Dealing With Depression

Written by Andrea Debruin

Contrary to the popular saying, time does not heal all things. Healing is not dependent on time but rather on applying the right medication or giving the right kind of attention to a wound. This concept of healing can be quite difficult to adopt. In North America in particular, the topic and process of pain is often ignored or minimized at all costs. Pain, loss and feelings of grief are minimized because there is this idea that expressing these feelings is a portrayal of weakness.

There is a tension in embracing our humanness in the culture that we live in. We might ask ourselves, “If I can’t be independent or strong how can I be successful?” This mentality of success is ingrained into us. We are taught to move on and to move on quickly because that is all the time we can afford to spend.

Depression

This way of dealing with life’s ups and downs poses quite a threat to our emotional and mental health. When the build-up of unprocessed pain becomes too great we can become depressed. When we believe being strong means denying our emotions we lose out on life and the potential of its fullness.

Depression is excruciating because it affects the totality of a human being: the psyche is affected (mind, will, emotions) as well as the physical body. Living with depression is painful because the mind and emotions are in a constant state of turmoil. It is important to get relief from this internal pain. In our culture there are many ways we can choose to medicate the pain instead of feeling it: eat more, eat less, have sex, go online, take drugs, drink, or shop. There are so many things that can distract us from the gnawing feeling of depression. What would it look like if we were countercultural and found a different way to respond to pain?

Defining loss

Depression can be inherited genetically but for those with no family history, depression often occurs because of a significant amount of loss. We can experience a variety of losses during our lifetime—the death of a loved one, the tragedy of a broken relationship, financial distress, dashed dreams or physical illness. The list goes on and on. How many of us do our crying in isolation for fear of being labeled as weak or a “baby”? The reality is that there are many valid reasons to cry. Pain is a natural response to turmoil.  There’s no reason to be afraid or ashamed of our tears.

During a season of depression it is important to discover what the root of the loss is. When we can succeed in pinpointing the loss we are propelled further into a journey of self-awareness and healing. Take a risk and ask yourself the tough questions: “Where does it hurt”? “What am I so sad about?” “What am I so angry about?”

Embracing grief

Why is it so important to define what the loss is?  Defining the loss makes it easier to grieve. Choosing to walk into this darkness instead of running away from it requires an incredible amount of courage. As we choose to embrace the pain of our losses the tears can start falling. As you are experiencing the magnitude of these emotions—don’t panic. What you feel is a natural and human response to pain: grief, loneliness and sadness. The reason why the emotions feel so intense is because there is a multitude of them and they have been locked up for some time.

Letting go

One common fear in depression is that it won’t get better or it will only get worse once we start embracing our emotions or pain. This is a lie. When we choose to embrace the losses there is a doorway to freedom. Once we have grieved the losses despair looses its clutch on the heart and we can start to breathe again. In breathing again we can let go. It’s like all these weights that the heart and mind have been carrying are lifted. Life finally starts to feel peaceful again as the heart and mind are at ease.

In letting go, it doesn’t mean that we forget the past. No, the past and its losses are real. In letting go, we can look back and remember but it doesn’t hurt so deeply anymore because we have learned to move on in a healthy way. Once we have grieved our pain, we can let it go.

Are you ready to heal?

 After you have been in the season of grieving you will naturally enter into the season of healing. In this season of growth and wholeness it is good to be in community with family and friends. Even while you are on the climb upward, don’t be afraid to shed tears again or with others. Tears are like layers of the soul—eventually the heart becomes empty of all the pain or the tears.

While healing, focus on doing things that you enjoy, things that give you life. Learn to live in community and allow yourself to come out of the hibernation of grief. In this upward phase you will start to catch glimpses of hope and the little things in life that are special.

If you are depressed and you know that you need to embrace pain—be encouraged; there is hope for you. No, it won’t be easy. But there are a couple things that you can do while you accept the process of this tough season. Remember to keep your loved ones close. While you dive into processing and looking at the pain and wounds hold onto the hope that you will come out.

What heals wounds or any affliction of pain is love. Love binds up wounds. It may hurt to let the wound into the light but you can be sure that when your wound meets life and love—you will heal. If you want to be a strong person, even in this culture, fully risk embracing your humanness. Risk embracing the true reality of life, which brings the whole gamut of experiences: suffering, loss, joy, hope, dancing, crying, living, breathing and dying. No matter how terrifying it may feel, in choosing to be present with your emotions you choose a better life.

