The Trap of the Mind Inside the Evil of Depression

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Depression. My story. Deep in the mind is a place that becomes a trap. People are asking questions. Especially when we hear about a suicide like Robin Williams … an ending to a life. “Why did they not know they were loved? Why didn’t they feel how much we needed them? Why did they do such a selfish thing? Didn’t they think about those loved ones left behind? But their life seemed so perfect?”

In the mind of someone who suffers from clinical depression is a place that is a trap. I speak of it with experience. Twenty years of torment. A father and grandfather who committed suicide. Please, if you experience these things, figuring it out is not the answer. Or if know someone who does, forget about those questions. You can’t figure it out either. In that moment …

well…

Allow me to share with you what’s it like. Please find hope and help. This is a bit of my life inside the trap. I have been asked to share more of that life in a series soon on The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood about this life I share. The many facets it contains are complex, but more common than many imagine. I am honored to share this and more as God leads. I only want souls to be touched.

I pray you find hope and help. I’ve mentored other people in this same place in their lives. It is truly an honor and a blessing. It is heartbreaking too. When I say I cry for this. I mean the heart shattering, desperate love kind. I so desperately want healing and hope for others too… in whatever form that looks like … through God’s plan. Even for those who don’t know God yet.

Want those questions answered? Curious of what that trap is really like? Want to know how my life is completely the opposite today? My story…

Depression. Oh the pain of heart pain. None to be equaled.

Depression is a very difficult subject to understand,
to discuss,
to live with,
to handle,
to be around …

Do you ever stop and think about what in your life is a comfort that shouldn’t be?

Is there something that consumes your thoughts in such a way that you know it isn’t healthy or productive but you go there anyway?

BEWARE! That’s a trap. Beware because it can enslave you and affect everyone around you.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that the hole in your heart can only be successfully filled by One.

Let that hole be filled.

Fighting without God is like losing before you even start.

We were not made to be alone.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in hell, you are there” ~ Psalm 139

My story may be different from any you’ve ever heard… but parts might be just what you’ve lived. Share with me. I’m ALL IN to love.

-Heather

A COMFORT THAT SHOULDN’T BE

The self loathing was a ‘beyond my control, caught in my throat’ kind of oppression. It led to the most emotionally excruciating pain I have ever experienced. The conversations in my mind were increasingly evil. So loud, yet they somehow made perfect sense to me.

I planned ways to die. I yearned deep in my soul to leave the pain behind forever. I saw no end in sight. I would hear a voice whisper with such evil force, “You are not worth anything.” That was an awful voice, but it was familiar.

Yet, I faintly heard another voice that never left me. Screaming, in the most comforting way, to help me.

.
DYING TO LIVE

My life did not start out full of peace and happiness that I solidly know today. It was hard, heavy, full of depression and darkness — even as far back as I can remember. Troubled to the point of destruction, yet cared for the by the protective Hand of God even when I didn’t recognize it or admit it or want it.

The divorce of my parents and suicide of my father all before the age of 10 weighed heavily on my heart and mind. I knew really nothing of the circumstances at the time, except that my mom loved me and my brother and took care of us no matter the sacrifice; and that my dad loved us and he left us. Carefully digesting that in my mind and heart was not possible for me for many years. Because I had very little understanding or direction, my thoughts took me deeper into the pattern that would nearly destroy me. The concern that someone else I loved might eventually leave, too, haunted me day and night.

Have you ever felt that way? Even for a minute in your life? It is a scary feeling, isn’t it? We were not made to be alone.

That thought became demonizing to me as a young girl. During those early years of my life, I dwelled on the memory of seeing my dad with drugs and alcohol — annihilating his life — and seeing him cry on my shoulder with tears large and heavy. That burden, chewing away at my consciousness, drove me deep into a fantasy world that mirrored what virtual reality would look like before it was even invented.

I found myself lying in bed each night exhausted trying to listen to what was going on in the house; listening for my mother’s voice, her breath. On any given night, I could hear the wind slam against the windows, the house creak with settling, my heartbeat racing wildly to stay on alert.

