The Face of Depression | Churchjudge

Reblogged here in its entirety, with permission of the author. Originally posted Here.

Some of us are very practiced with our masks. We’ve done this a long, long time. But sometimes there are cracks in our armor that let the inner-us show through just a bit. We might bite your head off if you tell us our shoe is untied or we might just slink away when you compliment us because even praise can hurt at the wrong moment when our emotions are doing cartwheels. We’re tired all the time. Sometimes we don’t have the energy to do anything for ourselves, much less for someone else.

On Monday morning we drag ourselves out of bed and go into the same old job that everyone would complain about and we go through the day like any other day. We get the job done and we try to enjoy something about it. An intellectual or physical challenge that’s overcome is often a satisfying internal reward. We eat lunch, talk on the phone with suppliers and clients and the middlemen. And we’re respected. We do our job well. People count on us to be strong. But hidden at the back of the top desk drawer is a bottle of legitimately prescribed pills that we know would kill us in an hour if we took a few and hid in the bathroom. You see, we’re in a lot of pain inside and we dare not tell anyone. They’re not safe. It would just lead to ridicule, questions, job uncertainty, and unfamiliarity. At least we understand the misery of living with chronic depression. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. We know the monsters well.

At home the kids have left a mess on the table and the wife is going to be late and we suddenly have to fix dinner for five but can’t handle being our own self, much less cooking. We’re exhausted from keeping the Head Monsters at bay all day and need to curl up and sleep for about a year. Oh, the kids are screaming at each other. Great. Why do I bother to live another minute, we think. And we think about the handgun and how fast things would be done and over with and we’d finally get out of the hell of being trapped in our own skull and call the pizza place.

Somehow we survived the week to make it to Sunday and we teach the Sunday School lesson, somehow, and we know we could never in a million years tell anyone we are desperately struggling with depression. We have for years. We would lose all their respect and nobody would understand and they will only tell us to pray harder or ask what sin is making us depressed or it will be proof we’re not even a Christian. And we know we dare not talk to our pastor because his wife is the church’s Gossip Delivery System, and he tells her everything. Of course, the sermon is about money and all the kids need braces that insurance won’t cover and we need surgery that will cost at least ten Grand out-of-pocket. But we’re made to feel like we’re evil if we don’t tithe. And we’d better forget asking the church for help with the groceries this month or they’ll check the books and see we’ve not given anything in eight weeks and think we’re terrible, back-sliding Christians. And we want to go to that one seldom used closet at church and hang ourselves with a belt.

We have people who say they’re our friends but we never hear from them because we’re not much fun anymore. We can hide behind the masks but our friends usually know something’s wrong before we do. Then there are the friends who only want happy-us. They can’t handle any part of the real us. And then we find out who our friends really are when a family member dies and not one of them shows up at the funeral for a little support. None of them send a card or call. Why can we be there for everyone but when we need someone, a kind word would do, where are they? And we die inside a little more. And we keep going it alone.

The wife? All she does is ask questions we can’t answer. She’s trying to help but the constant barrage of questions makes things worse and we know if we tell her the truth she’ll ask more questions and that will turn into more pain and she’ll worry and having her worried about us sounds even worse than not telling her we’re in a lot of turmoil inside so we play it safe. We placate her but know she knows something is really wrong. We smile at her with the best smile and may even have the energy and desire for some intimate time with her, but we know it’s only a diversion from the Hell In Our Heads. It always comes back.

We wake up at 3 am, thoughts racing and the monsters won’t leave us alone. I’m a failure. Nobody cares. Nothing will make it better. I can’t stand this anymore. Why do I feel like such a child?! Why can’t I control these feelings? I hurt too bad to take anymore! Everything’s become too much to handle. We don’t know why it hurts inside and we’ve done all we can. We’re tired. We’re alone. Nobody will ever understand so why leave a note? We get out of bed and stop off at the bathroom to pee. Then quietly open the safe and get out the little case that’s been on our minds for months; we’ve tried to ignore it but it won’t stop calling to us. We take it and sneak off to the garage and sit in the car listening to some music in the dark. We know we’re about to be free of the agony forever and the thought makes us happier than we’ve been in months.

Squeeze, don’t pull. It’ll be all better then.

 

Advertisements

Braxton Caner, the Hullabaloo, and Jesus

I’ve digested more than I want to know about the incidents surrounding Braxton Caner’s apparent suicide. I feel it is important to note one thing about all the goings-on.

I have yet to see one person exhibiting the Life of Christ by standing up and speaking to the Storm, “PEACE! BE STILL!

Franklin Graham and the Big Gay Question: Can Gays go to Heaven? | Comments on Christianity

People are angry. They’re frustrated that they can’t live with the freedom to sin. The problem resides in this: people don’t have any concept of what life is like without sin. They imagine it to be dull and lifeless. They have no idea that real life begins at the acceptance of Christ.

via Franklin Graham and the Big Gay Question: Can Gays go to Heaven? | Comments on Christianity.

Christian Lunch

Beware of Christians in large numbers, especially when they’re feeding after church .

Let’s get real a minute. Some of you embarrass the rest of us so badly we don’t want anything to do with you. My story? Several years ago after eating at Mexican-style restaurant after church one Sunday a friend received a foreign quarter in his change. His demeanor with the poor cashier became very hostile, his voice dripped contempt, and he rather loudly demanded “american money” (funny thing, Canada is in America). The cashier was having a hard time understanding so the demand got repeated, louder this time, and by then I was ready to hide for a few days. He used his supposed patriotism to be a complete jerk.