 Take the next step:

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83 Responses to “Dealing With Depression”

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, I’m not here enough to answer that question tonight…But I will answer it as soon as I am more aware here…I am just not there tonight…Too much else going on right now and I need to attempt to get some sleep pretty soon here..so yea–I will get back to you when I am more aware and stuff in order to answer this question. Have a good evening.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Karen, That is good that you have seen some answers from God. What have those been?

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, I ask Him what He wants me to learn from situations, I ask Him to watch over my family and friends, I ask Him what He wants me to make as a priority, I ask Him to help me try and make sense of different things, I ask Him how He wants me to respond to the people who come to me with different things they need to talk about and how He wants me to answer those people or encourage those people who come to me with things. I’ve done almost all of those things you have mentioned–and I still feel like not much is getting answered. Though, I do realize that there are a couple things getting answered–that I’ve noticed here and there…So yea. More to come later.. Have a good evening.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Karen, when you talk with God what kinds of things do you ask Him? I have found that often my tendency is to talk at God rather than talking with Him. I have a list of things that I think He should do and I get so focused on that list that I forget to ask Him what He wants for me and what He wants me to make as a priority. I am trying hard to make my prayer life more like “God what do You need me to understand from this situation?” “How do you want me to respond to this person?” “What things are important to You?” The more I do that and listen for God’s leading me the more I find Him answering those prayers.

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, I talk to God a lot and ask Him things–It feels like He hasn’t answered many of them—Some moments I do realize some things though–like good works and such–like today—I was able to enjoy playing a round of disc golf–nice weather–exercise—a nice combination…So–I do recognize some good things…just not very many…and even if I do–it doesn’t mean it puts me in a good mood or makes me happy or whatever you want to call it—but anyways–That is all I have to say right now…have a good evening

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    And yet Karen, that is what He has said. So either God is lying or He is doing things in your life that you are not aware of. I personally choose the latter.

    Let me give you a challenge: throughout your day, in every circumstance, talk to God and ask Him to show you what good works He has prepared for you in that moment. Maybe in some moments it will be to thank Him for something that is good in your life. Maybe in another moment it will be to smile and say “Hi” to someone on the street who has a sad face. Maybe in another moment it will be to tell the truth when a lie would be simpler. Maybe in another moment it will be to do some exercise or eat a healthy meal. God has said that He has prepared in advance good works for you to do so if you go into every situation looking for those good things, ask for His help to obey, trust that He will help, and thank Him when He does perhaps you will begin to recognize Him at work more and more.

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, um…I don’t think God has really prepared me for anything good right now—-if he did—he would have taken all this stuff away from me by now—least–that’s kind of how I feel—If he has planned something for me—then He should take all this other stuff away and tell me right now what He is keeping me around for….or what He has out there for me or prepared for me or whatever it’s called…right now–I don’t feel like He is doing anything to transform my life–even with me reading the Bible and praying…almost constantly…for someone else as well as for myself too…If He wants me to do something or is preparing me for something great–then I wish He would just get on with it and do it and show me because my patience and faith are waring thin with it right now–with Him–with everything… So yea…

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Karen, let me recommend that rather than trying to process HOW God can help you overcome struggles, put your effort into LETTING HIM overcome your struggles. The Bible is not full of how He accomplishes things but tells about the things He does accomplish and how we can trust fully in His provision, protection and purpose for us. Paul wrote that you are “God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He has prepared in advance for you to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) God has already planned for how he is going to transform your life and use you to accomplish great things for His kingdom. You need to focus your attention on knowing Him and hearing His voice so that you can follow where He leads you into those things that He has prepared for you.

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, I think it will take a life time in itself for me to be able to process how God can help me overcome any of the struggles I am facing. I have a lot. And they really aren’t letting up much on me—even in reading the Bible and praying and stuff too–they aren’t letting up…I decided to stay in DBT though–which is a start I guess—but who knows…that took a lot to do though…Still a lot of problems in the group–but it seems to be getting a tiny bit easier….not much—but a tiny bit…Lots happened—just–in general though–been struggling quite a bit—the past few days I have honestly/seriously felt like I have absolutely nothing left in me to give to anyone….absolutely nothing to give….so yea–that is kind of where things stand right now…physically am not doing well–the fibro has been kicking my butt..and either I am getting sick with a cold or my allergies are starting up or a combination of both things—which doesn’t help much—but it does happen…though–the biggest thing right now is just the feeling/thought I have that I have absolutely nothing left in me to give, to anyone…So, I don’t know how else to put it–or say it…That’s the best way I can explain it…anyways–God Bless.. <3

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Karen, how has things been going recently? Have you been able to process how God can help you overcome the struggles you are facing?

