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.

 

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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

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.

The Road Trip: A Fight Back to Gratitude: “Gotham City is Still Holding on Line One”

Secret: I hate the holidays. I have several reasons, including a desperate longing to see family that have long since gone Home, and the hopelessness that comes from doing the same things over and over and over and over every year with no expectation of it ever changing. One “Holiday” I’m just going to take off for about 3 months and rent a little cabin so close to Nowhere that Santa doesn’t have it in his GPS and I’ll decompress from all the expectations and just live a while and not watch in despair as humanity behaves at its “best” at the holidays.

And I’m not alone.

Depression is a strange beast.  Its sufferers often cowering in a place of shame.  Of loneliness.  Of despair.

We hear ourselves.  Our voices aching and crying out.   We see the world around us, the laughter, hopes, joys of others.

Holidays for us are often the most difficult time of the year.  When we are witness to a season of joy, our lifetime of pain is never in more stark contrast.

Often just to turn off the television, to get up from sleep, to answer a telephone is excruciating in the energy required.   We scour the internet.  We ask for advice.  We desperately seek a way back to rejoin the human population.  Gratitude, for we know that we should be happy to be alive.  It would be a sin to entertain thoughts to the contrary.

Finish reading: The Road Trip: A Fight Back to Gratitude: “Gotham City is Still Holding on Line One.

sexy “christianity”. — kyledonn.com

Here’s one of those must-read posts that a friend shared on facebook earlier. For a long time I’ve been annoyed with the mecentric preaching of some popChrist preachers. I keep hearing them blather about God’s best for them, God’s healing for them, God’s blessings for them, God’s blahblah for them, and God is universally concerned with their rights. God will smite you if you violate a popChristian’s “rights”. You know the ones I’m talking about. If you know one of those there are some words they need to hear.

You gave up your rights the instant you declared Jesus to be your Lord and Salvation and vowed that all your life was His alone.

This mecentric “gospel” and #ScatologicalEschatology the modern pulpits are spewing sure does garner a lot of popChrist followers though. Its promises even extend to God allowing anything because everything is forgiven in popChrist and we have no need to fear any repercussions because God surely won’t allow horrible things to happen to his popChrist followers.

Please.

This kind of Scatological Eschatology comes from one thing: Listening only to the pulpit and not studying God’s word for ourselves. Jesus is not a candy vendor. Stop treating Him like one. With that, I’ll stop my rant. Please click through and read Kyle Donn’s whole post. You won’t be disappointed. You may get hurt though…

quote“They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”

Hebrews 11:37-38 (NIV)

Again, we read passages on the sufferings of Paul, like 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, and find our hearts stirring within us as if to say, “Ah! If I could just have that kind of faith! If I could just live with that kind of abandon! That is what I was created for!” Our generation has reached out in longing saying, “there has got to be more than this!” and is finding that heroes like Paul seem to have found it… It’s that variable on the back of our tongue when we hear the words “for me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” It’s Jesus. Untamed and unadulteratedly Jesus. Unpolluted by what the church wants to make Him… Unbound by what modern Philosophers want to call Him. We only want Jesus. And no less.

This kind of Christianity is dangerously cool. And that’s the thing… it’s dangerous. Here and there, it’s spot on; but my fear is that it flirts with the edge and settles for the empty satisfaction of a cultural ego-trip – thirsty to hear cool people say: “Wow! You’re doing great things for God!”… It says, “I’ve got style… and heart.” And when our “style” starts to get a little to close to our “heart” our faith begins to become as skin-deep as the skinny jeans we like to wear.

Please read the whole thing: sexy “christianity”. — kyledonn.com.

Reblog: Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle | From One Degree to Another | Nate Pyle

Have you ever been in the middle of the crisis feeling anguish you can’t cope with and there are no answers and the friends you thought you could count on have left you in the ditch to rot and you just wish you could curl up in a dark place to pull more darkness and isolation over you so you could wither and die? That’s called despair.

And when people tell you that God never puts anything on you that you can’t handle does it stab you in the gut and leave you wanting to claw someone’s eyes out for being so insensitive and stupid?

Sound familiar? Been there. Let me tell you I love you and I understand. Get in touch if you want and we’ll talk if you need it. I won’t tell you that stupid platitude that is nothing more than, “Oh, come on. You can handle it. It can’t be that bad. You’re not a good Christian if you can’t handle it.”

Nonsense. Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll tell you the story of the time God shattered me into into so many itty bitty pieces It’s hard to find the old me anymore. Almost 8 years ago… Another time perhaps.

A friend who has also seen some very hard times shared this blog post and it’s well worth sharing again and again.

God won’t give you more than you can handle.  If I may be so bold, let’s just call that what it is:
Bullshit.

Keep Reading via Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle | From One Degree to Another | Nate Pyle.

Walking Into A New Church

Photo: Nathan Richter
Photo: Nathan Richter

Photo: Nathan Richter

For me it’s awful. I hate it. I feel like everyone has some sort of detector pointed at me to see what my sins are and if I have the right sock on the right foot and I got every single whisker cut off and that pesky phantom hair that grows straight out of the center of my forehead didn’t grow two inches on the way there (and it really does do that- It’s been known to grow six inches overnight). And Lord help, i-think-i-forgot-deodorant!

Is it just me and a few people I know or does everyone feel like this? Now, the more important question, why do we feel like this??? Discuss.

 

Reblog: Experiment that convinced me online porn is the most pernicious threat facing children today: By ex-lads mag editor MARTIN DAUBNEY | Mail Online

I can speak directly into this: Porn is everywhere. There’s nothing you can’t find and frequently it’s thrown into your face.

Let me tell you point blank, I’m pretty familiar with it. If you never listen to me about anything else, listen to this: Guys, porn will destroy you. No, you’re not getting away with it. Yes, it IS affecting you and your relationships. No, it’s not okay. No, it’s not a tool to use with your wife.

Porn is a pervasive evil that knows where to hit people the hardest- the spot that makes people feel the best. Click through and read the article and watch the vids as they come out at this link right HERE. You *cannot* afford porn, neither can kids, and neither can I.

But what I saw during the making of the film changed my opinion of pornography forever. The true stories of boys I met whose lives had been totally taken over by porn not only moved me to tears but also made me incredibly angry that this is happening to our children. And the looks of revulsion on those poor girls faces in the playground enraged me. I feel as if an entire generations sexuality has been hijacked by grotesque online porn.

via Experiment that convinced me online porn is the most pernicious threat facing children today: By ex-lads mag editor MARTIN DAUBNEY | Mail Online.