Picture this: Someone who is supposed to be a loving Christian, taught to be patient and kind, having a fit over TWENTY FIVE CENTS. I’m still ashamed. The kicker is, I don’t think he’d even care.

What started this? The people serving you are sick of you, you holier-than-everyone snob Sunday Luncher. The person serving you on Sunday probably wishes they were scrubbing toilets or looking for mines in a field using a hammer. And there’s finally a website made just for you.

About: Sundays Are The Worst

About: Sundays Are The Worst

…As I walked back to my van, I felt sick inside.  I couldn’t believe that I was treated so poorly by my fellow “believers”.  And I also thought to myself how glad I was that it was me who got picked for this delivery instead of someone else who might not have known Christ already.  I thought about the next time these uber-rich Christians order pizza, what if they treat the next delivery driver as poorly as they did me?

 

…They all got their orders right. Even the ones who insisted on lunch food rather than breakfast food.  They all got their extra butter and jelly and margarine. They all got as many coffee refills – and water refills and soda refills  – as they wanted. And more. I worked my heart out, and my feet off, making sure that those 20+ people had the best service I could give. They were at my tables for over an hour, which meant that I had no other diners to serve. And when they left, I received a whopping $2 – or maybe $2.50.

And a couple of church bulletins.

FOR BOTH TABLES.

 

And there are scores more stories saved about you and me and how we REALLY do lunch and what the people serving us think.

My final word: When you sit down to lunch at a restaurant you know a tip will be expected by your server. You sat there in acknowledgement and agreement to pay your server for their work, which is biblically mandated. You agreed. If you do anything other than meeting that obligation, I don’t care if you don’t like their hair, their accent, their tattoos, their piercing, whatever- if they have served you well and you fail to meet your obligation to them you are a FRAUD, a cheater, and a liar.

 Want to read more? Visit Sundays Are The Worst Click “Stories” to continue the shame

Reblog: Pastors in Trouble 2a: The Community of Faith | Fallen Pastor

It’s not much of a secret I’ve taken a very long break from church and church-people. Frankly, I’m sick inside and I have been for a long time. If you know me personally you’ll understand that I’ve seen two once thriving churches collapse under their own manure, and one that has a very personal story I just don’t want to share.

Our churches are in trouble and too few are standing up to the issues of today as they sit and holler “Old Paths” fundy-isms. While a church bleeds and dies from the top down, it also rots from the pew outward.

Click through and see if you see anything familiar.

Let’s look at one of the problems I believe is responsible for so many pastors leaving the ministry. Simply put, instead of living as communities of faith, we are Sunday gatherings of happychurchpeople with bright smiles who have little connection with one another and are engaging in one more weekly activity.

via Pastors in Trouble 2a: The Community of Faith | Fallen Pastor.

Reblog: Forced Gay – The Battle for Straight Xian Rights | The Anon Church

Let me just say this: If your selfish head is stuck so far up your indignant behind that you can’t see how horrible it is for Christians to act like a bunch of snotty brats, you have a very serious heart-issue. Yes, I can see the point. I’m a business owner myself. But I SERVE my customers. I’m not the judge or hangman. I’m called to make disciples. If one act of mercy leads to anyone reaching out for the Cross, I’ve done what Yeshua asked.

“I desire that you would go and learn what this means: I DESIRE MERCY…” -Jesus

Make sure you click through and read the whole blog and visit @TheAnonChurch

“The whole idea of disallowing businesses to refuse service to people is actually a good thing. It was a critical piece of the civil rights movement. It’s the piece of the puzzle that tells restaurants, ”You cannot refuse service to colored people.” It’s the piece that says landlords cannot refuse housing to someone based on a personal agenda. It’s a good thing…until we feel it is working against our own beliefs.

When we get called on violating someone else, rather than respond with humility and an apology, we get all in a huff. HOW DARE YOU TREAD ON MY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS!”

via Forced Gay – The Battle for Straight Xian Rights | The Anon Church.

Seven Reasons Very Active Church Members Drop Out

Seven Reasons Very Active Church Members Drop Out.

There are several comments to the above linked article that are very good.

As for me, I have my reasons. They’re myriad and multifaceted and multiplying, to tell the truth.

You’re Not Bottom Anymore | Kevin Frye

You know, some people write like they have spent some quality time in my head. Here’s a snippet from Kevin Frye. Please go read the whole thing.
quoteI know you often feel weak, inferior, sub-par, insufficient, lacking. Come to me. I know you don’t know what that means or how to bring your wounds and your problems to me, you don’t know what that looks like, but try it. Take that step of faith. You don’t have to understand it. Talk to me about your feelings and thoughts. I’d love to hear them. I’ll take action even if you don’t understand what you are asking for. The spirit speaks things the mind can not comprehend. The father knows the cries of his child which might be unintelligible to other people.

If you only knew my plans for you.

What you once were, you are not anymore, but not for naught. You are not a waste. Your time before now will be redeemed. You’re not bottom anymore. You’re not the victim anymore, you’re not the last one picked for the team, you’re not the loser, not the kid in the corner, not a mere object anymore.

via You’re Not Bottom Anymore | Kevin Frye.