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, Wow…I did not even know there was a reply to my last message on April 12th..It did not come through my e-mail like it usually would do if there is a reply..hmm…Thank you for replying though. I am sorry I did not see this sooner. Apparently, this was/is not a part of the Bible I have gone too far into depth on.It’s not a surprise that the Devil is real and is trying to destroy my relationship with Jesus. I am very aware that the Devil is real and that He is trying to destroy my relationship with God…Apparently, Satan is doing just that with me currently… and seems to be winning more than God is with me….at the current moment. So–it is no surprise to me…But anyways–thanks for sharing those verses…I like them…And again–I am sorry I did not see that last reply sooner—I will have to update you on more next time or something… <3 God Bless you all.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    :) that’s alright Karen, I assume that this is a part of the Bible that you have not explored before? Is it a surprise to you that the Devil is real and is trying to destroy your relationship with Jesus? That was a huge part of Jesus ministry here on Earth. We read many stories through the Gospels of Jesus confronting demons and Himself being tempted by Satan. The encouraging part of all that is just as Jesus had ultimate power over the physical world (i.e. healing illness and disease, calming the storms of nature, turning water into wine, etc.) so was He able to exercise ultimate power over the spiritual world. He resisted all of Satan’s temptations and He was always superior in His interactions with demons who had been tormenting humans.

    Jesus promise to his followers is that He now gives to us the Spirit of God so that through Him we now have that same power to be victorious in the spiritual realm. His last words to His disciples that we read in Acts 1 were “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power” (Acts 1:8) In another place Jesus said, “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!… I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.” (John 14:12-17)

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, I have no words for your reply. It is a lot to take in and a lot to think about as well. I don’t know what the best words to use would be…I wish I had words–and I am not even sure why I don’t have the words for it.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Ok Karen, let me go back a bit; you accepted Jesus into your life at a retreat when you were in your early teens. As you have matured your understanding of what happened at that retreat has probably also become clearer for you. Would you say that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to Earth to help us all realize that we have all turned our backs toward God and need His help? Do you believe that Jesus died in your place to pay the penalty for your rebellion against God and then was raised back to life so that you can live with Him guiding your thoughts, attitudes and actions and having control of the decisions and choices you make every day? Do you know that when life here is over you will go to live with Jesus forever? That’s what Paul is saying when he wrote, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10) Is that the commitment you have made?

    If it is then you can have confidence that even though our enemy the Devil wants to try to distract, discourage and destroy our faith, Jesus is our protection and strength. When we are trying to get to a place of health and genuine relationship with Jesus, Satan is going to try to stop that. He will bring temptation, aggravation, conflict and suffering to rattle our trust in Jesus. Our response to that is to realize that Jesus is our strength and look to Him for help, power and guidance to resist the Devil’s attempts. The verses that I shared with you from Ephesians about how our struggle is not against human forces but against the works of our enemy in the Spiritual realm, is followed by some very helpful images of how Jesus helps us to stand against the attacks of the Devil. In light of the attacks from Satan, Paul encourages us to “put on the full Armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13) He uses the imagery of armor to represent spiritual protection that is available to us through Jesus.

    First off is the “belt of truth”. The list of verses that are linked on http://www.fathersloveletter.com/text.html is a good way of putting on the belt of truth because they will help you to remember how much God loves you and His promises to care for your needs. Satan always wins when get disconnected from the Truth of God. We can be so easily swayed to whatever lies he would throw at us. But when we are going back again and again to the Truth of God in the Bible we are able to withstand Satan’s attacks because we know what is true. That’s what Jesus did when He was being tempted by Satan: every lie that Satan threw at Him Jesus was able to ignore because He used the Truth from the Bible to reveal the fallacy of Satan’s statements. Surround yourself with God’s Truth so that it is easy to use when Satan starts trying to deceive you.