My greatest fear was that she also would leave in the middle of the night never to return. Make no mistake: she gave me no reason to think this. She gave everything of herself to me and my brother. We felt her strong and protective love. It was all just my mind working overtime and the effect of the attack that was trying to destroy who I was to become.

Not an easy way to fall asleep every night — thinking about such things. Deep and dark and tormented. It took every ounce of energy in my tired body and mind to hold myself up against the negative force that was oddly becoming my friend.

.
The Battle OF My Mind Was IN My Mind.

This pain and fear worsened as I grew older and found relationships of all kinds to be hard to handle. I was always busy trying to make sure that other people liked me enough not to leave me. I felt in competition with others and within myself. I thought if I could stay “in control” everything would be just fine. Yet, I found my irrational side taking control and ruining everything I held dear. It all was a huge conflict that I wore like a heavy winter coat pushing my shoulders down so that it was hard to even walk.

As I grew into my teenage years, I succumbed to all sorts of abuses. I found myself in very dangerous situations — nearly dying on many occasions — sometimes at the hand of others and sometimes by my own doing. All of these things worried me immensely, but I could not stop. The fear controlled me all while fooling me that I was in control. In some weird way I guess I felt comfortable in my ill-thought ways. Probably because it had become all I knew. It is all very hard to put into words. But the battle OF my mind was IN my mind.

Do you ever stop and think about what in your life is a comfort that shouldn’t be?
Is there something that consumes your thoughts in such a way that you know it isn’t healthy or productive but you go there anyway? That’s a trap. Beware because it can enslave you and affect everyone around you.

Sadly, I believed I could continue to handle it all silently. My mind was being beaten and I didn’t know the depths to which it would sink.

We were not made to be alone.

.
SCREAMING TO GET OUT

I had terrible thoughts constantly of hating myself, of how no one liked me, really of how everyone hated me. I would hear a voice whisper that I was not worth anything. That was an awful voice — but it was familiar.

Yet I faintly heard another voice that never left me. It was screaming, in the most comforting way, to get out and help me.

I felt I had no where to turn.
I didn’t want to burden my mother or the new father in my life because they loved me.
I didn’t have many friends and was bullied in school, so I hated going to school.
I longed to be the center of attention to gain approval.
I wanted to please everyone but seemed to please NO ONE.
I had so much anger and I cried much of the time, yet felt invincible and elated other times.
I developed an obsessive compulsive disorder for a while — obviously a cranked up way of control.
I didn’t even want to get out of bed most of the time because the attacks were relentless.

Do you see the pattern there?

I … I … I

Until I learned that it was not ‘I‘ but ‘We’, nothing would change. Nothing. Not ONE thing.

I was in my very own ‘day in — day out’ life — just harsher than normal.
Always looking for the answer to THAT question.

.
DYING TO LIVE

At age 15 I turned to a friend and trusted teacher for help, and that took an immense amount of courage and energy. They persuaded me to talk to my mother, because even though it would be painful for her they knew I was dying to live — freed from the pain. I did just that, and eventually was told I had Manic Depression – what is now called Bipolar Disorder – because of the dramatic alternating mood swings. Some were of extreme happiness or mania and others were of hopelessness and despair; back and forth with a dash of normal in between.

But as all medical knowledge evolves, I can look back now and see it was probably Borderline Personality Disorder because the episodes were often minutes apart, not months apart. The things I was perceiving in my environment would greatly affect the mood I experienced. The fact is that the diagnosis only matters from a scientific standpoint, because most of the same medicines and therapies are used for both diseases. And, does it really matter what they tell you that you may have when all you are looking for is peace of mind? Although I needed the medicine at the time, I am still not convinced that medical science has it all right. Getting help at the time is, however, extremely important. Help from all good methods.

.
THE DARK SHADOWS THAT LURKED

The dueling voices in my mind were fighting a battle before I even realized it. I would sit completely alone staring at the wall noticing every crack on it as if they were every problem I had in my cracked up life. I could feel the overwhelming presence of evil — lurking, trying to draw me in. It was brutal and inhuman. It was hard to breathe, all around me like a fog. The dark shadows possessed something that was trying hard to make me lose control completely. I would have bouts of sitting in the corner of my room crying incessantly and pulling my hair out of my head because I could not get the demonic thoughts out. I felt trapped and it was the scariest thing I had ever experienced, even after going through the years of anxiety. The thoughts of hatred, shame, and wanting to die were so consuming that I felt like I was living inside another realm screaming with every ounce of breath “LET ME OUT!” Fear was all I knew — and it almost became a comfort to me. Had that happened I know that I certainly would not be alive writing this. The demonic feeling was far worse than any horror movie. They really can’t capture that experience on film, and I am having a very difficult time recounting it on “paper”.

