These friends are relieved when I tell them that self-examination, repentance, fasting and self-denial are challenging Lenten disciplines for me, too. That’s not because I’m particularly sinful, self-indulgent or lazy, although I can be all those things simultaneously. It’s because people who struggle with depression, and their children, can engage in self-examination in ways that are the opposite of what the church intends. Instead of looking honestly at ourselves and asking God to forgive and heal us, we may become trapped in self-loathing, unable to imagine a path toward holy growth. For too many, like my mother, depression is a fatal disease. The warped self-denial it engenders leads them, not to seek richer relationships with God and neighbors, but to reject life itself as they find its daily pain too much to bear.
for all friends, acquaintances, and family (gathered from Minnesota and Ohio, Canada and the UK, New York to Texas to Georgia and Washington, and so many places in between):
I am feeling so very blessed to have been loved by so many beautiful, faithful, goofy people for all of my 30 years. I very much wish I could stick pericopes here, but I know I’d forget a dozen important ones and I wish least of all for any ill feelings; those who have fallen in love with me, who have been on sports teams and drama casts with me, who have sat on the couch and have traveled and have drunk and made dinner and walked and learned with me–I am so, so very grateful to have met you and shared life with you. Continue reading →
I don’t have to regurgitate his biography here, he gave his own testimony in a book recently released, When Breath Becomes Air. His story is of spending decades preparing for the future–degrees and schooling–and then finding that the future won’t happen. As he travels through stages of grief, reflecting on the investments he’d made in his 30-some years, he finds, I think, that there isn’t too much he would have done differently. Continue reading →
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Exactly a year ago, up here in the mountains, I fell upon reading Katharine Welby’s blog, and began to admit to myself that I wasn’t “just blue” or “tired” or “having a tough week”–I was depressed.
Katharine Welby-Roberts had been suffering anxiety and depression for many years, and wrote with such clarity and compassion that I was both horrified (at how much I identified with her experiences) and comforted (there was actually something wrong, but it was something at least somewhat treatable which I was suffering, and which millions of others suffered too).
In the ensuing year, as has been cataloged in this very space, I’ve started medication, sought healing through less work and more prayer and yoga, and continue to pursue honesty along the path I trod.
So, a year out, I had my first anxiety attack in several weeks just yesterday. Continue reading →