hope is to do my part to dispel such notions. I understand that a suicidal period may be pretty short and then may not reoccur for a long time or perhaps ever. My point is that your efforts to lift others and their efforts to lift you are not wasted. Thank you for sharing with us your efforts to "fight the good fight."


I believe that relationships MATTER!!! (long term or short term and in every other sense of the word.)
SilentDawning wrote:He has questions I have asked myself before. But he has a premise -- that God has placed him in new surroundings, etcetera -- as if God directs his life. I don't believe God does this as much as I once believed he did...so I kind of checked out of his comments.
I believe I am familiar with most of the approaches that people take to understand why things happen in their life. One of these approaches is to believe that it is part of a grand design. I believe that this sentiment is the predominant one in the LDS faith. I don't find it useful to understand my life, but I have no problems with others that have that understanding.

Even better, she doesn't claim that her life troubles were largely fixed, or reduced, or made meaningful once she finally came to the "true" perspective, or accepted Christ more fully as her savior, or some other adjustment in her thinking. At least in the context of her post - her struggle continues. She didn't seem to cause it and there doesn't seem to be any solution on the horizon. It is life with all the loose ends and ambiguity that come with it.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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GodisLove
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by GodisLove » 20 Jan 2014, 15:18

I love her honesty. For myself it is easy to look at others and wonder why they have it all together and I don't. I am fully aware that this isn't how life works, but my eyes and my head don't always seem to be in sync.
Not one Sparrow is forgotten
E'en the raven God will feed
And the lily of the valley
From His bounty hath its need

Then shall I not trust Thee, Father
In Thy mercy have a share?
And through faith and prayer, my Mother
Merit Thy protecting care?
Shaker Hymnal 1908

church0333
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by church0333 » 20 Jan 2014, 19:06

Thanks for posting this. I replied directly to the blog. This hit very close to home for me.

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Shawn
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by Shawn » 05 Feb 2014, 15:40

I like the wording of her questions.
I still wonder why a kind and loving God would keep Himself so well hidden from His children over the ages...He could have sent angels, but there's no record that many were ever visited and taught anything about God before they had contact with outside peoples.
I am perplexed by that question, but I suppose we could soemday be given further scriptures that describe God's dealings with various people :smile:
Why does He continue to let me struggle with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts? Sometimes the siren call of suicide says "come home" and I wonder if that's His voice I'm hearing. Why does life feel so empty and hopeless some days?
That describes my thoughts very well. But, due to a medication I started taking a year and a half ago, I no longer have thoughts of Heavenly Father calling me home. They were peaceful moments and I actually miss them.
And then there are the good days. The days when it feels like the sun is shining just for me. Days when the darkness and heaviness is lifted and I feel like I could jump for joy. There are days when peace washes over me and lets me know that everything is going to be okay...
Wow, I haven't felt like that in years. How can I feel that way?

common twit
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by common twit » 05 Feb 2014, 21:37

I hope I am not out of line with my comments and questions here but I feel a need for a little support. I don't want to start a new thread because it relates to this thread. It concerns mental illness.
Curtis, I read this blog post and I read your blog post. I have read the comments here. I did not realize there were so many like me here. About 30 years ago I was put in a mental institution for 5 weeks. I was diagnosed bi-polar. I was put on some pretty powerful drugs. They had little effect other than making me sick. About 20-25 years ago they tried zoloft and I got some relief. The problem I have now is I am maxed out on dosage. I hope I can hang on. About 6 years ago I thought I was done. I ended up making it through the next few painful days. Since then I have been pulling myself out of that hole. I don't feel like I have climbed up alone though. I went through the church's addiction program. I feel like it was there that I did find Jesus. (btw, I am a life long mormon and returned missionary so I thought I had already found jesus.)
I hope that little background can help somebody understand my questions. First, can a mentally ill person ever find happiness? I am not sure I understand what happiness is. I laugh a lot. I have fun but my heart aches a lot. For instance I love my kids but I hate being a dad. Fatherhood brings me down more than anything.
Along those same lines, by taking medication, I have evened out my life. I miss the highs of bipolar but the lows are just too low. Is there really any way to find happiness? I am mostly just trying to avoid unhappiness.
One of the side effects of my mental illness is that I feel there is nobody, including God, that loves me. I always feel like people just tolerate me. On the outside nobody in the world would even suspects this of me. I am the best actor in the world.
The final question I have is... How do I find happiness? I have tried to find it both in and out of the church. I believe I come closer through the church but rigidness just destroys my inner self.
If this is too much or the wrong place for this just let me know. I don't get offended easily.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Feb 2014, 11:58

Not too much at all, ct. Thanks for your open, honest comment.

I have to leave the computer for a while, but I hope others will see your questions and respond. There are people here who absolutely understand.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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journeygirl
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Re: A Raw, Searing, Beautiful Post about Depression and Fait

Post by journeygirl » 06 Feb 2014, 14:43

This idea of happiness is what I think started my faith crisis years ago. What I have come to believe is that happiness is not a common thing, nor is it a state of being. I think there can be happy moments in life, but they are usually things that we have to decide to interpret that way. I think having a mental illness can certainly make it harder to be able to interpret moments as happy, but I don't think people who don't have mental health problems are necessary more happy. I like the Buddhist teaching that "Life is Suffering" (I hope I got that reference right). I think suffering is the natural state of life, but humans are creative and have found ways to mitigate suffering and even create times and experiences of happiness.

The feelings you have that no one loves you, I think that is definitely the mental illness. We call them mental because they disrupt our ability to perceive things rationally or honestly. I've experienced severe depression--and I'll be honest--to the point of suicidal thoughts. When I was in that state of mind my thoughts seemed rational to me, but afterwards those negative thoughts did not. This is probably the worst part of a mental illness is how it takes that ability to think clearly away from us.

In sum, I think you have to decide to find happiness in things that can be perceived that way. I'm a parent too, and know how hard it can be, but I also know there are sometime sweet moments with children, and those could be things that you see as happiness. Or if you like nature, you can feel that peace it gives you and recognize that can be happiness. Or a hot bath, or watching a good movie. I think we are all good actors to some degree, since otherwise I'm not sure how the idea that happiness can be a state of being came about. I don't think anyone has that!

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