I was being bombarded constantly with morbid thoughts beyond comprehension. I hated myself even more because I felt disgusted and depressed. I felt unworthy of anything and everybody. Even in the midst of that anguish, I knew that if I didn’t get help I would end up taking my own life to end the pain. I found myself at a point in which I was planning my own death with intricate details. I felt myself slipping gradually into a pit of darkness falling not hard and fast, but so slowly in a spiral that it was sucking the life completely out of my soul.

After going through these horrible things for years, I went searching. You see, I was desperate. Desperate for answers, for sleep, for love, for help. Desperate for peace.

I cried out to God, “Why are you letting this happen to me?”

I had to cry out — even if I didn’t really know God.

I had gone to church now and then when I was young. Not often. But enough to know a little about God. I had been reading a Bible my mom had given to me, in hopes that God was real and would answer me. I was searching for an answer to get away from the nightmare.

I looked toward the New Age attitude of “Peace Within Yourself” — the “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” mentality. Epic failure that was. No one is really Okay. And why would anyone strive to be just “okay”?

I turned to all the “self-help” gurus. You know the ones. They are still on television and writing books today, because so many fall into the trap of believing they can do this all on their own.

I tried the “religion” thing. Do this and that so you can get this and that.

I turned to the metaphysical and paranormal for answers. Let me assure you of something here and now that I know for a fact:

You call the demons… they will answer.

I fought them hard, but mostly by myself. If only I had turned to God. I did not put my full trust in Him. None of what we try on our own works and fighting without God is like losing before you even start. Nothing gave me the Peace of MIND that I was looking for so desperately. Nothing.

I found no answer in the religion and new age studies I was trying to focus on.

I continued to make choices that were just stupid and ill-conceived even as I sought help. Really — hear me carefully now — it is all about CHOICE. I don’t mean to say that the diagnosis and medical treatment were wrong to seek out or even not needed at that time, nor am I trying to minimize anything similar that anyone experiences, because it is a hell on earth to which some feel they can never return. BUT, what I am saying is that every day we all wake up faced with choices, some tiny, some huge, but choices which will likely impact us greatly and also those around us. It was not until I started to view every single choice I had to make as one that would set the course for the rest of my life that everything started to change, especially my heart.

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NOT OF THIS WORLD

I grew to know that the battle was certainly not of this world. I would cry out to God. IF ONLY HE’D HEAR ME! But each time the depression and pain took me over. This disease that crippled my mind made me feel frightened for my life either way I looked at it. I realize now I was not looking for how God was in it. He was. Oh, He certainly was.

Although I didn’t understand much, I did understand one thing. I believed, with only a tiny amount of faith, that God had shown me that He was in fact real — and if that was true then I kept hope that He might help me. That choice to have that tiny bit of faith was a pivotal point in my life. I had asked and accepted Jesus into my life at age 16, but it was not until my late teen years and early twenties — the peak of all that I have described — that I started to focus on Him.

The only thing that had kept me alive during that time was the promise I made to God and to my mother (although she was unaware) that I would not take my own life. I believed He had given it to me and so I did not want to hurt Him, and I did not want to hurt my mother. I turned to God just enough.

Let me say that one more time. I turned to God – Just Enough.

It is a sad thing I have learned: that so many people give God “just enough” when we could experience all He has for us if we would just give Him all we’ve got.

At times, I had wondered if He really cared because my pain didn’t end when I became a Christian. I just didn’t GET IT like I did later and certainly not like I do now. He got it though. And that my friends, is all that mattered. He never abandoned me nor left me. He is always faithful. Jesus had me for eternity, and Satan knew it, but that was not going to stop him from trying to destroy my life. What I went through was not human. I made it human with my choices however and the battle raged on. The saddest part is that I continued to let that happen. No one could convince me that Satan was not a real force in this world after what I had experienced. Call evil – it will answer.

