Battles

A couple of days ago, I was cleaning out my room: throwing out some college papers, books, old clothes and shoes. I opened up a box that was sealed and tucked away somewhere in my closet. I opened it up and lo and behold were my old journals/ diaries. I picked up the one from when I was 19 years old; as I began to read, I was amused and at the same time shocked at every thing I’ve written.
I noticed two things after reading a couple of the writings: 1) I am no longer the person I was 6 years ago, and 2) I was in a really dark place at that stage of my life. It seems as though I was screaming out loud and wishing someone could hear me. I wanted to be heard and seen. But instead the noises were just in my head.
My struggle with internalized depression went on for years before I finally discovered Celebrate Recovery and all the people that helped me on my road to recovery.

I know when people hear about recovery or recovery programs,their mind immediately goes to Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) or maybe someone recovering from drugs.

I am not an alcoholic and I’ve never done drugs in my life. My struggle was not with material things or things that were visible. My struggle was with my own mind…my past…my demons.The things that kept me up at night…weeping and wishing I didn’t have to face another new day. I went through some dark phases in my life and the whole story is unwritten. Only time will tell…

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

 

Depression

feel-aloneI was in so much shock when I heard about the death of Robin Williams. I was even more shocked to hear that he committed suicide. I grew up watching his movies and I liked him as an actor. Jumanji, dead poet society, and Mrs. Doubtfire are probably my all time favorite movies of his growing up as a kid.

I grew up in a culture/ society where suicide is considered a taboo. I was told that those who commit suicide are bound to eternal damnation and all those scary mumbo jumbo stories. But truly, who is to say where we will all end up?

I am not a child anymore and I’m able to place myself in other people’s shoes. Robin Williams was said to have struggled from depression, drug use and alcoholism for a very long time. I am not a drinker or a drug user, but I do know what it’s like to suffer from depression. I know what it’s like to feel like there’s no hope. I know what it feels like to feel useless, unwanted, worthless, and in those dark moments the only resolution I saw to be the end to all my problems was to not exist any longer. I can honestly say that the only way I’ve been able to defeat depression was by knowing that I am  tremendously loved and wanted by God. I learned not to base my happiness on people and my life circumstances.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Some people might say, “well Robin Williams was famous, funny, and rich…what does he have to be depressed about?” I sure hope you’re not one of those people because you should know that most people don’t wear their problems on their faces. And money and fame can’t buy you happiness. We all have our demons and we’re always in constant battle with them. Some of us are strong enough to defeat them and some of us not so much.

WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
    This debt we pay to human guile;
    With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
    And mouth with myriad subtleties.

    Why should the world be over-wise,
    In counting all our tears and sighs?
    Nay, let them only see us, while
            We wear the mask.

    We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
    To thee from tortured souls arise.
    We sing, but oh the clay is vile
    Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
    But let the world dream otherwise,
            We wear the mask! – (Paul Laurence Dunbar )

Nobody knows the demons in a man’s mind, so it’s not really our job to judge and condemn those who take their lives. With that said, Robin William found peace in death- as tragic as that might sound, it means he’s not fighting anymore..no more demons…no more masks.

If you’re reading this and you suffer from depression, I hope you know that suicide is not the solution to your problem. I hope you know how much you’re loved and how great the plans God has for your life is. No condition is permanent. What you’re going through is just a phase and it will surely pass.

If you need someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255

There’s always hope.

– Uzo Ekwuribe