Finding Light in Depression by Lori Miller

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miller_loriSo, I’ve been a little depressed lately. I get this way sometimes. It’s frustrating because there is no reason to be in a bad mood. Life is unchanged and all is good. But no matter how hard I try to talk myself out of it, the darkness still creeps in and sucks the life right out of my happiness. Before I know it, I’m surrounded. I can’t see my way around. The darkness is now my world. When I get this way, I don’t want to be around people. I want to hide in my dark world and let it conquer me for a little while. I know I need to make an effort to let in some light, but I lack the will to do so. All of my effort to live goes into my kids- trying to hide the darkness inside of me from them.

I especially despise the way the darkness conquers me spiritually. I lack the will to pray. I lack the will to be inspired. I lack the will to be happy in God’s presence- to be awed by his awesomeness. I let the darkness smother the fire that usually burns with great fury for my Lord. I surrender to the world and to my humanity. I do not rise to the challenge anymore. And out of my lack of fire, cold hard guilt is born. I hold onto the guilt and let its coldness seep into my world of darkness.  Lately, I have noticed that with each new plunge into my dark world, I feel more conquered spiritually. It seems that with every step I take towards the Lord in my moments of happiness, that many more moments are stolen from me in these battles with the darkness. With each new round of depression, I grow guiltier, more sullen and angrier with the life that is taken from me. The turning point to the war being waged in my soul is drawing near. I almost feel as if I may be split in two.

I know that the Lord has not abandoned me in these moments, but rather I have taken a step or two away from the Lord. I have let the darkness cloud the path where I normally walk. That blinding darkness has stolen the prize I normally see at the end of the road and banished the light that illuminates my path to claim it. But now that I have taken these steps away from the light, how do I find my way back? How do I find the light when all I can see is darkness? When depression attacks, my rational is gone. I know with my intellect what makes sense, but my emotions do not reflect any kind of rational thought. I find it very frustrating to be in a place where my emotions have no reason to react the way they do. But I am blessed with a very logical mind. And even though my emotions want to live in the darkness, my mind tells me that there is light- if I ask. All I have to do is call upon it. This choice is my saving grace- as long as I can muster the will to ask.

This time, my journey out of the darkness began with my run at the gym. For the first time since the darkness trapped me, the will to pray arose. Since I wasn’t feeling well, I prayed that the Lord would help me get through my 3 mile run. I ran 7 miles in 75 minutes burning 770 calories. The sevens were His message to me that He is here and cares about what matters to me regardless of my recent distance from Him. My run wasn’t helping anyone but myself and he gave me the ability to go way beyond my expectations.

Soon after, my dear friend invited me to a charismatic prayer meeting which was the last place my guilty, cold, dark world wanted to be. I had been before and I was taken aback by their courage and faith in their prayer. They are very open to the Holy Spirit and proclaim their experiences as they happen without hesitation or reflection- without all the questioning that usually goes on in my mind when the Lord speaks to my heart. Their courage is amazing to me and it’s something I did not think was in my future to experience. So, I wasn’t sure if I should go back.  I put it on the shelf of future things I may consider being a part of.  However, out of my dark world, I heard the Lord calling me to go. He spoke to me in songs on the radio and in the voice of my child.  He made it clear where I was supposed to be on Thursday at 7:00 p.m..  So, reluctantly, I went.  During the songs of praise, I had scenes pop into my head. And during their sharing, I knew that I was supposed to share what I saw.  Inspite of my distance, the Lord did speak to me like He speaks to them. I am not made to sit and admire, but to participate. My light was turned back on and I could finally see my way out of the darkness. I pray that my courage to walk towards the light will soon follow.

I don’t know if this will be my last battle, or if the war has just begun. I don’t know if the darkness will steal anymore of my light or of my life. I don’t know if I will always come out okay at the end. But I do know that Jesus will never leave my side. That he will always be near me. I may not always see him with the darkness seeps in. I may not always feel his presence when I allow the coldness to envelop me. But I will always know that he will light my candle if I can muster enough will to ask. He is the master of miracles, and in these moments, I feel I am his greatest task.  May my experiences of darkness ultimately bring Him glory for this is the purpose for which I am existing.

Copyright 2010 Lori Miller

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5 Comments

  1. Beautiful article. As someone who suffers from depression (and has for many, many years), I understand totally. Nobody can fully appreciate the darkness until they have experienced it. I wish you all the best. Hang in there! 🙂

  2. Be at peace and let all of us in the Body of Christ carry you. I suffer from depression myself and know how I can twist it into somehow being my fault, bearing some guilt for neglecting God. You are not. You have remarkable courage to say something here and the grace to let us be of help by being your prayer support. God is right there and you help all of us by your witness and by your letting go and letting us carry your prayer load.

  3. Brian K Kravec on

    Lori – Thank you for courage. I too carried a similar cross of darkness for many years. I battled the temptation to self loathing/blame by formally uniting my suffering to the suffering of Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary – Redemptive Suffering. Satan hates it when we do this. He much less ability to make our knots tighter than they already are. I hope to write about this soon for Lisa and CatholicMom readers.

    Check out http://www.consecration.com specifically, Knights at the Foot of the Cross

    In the Light of the Two Hearts,

    brian

  4. Your words spoke to my heart and lifted my spirits. It helps to know that others struggle with a similar fear of the cloak of sadness which often comes ‘out of left field’ and takes all my strength to push back into its corner.

    All the best to you.

  5. Pingback: A Knight at the Foot of the Cross by Brian K. Kravec | CatholicMom.com

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