    Next is the “breastplate of righteousness”. This is what we have received from Jesus when He died for our sins. Paul wrote, “God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2Corinthians 5:21) Jesus took our sin upon Himself and in exchange gave us His righteousness, the moral perfection of God Himself. God righteousness is an in corruptible righteousness that cannot be compromised in any way. Satan will often try to discourage us by pointing to the sin in our life and try to suggest that God would never accept us with those imperfections. But the reality is, Jesus’ death paid for all of those sins and we now stand before God pure and without any imperfections at all. Satan can accuse but for the follower of Jesus there is no condemnation anymore. And because Jesus now lives in us He helps us to live out that perfection. He guides our thoughts, attitudes and actions so that we do not sin as long as we look to Him for that help. Often we take our eyes off Him and we make mistakes but as long as we keep looking to Jesus to show us how He wants us to live we can avoid the pitfalls of sin in our lives. That is the “breastplate of righteousness”.

    That is followed up by “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace”. This is a willingness to allow Jesus to direct us into any situation of life. It is an awareness that God has a plan for your life and so being prepared to follow Him wherever He leads and doing whatever He directs you to do. Jesus was a great example of this in that He only did those things that He saw the Father do (John 5:19) and said only those things that God told Him to say (John 12:49-50). That should be our goal as well.

    We are also called to “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16) Faith is our trust in the all-sufficient goodness of God knowing that He is, that He cares for us and that He will keep all of His promises to us in His perfect time. Satan will try to discourage and destroy our relationship with God by undermining our trust in the goodness of God. That’s what he did in the Garden of Eden when he lied and said that God was afraid that Adam and Eve would become just like God if they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He does the same with all of us. He will make suggestions like “God can’t hear you” or “God doesn’t care about you” or “God won’t protect you” or “God could never forgive you”. But with the Shield of Faith we can stand firm and declare “I believe God will…” because we trust in the goodness of God.

    Paul then tells us to “take the helmet of salvation”. By keeping in mind our salvation from sin and death we are able to prioritize things well. Our decisions become directed by Jesus. Our actions come from an attitude of thankfulness for our salvation. Our interactions with other people are influenced by the grace that God has shown us and motivated by a desire to help them discover the truth of Jesus as well.

    We are also instructed to take up the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”. The Bible is our primary tool for dealing with life. From it we are able to judge what measures up with what God has revealed and what is a lie from Satan. The Bible helps us to develop a sensitivity to the voice of God so that we can recognize Him when He speaks to us. The Bible is a powerful tool for helping other people discover the Truth of Jesus.

    Finally we are called to “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” This is how we build our relationship with God, by talking to Him and listening to Him. Every moment there is something else to talk to God about: to thank Him for a gift or blessing, asking His direction in a decision, interceding on behalf of someone else, confiding in Him about a pain or struggle, asking His forgiveness, or learning more about who He is. Every second of our lives we should have our attention directed to Jesus to discover what He wants for us in that moment. At work I have a co-worker come with an issue I need to deal with and in my mind I ask God to help me handle this well. At home my kids are having a fight and I send off a quick prayer for help to mediate their conflict. In traffic I hear on the radio of some international crisis and I ask God to intervene. I am at the store and I ask God to help me choose wisely what I buy. In every occasion I can pray in the Spirit and thus allow God to direct my every thought, attitude and action.

    All of this “spiritual armor” is just an image of how Jesus protects us from the attacks of Satan. It helps us better understand how our relationship with Jesus is all-encompassing. So for you Karen, when Satan uses the chaos of your DBT meetings to try and discourage your efforts for health and wholeness, you have access to the protection of Jesus. Make use of His “armor” to fend off the attacks of the Devil.

    Does that make sense?