But God was there – and bigger.

I now know that Jesus had in His Will to never leave me and watched thoughtfully, knowing He would prevail. He waited patiently, hearing and answering my prayers to just stay afloat. That is all I prayed for at the time. To just stay afloat. I eventually learned — God didn’t cause the pain. He doesn’t want us to hurt. We cause so much pain ourselves.

He wanted to bring me through it for His plans. They are greater than my own. When I asked him with even a small amount of faith, He reached His hand deep into the pit of despair I was in and He grabbed my stretched out hand to pull me to peace and love and life. All that I had been searching for, He had in His hand.

I reached out. He loved. I loved. I chose.

If I could shout one thing for every human being to hear it would be this:
God has a plan for you. He wants to have a relationship with you. He loves you. YOU.

God completely healed me of this disease and depression in June of 1997. In a prayer, in an instant, I was healed after 25 years of the pain. I intend to write more about that in my book and on my blog, but just remember if you are going through this and you are not healed yet… DO NOT STOP looking to Him. He has a plan and in the end, you will see it. He loves you right through it.

You (I) + God = We

Don’t go through it alone. Please.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8

I know without a shadow of a doubt that the hole in your heart can only be successfully filled by One.
Let that hole be filled.

Fighting without God is like losing before you even start.

Live Blessed,
Heather

#LIVEALLIN

This post originally appeared at 40YearWanderer.com.

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10 thoughts on “The Trap of the Mind Inside the Evil of Depression

  1. blmaluso says:

    Wow, thank you for sharing your story of victory and love in Jesus! You have opened your heart and soul to hurting hearts that need hope …so important to share the despair and pain as well as the victory! Jesus is there waiting for all of us to make THE CHOICE to accept His life changing love.
    Hugs and love, Bernadtte

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Gemmill says:

    Heather, my heart brakes reading your story…without God you would not be the voice of encouragement and help for fellow sufferers that you are today….I thank God for you and for your ministry….truly he makes something beautiful out of our lives. There is a Psalm in the Message Bible that is a part of my story and yours:
    Psalm 18:20-24 God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. humptydumptymuralmagic says:

    In this blog you described the exact feeling my 13yr old daughter has been feeling because of her fathers choice to abandon our family. She cannot allow anyone to get close to her. She has terrible nightmares almost every night, and last year she even tried cutting herself.
    I am beyond worried, and when I took her to counseling, they just made her feel even more alone and abandoned because they validated all the negative self talk.
    I finally found help in her youth pastor when i opened up to him and was honest about our struggles.
    He is working with her to help her understand that Gods will for her life is that she finds joy.
    I would welcome any advice that you could share on this subject that might help me to help my precious child.
    I have already lost my step son to suicide, and could not live through another loss like that.
    Thank you for your beautiful words. You have no idea the impact that you have on your readers.
    You are a treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      Dearest Melanie,
      I’ve been to your site. You have a beautiful family. Just beautiful.

      My heart and soul are welling up in prayer and tears for you and your daughter and your entire family. Your words to me are another confirmation from The Lord that He desires me to never stop sharing my story.

      I shared it within a couple months of my healing in 1997 and a young teen’s life was changed I found out. I never met her but my story was shared by a Pastor friend and God spoke through it. Since then I have not said no.

      My yes to you comes with all my soul. Please email me at the contact link here on my site so it is private. I will be praying for you all and praying for what God wants me to share with you and your daughter. I will wait on The Lord and I know He will guide.

      My love to you,
      Heather

      Liked by 1 person

  4. micey says:

    I understand this and have lived through this, not the same, yet the same. Thank you for sharing your life story. I found you through SDG gathering. Fighting the good fight with God.I pray your fibro is healed sooner than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      Michelle,
      I really appreciate your sharing here. And your prayers and encouragement. I pray for you to find healing and peace, and for God to show you every opportunity of blessing others until that healing manifests.
      I have a series starting on SDG October 3rd that I believe you will find encouraging. Please write me any time.
      ❤️

      Like

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