In the past, “depression” has been a word that I’ve resented. Whenever someone suggested that I may be experiencing it, I have sarcastically pointed out that circumstances might have a lot to do with the way that I react to things. Though when I was in my twenties, I worked in a Psych hospital and have seen first hand the way that certain treatments have meant night and day for some patients who were diagnosed. In the early 80s I was invited to observe ECT treatments (Electric Shock Treatments) by a doctor who took me under his wing. In this case, the patient was a woman well into her seventies, who was almost catatonic, and lacked any emotional affect. I’d been the one to transcribe his orders and was very curious about this procedure he’d ordered. This particular patient had once been a well known actress in Europe, whose husband brought in a portfolio of her, back in her glory. It was hard to picture this woman, now just a tired looking old lady, as that once beautiful actress in the photos he shared.
I arrived at 6AM on the scheduled day of the procedure as directed by my doctor friend. The nurses seemed a little annoyed when I told them I was there to observe. That was until the doctor arrived and treated me like his special audience. He explained everything he was doing. As the patient was put under general anesthesia. They put something in her mouth and proceeded to shock her twice. It took all of a few seconds. I have no idea if they still do this procedure, because I was told, once someone has it done, it has to be repeated every few years. Kind of like a recharge. But I must say that I have never seen such a transformation! In just a few days, she was this vivacious older version of that woman in the portfolio her husband had shared.
Where once she was barely sitting up in a wheelchair, She was going out on the outings we organized to the local mall, dressed to the Nines, in high heels and full make-up! It was astounding and nothing short of a miracle! I wish they could bottle and sell what happened to her. I’ve never forgotten it.
So you see, when someone talks about depression, I’ve seen it first hand. In my mind, “depression” is an an organic condition that basically has you sleeping all day and not interacting or engaging in life. A condition that needs Electric Shock Treatments or at the very least meds. I on the other hand, get up everyday, do what needs to be done, clean house, work in the yard, engage with others, laugh at the appropriate times, you get the picture.
The only thing is, as I write this I realize, I don’t wake up happy everyday like my husband does. Though I engage when I have to with the people and friends in my life, I force myself to do a lot of things. And I have to wonder, maybe being depressed is not just being catatonic. Maybe it is also the fact that I have to force myself to just do those normal things. And maybe when you lock a door so you can cry on the other side, and when you take a breath and a sob catches in-between, and when it is just hard to find the joy anymore…. that could be depression.
Recently I’ve shared that I really have the need to have God speak to me the way I’ve been reading about. I have been reading Karen Kinbsbury books and I find myself yearning for the same voice the characters in her books hear. More than I ever have before and so I asked God to speak to me and a voice inside my head said, “Read my WORD.” And it has changed me.
Recently, A few of my sweet friends have taken my challenge to read Psalm 91 with me daily, for a month. So everyday I am reading the chapter and I have to say that it is “kinda like a recharge.” Though circumstances are still the same. I’ve realized, I’ve noticed the highs a little more than fixating on the lows. It’s funny how so much of the Bible seems to relate to the times we are going through today. Decade after decade, we fail HIM. Decade after decade, Century after century, He comes when we call. It’s just so amazing to me that I am just realizing it now. Please join me and read Psalms 91 this month. Anyone who reads this is invited to join us. I promise…. It really is kinda like a recharge!