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, I still am re reading that reply over and over again—I’m not sure I understand the concept of it all–or what exactly you are trying to get across to me. I’m pretty confused–I don’t even know how to answer that last question you asked…this question: “Karen, does that kind of commitment to Jesus effectively reflect your relationship with Him? Have you surrendered control of your life into His hands?” I’m not really sure how to answer that question even…love the verses you selected–but yet, I am not sure I even understand those verses fully…you said that some of the things going on might be going on because I am trying to move to a healthier/better lifestyle…I feel like that will never happen. No matter what I do whilst trying to move forward to a healthier life…why is it affecting me so much? ***This is something you said: “When a person is making positive choices and moving towards a closer relationship with God those spiritual forces that are opposed to God are going to try and discourage, distract and defeat. It could be that the difficulties you have been having are the result of those efforts.” You said that and I am wondering how come those spiritual forces opposed to God–how come it is affecting me so—why do I feel like God is letting this continue and letting it happen? I feel like I am going insane…maybe I am…I don’t know–but anyways—that’s the best replies I can come up with right now. So yea—As far as the group facilitator calling me today–she did—but I missed the call–she left me a message and kind of let me know what was going to happen in group tomorrow to address the situation that happened on Tuesday in group….I tried calling her back but got her voice mail…so I left her a message…but she didn’t get back to me–so–hopefully group won’t be cancelled tomorrow—so I can talk to her a little bit before group and stuff about it…so yea—Anyways—That is all I can say right now—Have a good evening and God Bless.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Karen, I am sorry that things went so poorly yesterday. I hope that your facilitator does call and you can get some clarity on what happened and how you can respond to it all.

    I am sorry that my reply has confused you so much. Is there something that I can do to clarify or answer any questions you have?

  • Karen says:

    Jamie—wow—I am just speechless after your reply. I honestly do not even know what to say–I’ve had to re read it like a million times—and I still don’t know how to reply to it. It’s a lot to take in and to think about too. I don’t know what to say to your reply. which is crazy–I usually have something to say to the replies–And I honestly don’t know what to say here–so I will just move on to something else here—I had DBT today–started out ok–but the 3rd hour–was terrible—all the other group members had a huge conflict—I was not part of the situation they were talking about–so only the group facilitator and myself were of sound mind–is that what I am looking for on how to explain it? But—as the arguing and yelling and screaming got more intense between the other 5 members of the group–it really triggered me—and shot my anxiety up a lot and my mood went way down—I went through about 40 different emotions in that 1 hr alone….and after group–I kind of lost it…It upset me so much–I cried a little bit—I wanted to talk to the facilitator after group but did not get the chance to—so I asked the intake coordinator to just let the group facilitator know that I was hoping to talk to her—but since I couldn’t–I asked the coordinator to ask the facilitator to call me tomorrow. So–I hope she does…Anyways–I still have a lot going on…and I am struggling quite a bit–Thank you for the prayers Jamie–I appreciate it—and I have to think about how I am going to reply to your reply from April 9th. God Bless…

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Karen, I am sorry that things have been so tough for you. I am sure that it is very discouraging to be working towards a healthier future but seem to get set back like that. One of the things that God tells us in the Bible is that there is a spiritual reality that we don’t usually see that is at work all around us. Paul wrote, “Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12) When a person is making positive choices and moving towards a closer relationship with God those spiritual forces that are opposed to God are going to try and discourage, distract and defeat. It could be that the difficulties you have been having are the result of those efforts.

    What Paul wants us to know is that while we may be ill-equipped to handle those forces, Jesus is more than capable and will empower us to stand firm when those attacks come. That is the value of the list of verse that I sent to you: when you feel those attacks coming and you are getting discouraged you can look to those verses to remind yourself of Jesus love for you and look to Him for help to overcome the discouragement and distractions. Paul wrote in another letter, “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” (Philippians 4:13) That strength is available to all who have surrendered their lives to the control of Jesus and have put their trust in His death to pay the penalty for their sins. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

    Lord God I pray for Karen and ask that she would look to You as the source of her strength. I pray that she would discover more and more what it means to have trust in Jesus and surrender to His control in her life. Set her free from the emotional weights that hold her down and affect her health so destructively. In Jesus’ name, amen.

    Karen, does that kind of commitment to Jesus effectively reflect your relationship with Him? Have you surrendered control of your life into His hands?

