Living wholistically.

5:16 PM

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. -Aristotle
Recently I was visiting a friend on my way back from Columbia after a few days at home. His brother and I somehow got into a conversation about depression. He was sharing about a girl he knew who had committed suicide. He talked about how she always came across as one of those people who typically seemed happy all the time. As the conversation continued, he mentioned that he didn’t understand how anyone could end their lives voluntarily. I sort of cringed. This is a common statement for people who have never dealt with depression. Now before anyone starts calling any emergency hotlines (MOM), let me set the record straight. I am not suicidal. However, I will admit I have been so far in the depths of depression that I have prayed to God to just take me. In moments like these, I know I’m not rational. The pain overtakes everything else and it’s hard to see past it. After talking to close friends and my counselor, I decided that a therapeutic way for me to deal with my own depression would be to write about it. My hope is that my writing will be informative, especially for those who have never struggled with depression. Now, I’m not an expert on the subject. Most of my writing will be from a personal standpoint. 

Depression can be caused by many factors, a chemical imbalance, life circumstances, the weather. For me, it’s a varied mix. The first time I ever struggled with depression was back in college. It accompanied a time in my life when I was dealing with some trauma from my childhood. It was then that I started counseling with my campus pastor. Since then I’ve been in and out of counseling; some experiences have been great, some not so much. A few years ago my family doctor put me on medication. It’s not something I want to be on for the rest of my life, but for now, I know I need it and that’s okay. The main thing I’ve learned is the importance of community. I have a few select people who I check in with on a regular basis, particularly on bad days when I need an extra dose of prayer and some encouragement. Another mentality I meet among Christians is the mindset that depression can be cured by words like “Trust in the Lord” and “Find peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”. Trust me. I wish it was that easy. God definitely meets me in my depression, but like most things, he doesn’t immediately pull me out. He communes with me, comforts me, and whispers over me. Sometimes I hear him, sometimes I don’t, but I trust that he’s there fighting for me. 

If you’re someone that struggles with depression, know that you’re not alone. It may feel that way at times, but you’re not. Feel free to comment here or e-mail me at cynthia.shahan@gmail.com

Also, check out a post I wrote for my friends at Single Roots a few months ago on my battle with depression..

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