  • Karen says:

    Jamie–Thank you for the prayers as well as the link to those Bible verses. I appreciate it. The weekend was even harder for me–I did fall back into some harmful behaviors over it. I had DBT this morning–I went in and was ok at first–but as the 3 hrs dragged on I observed that I started going down fast–mood wise and such–my anxiety went up as well as several other things too. I noticed a huge change right at the end of group–mood wise–when I was to take time to talk–my mind was racing and it took a few minutes to stop it–did some deep breathing stuff–it helped for a short time. After DBT, I had IT…I noticed that my thoughts started racing again in IT…was able to sort of work through it and it helped for a short time–but then when I got home later–it started racing again until I laid down and just rested for a bit..but it’s been happening all day…not a fun place to be in–especially since all the thoughts racing through my mind are negative ones and the things going on in my life in general..I find I am feeling worthless and not worth being cared for–it’s just such a huge list of things going on and I am so tired of almost always feeling this way–and I am feeling like I want to just give up on everything—and I have been praying and trying to read some Bible verses and stuff and I still feel this way..it’s frustrating and so much more.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Karen, that is a real hard place to be when you don’t feel like you are worthy of being cared for. Let me remind you though that the Creator of the universe does care for you and love you exactly the way you are. There is a collection of bible verses that help remind me of how God feels about me (http://www.fathersloveletter.com/text.html). You might find it helpful to keep this close by and ask Him to remind you of the truth of these verses. If He cares for you then you are infinitely worth caring for.

    Heavenly Father, reveal Your love for Karen once again. Show her how you see her and Your desire to walk through all of life together with her. Help dispel the lies that undermine her worth and fill her heart and mind with the truth of Your unlimited love for her. Amen.

  • Karen says:

    Barbara, Thank you for the prayer and such. I appreciate it–kind of been another day like yesterday–just not feeling ok–and losing it every so often–throughout the day. Find myself in a place where I am thinking/feeling like I’m not worth being cared about by anyone–am not sure where that is coming from either–I just find myself in that position at the moment–and in a spot where I want to or feel like I am going to fall back into behaviors that could be harmful to me in some way or another–feelings though–strong feeling and thoughts–but that’s all it is–feelings and thoughts–but nonetheless–I find myself in that place right now–I don’t know—I am trying to keep myself distracted–not an easy task when you have such strong feelings and such at the magnitude I am feeling them. Does that even make sense? I am about to lose it again here–so–for now–this is where I will leave it–I will try and write a little more after next reply..have a good evening..

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Dear Karen,

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend passing away. That alone is hard to deal with on top of the other issues taking place in your life. May you rest asure that your friend is absent from the body and present with the Lord.

    I totally understand and can relate to your “holding it all together” and then having a “break-down”. I dealt with similar circumstances yesterday with holding things in. Then felt so overwhelmed with multiple issues…the floodgates to my heart opened and I too lost control of my emotions. The tears came gushing out as I prayed to God and talked with a close friend. Reality is, even those that are trying our best to move on in things that God is calling us to do…have times of slipping in our emotions and need to open up and share those crippling emotions with a good person who understands. I am praying that as the sun breaks through this new day…my inner spirit arises and shall sing a new song, again!

    My prayer is the same to you. May you know that although you lost a dear, close friend…you have many others here that care about you too! May God pour His Love, Joy, and Peace in your inner most being today!

  • Karen says:

    Barbara, I have read tons of books on eating disorders and articles and such–I have a whole bunch of stuff I have read about them–I’ve done research and everything on them–lots of it…so yea…As far as beginning to envision my life as being joyful and fulfilling–That’s a lot harder for me to do–I find it really hard to do–because I feel like my life will never be that…even with how much I want it to be and what I am trying to do to make it like that–I still feel like it never will be that–as far as what I do on a daily basis that brings a greater sense of peace and joy–nothing really does that for me–what I do on a daily basis to help with it–is mostly just distracts–that’s all it is–is distractions–whether those things bring a sense of peace and joy–sometimes they do–but much of the time–not so much–I am really trying to build a life for myself that is more joyful and fulfilling–it is almost impossible–that’s what it feels like–especially with the kind of issues I am dealing with and have been dealing with for many many years–and it feels like almost nothing can make them better–almost nothing–I would’ve hoped that getting more into God’s word and such would help this stuff–but even that is not helping much–that’s what it feels like–and maybe that’s just what I am feeling right now because of something that happened the other day–that has saddened me a great deal and has made me depressed and more—one of my really good friends who I knew on line passed away recently. Like within the last 3 days or so—she had cancer and lost her battle–and she was just a little bit younger than me. And it really has saddened me- I am glad she’s not suffering anymore–but it really hurts because we were such good friends and I also was one of the last ones to find out about it and she was so young too. I had DBT this morning and I held it together until I did a check in with the group facilitator during one of the breaks–then I lost it there and I cried–then went back to group–held it together about half way through the group and then lost it a second time. Anyways–I really don’t know what else to say right now..I just–am about to lose here again–I will watch for other replies…Have a good evening

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Hi Karen, sorry to hear that it has been “Hit or Miss” with your mentor. May you know that we are always here for you whenever you desire to open up and share what is on your heart and mind. Have you read any books regarding eating disorders? I read one a few months ago that talked about divorcing “Ed”…it was very interesting to read. How life could improve once we are willing to say, “Goodbye Ed”. It is so scary to say “good bye” to something that has been a part of our life. When I was battling with ‘BDD’, I could never imagine how life could be without such a debilitating disorder. However, little by little, God worked with me in saying farewell to that which tried to destroy me so I could embrace the better life He desired for me to live. Have you begun to envision your life being more joyful and fulfilling? What things do you do on a daily basis that brings you a greater sense of peace and joy?

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, It’s kind of been Hit and Miss with the mentor–which is understandable–I get busy, she gets busy or gets behind on messages and such. It happens. We try to work around it as we can. But anyways–As far as how things are going for me–I have been busy with things. Treatment stuff mostly–trying to build a life for myself and not succeeding at it. The usual–Failing miserably at a lot of things–Little progresses here and there–but mostly failing miserably–dealing with a lot of pain with the Fibromyalgia..with the way the weather is changing so drastically as of late. Um–questioning DBT group still–have finished with long term treatment at the ED clinic–but if I start getting worse again–I am to call them still and try to get in–I am relapsing again with it–which I knew was going to happen as soon as I finished there–I just know me and my body and how it was going to react to it…so yea–Tuesday and Wednesday night were really hard for me–they were really bad nights–but anyways–that’s about all I have right now for you. Have a good evening–will watch for replies.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Karen, have you been able to get in touch with your mentor? How are things going for you?

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, Yea, I was pretty sure I was connected with a mentor already–thank you for checking and confirming it for me. As far as DBT goes–I’m questioning if it is the healthiest/safest setting for me considering where I am at right now–too many similar issues–too many triggering things—and I don’t trust any of the other group members and I don’t think I want to let them into my world of he** as I call it—nor let them understand me either—I don’t trust them and haven’t from the beginning…that’s not the only thing going on with that though–the other day we went over what a safe and unsafe group looks like and feels like and such because of some things that came up in group– and I find I feel more unsafe then anything in the group…and then that falls into some of the other things that happened in the last couple sessions that got me to this point of where I’m questioning it…so yea…I’ve given 3 months to this and you’d think that I would be more comfortable and feel safe by now–and I don’t….the first 6 weeks I was told are the hardest—They were hard–but I’ve given 3 months to this now and I still don’t feel safe or comfortable nor do I trust the other members of the group…Facilitator I get along with and can handle fine–but the rest of the group–no–not so much…so–I really don’t know what to do right now–am kind of confused about it all…so yea…I have talked to the facilitator about some of this–we are trying to figure out what is going to be the most helpful and effective for me and stuff—but it’s not going well—like everything else is not going well either…but anyways–am in the early stages of questioning myself on it…but each time–the questioning it gets stronger and stronger….but anyways–that is all I have at the current moment for you…

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Karen, I did check and you do have a mentor; it’s Brenda. You connected to her through TheHopeLine.com. We have a partnership with them to provide online mentoring for people that come to their site, call into their call center, or call in to Dawson McAllister’s radio show. That is great that you have a number of people that are helping to support you. That is such a big part of healing.

    I understand that there are a lot of things going on in your DBT group that seem to be negatively impacting your own growth but before you step away from that let me encourage you to consider the benefits as well that you receive from this group. I know that for a lot of people part of the learning that happens in group work is through the problems and conflicts that are there. Yes they can be painful and cause some backsliding but you will run into similar kinds of personality conflicts in other areas of your life as well, but when it happens in group you have the support of all the other group members and the leader to help you figure out the healthiest way to respond. In regular life you don’t have that kind of support. So in group you have the chance to learn in a safe environment so that when it happens in other areas of life you have more tools available for you to respond in a healthier way.

    Let me encourage you to talk to you group leader about the struggles you are having and ask for help to know who to respond well in those situations.

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, I think I am connected with a mentor already–I think–thank you for the website though, Appreciate it, the situation with my cousin is taken care of now—so a little better with that–yet—not doing very good myself at the same time—with like DBT and such–I had a huge issue with it today–and I am honestly now questioning if the DBT group is a healthy setting for me right now or not? Considering some of the things that went on in group today and yesterday too…I find myself wondering if DBT is making things worse instead of better–if I leave group feeling worse off then going in–that’s not going to be effective or anything. If I am feeling unsafe in the group setting for whatever reason and there are a lot–is this group more damaging then helpful to me at this time? Is this DBT group a healthy setting for me if almost everything triggers me and they expect me to do more than I feel like I need to do or should have to do if I’ve already agreed to what I need to and have followed almost all the rules….does that make sense even? I don’t know if this DBT group is a healthy setting for me right now for where I am currently at with things. I have given it time and some days it’s ok and other days, most days, It is not doing anything for me…but seeming to put me in a worse place then when I went in to it on any given day–I’ve given a little over 3 months to this at 9 hrs a week..and I don’t know if it’s just unwillingness or if it’s a combination of several different things that are making me question whether it is the safest setting for me right now or not or if I just need to focus on and do just like the 1 on 1 therapy type stuff instead of both the group and 1 on 1 stuff or just take a leave of absence for a time or something…I really am confused right now as to what I should do…but anyways—Thank you for the prayers Jamie, I really do appreciate it–and I think I am connected with a mentor….I think–is there any way that that could be checked on and known for sure if I am or not?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Lord I pray for Karen as she tries to discern Your plan for her regarding this relative. I pray that Karen would know the way that You want her to connect with this relative’s parents and how to do that without compromising her own health. Give her strength and peace in the middle of all this new turmoil in her life.

    Father I also ask that You would help her to find a place to receive spiritual support. Bring people into her life who can help her to focus on You more and more in her life. Help her to know the moving of Your Spirit in her and to be able to respond to His direction and care. Amen.

    Hey Karen, let me invite you to connect with one of our Online Mentors. They can be a big help in spiritual issues and knowing God better. They can help you in prayer, reading the Bible and discerning what God is saying to you. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ and one of them will contact you by email. It would be private and confidential so you can share more details about the struggles you are facing.

  • Karen says:

    Jamie, it’s not a self fulfilling prophesy really. It’s inevitable that in my case specifically, there will be huge relapses, even in fixing my eyes on the Lord and my thoughts on all that is mentioned in those particular verses. Mindset is a part of it for sure, but it is also inevitable that there is going to be relapses–and huge ones at that. Not just in my case, but other people who deal with this kind of stuff, it’s the same way for them as my thing. Some can get through it and heal from it and such, but others will struggle all their lives and endure a lot of relapses, especially when such a huge part of a support system is gone or being taken away. Just that alone, transitioning fully from one place to another of less experienced people in certain issue and less support for whatever that specific issue is–is a huge causing factor as to why people do have such huge relapses–even if they believe in God and what those verses say and everything. Such a huge change like that before a person is ready or where they need to be before being released from such a program to a group of people inexperienced with a specific issue and who don’t know what to do to help, can be a huge causal factor for relapsing as well. For me, I have most of the professional supports I need in place, but one major professional support thing I will need, I have not been able to find the right thing yet with that. Other support things that would help me be successful, I’m not sure where to go with that. I just know that I need more than what I do have set in place already. In different aspects of things–if that even makes sense. Though–in all-God is the most important–I think I will need more of that spiritual support stuff as one of the most important things–as I am not doing as well with this part as I should be doing–which is a huge part of everything. That’s the best way I can explain it right now. Anyways–Last night a situation came up that is very hard for me to deal with and is very tiggering too, and because it came up to me and it was regarding another family member–I am the only one this situation with this family member–I am the only one of her relatives that the situation was brought to and now, the responsibility lies on me to have to somehow make her parents aware of it and I am not sure how to go about doing it and I have to do something about it as soon as possible too–because it’s some pretty serious stuff–it is jeopardizing me though in the process too–hence that it’s some pretty triggering stuff–but since I’m the only relative it was brought to–I now have to figure out and figure out quick how to make her parents aware of the situation but also have to figure out quick how to go about doing it without jeopardizing myself too. So–I don’t know–I have a lot of emotions going right now…am just not sure how to go about doing what I need to do for the situation and do it without jeopardizing myself too.

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