Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I struggle with depression, and recently started taking an anti-depressant to help combat it.

I also love Jesus.

In the Pentecostal world that I grew up in, those things can't mix.  Or, if you do decide to take the meds... you never mention it,  because to mention it means that I've obviously got some major spiritual issues.  Because one who has it all together would never struggle with this.

I call shenanigans on this.

I remember sitting with friends when I was in my 20's, and we'd talk about people who we knew took anti-depressants.  Yes, also known as gossip.  We'd say things like, "well, obviously they have some sin in their life they're not dealing with."  Or... "wow, they must just not trust Jesus to take care of it.  I'd be believing for my healing."   I am positive we said all sorts of douchey things... "out of love" of course.   I was one who most likely help load shame on people that they hadn't done enough... they weren't enough.  I was a jerk.

And all the while, this blanket of heaviness I continued to wrestle with.  Waking up crying, randomly crying throughout the day for really no reason, and just so incredibly sad all the time.  Its the pain that  hits so deep, and I couldn't fix it.  I know that I asked and asked for Jesus to heal me.  I went up for prayer a million times.  I went to these "deliverance" things... and examined generations before me, and shut doors that may emotionally been opened up, and asked forgiveness for watching rated R movies and seeing things I shouldn't have... blah. blah. blah... and that should have taken care of it.   ( note:  for those totally confused on the deliverance part... either comment below, or just go with the confusion and I'll tell you I still am a bit also... )   I never had a safe place to simply say hey.. several times a week, I randomly ponder the thought that life would be better for everyone if I were not here. 

Moving to Oklahoma only magnified this stuff 100 fold.  And in the last year, I just simply couldn't quit crying.  Crying about the deep places that I can't fix.  Crying about things lost.  Crying about people I love.  Crying about regrets.  So. Much. Crying.   And you know what?  One feels foolish when they can't stop doing that. 

When my dad died, I went to grief counseling.  And while at grief counseling we did talk about all this.  And a medication was recommended, but being the good Christian I am... I declined it.  To accept that, would be to accept defeat, right?!   

But I couldn't do it anymore.  The tools for processing, they helped but not enough.  A relationship had ended.  I was overwhelmed with financial issues.  I was incredibly lonely.  I was so, so sad all the time. 

I called my doctor and I sat and wept through an appointment telling her that I couldn't do it anymore.  Telling her that genetically, it is very possible that this is depression.  Because that's real life.  Most likely, my dad was depressed.  My  mom, suffers from depression.  I know that my mom's aunts... a few committed suicide.  Not one... a few.  I told her that all I wanted to do was sit in  my apartment and see no one.  I sit at my desk, and my living room and all the time... just cry and cry.   And that isn't me.  It isn't. 

You may wonder where my walk with Jesus was in all this... and you know, its good.  See, I believe I was supposed to go see my doctor.  I'm supposed to walk through this.  I'm supposed to share this.   The medication is helping.  I have multiple days in a row where I don't cry.  Do y'all know how big of a deal that is?  I'm still me and I still feel every emotion, but most days... its manageable and not overwhelming.  There are some days that still hit hard, and this week, has been tough, but you know... its going to be ok. 

I share this so that you also can be encouraged... depression isn't the end.  Its not the end for me, and surely, its not the end for you. 

If you have friends who are going through stuff...PLEASE don't be a jerk.  Walk with them.  Love them.  They need it. 

And take heart... Jesus will walk with you through it also.  Don't be ashamed to do what you  need to do to get better. 


  1. Just so you for us around you would NEVER be better without you in it. WHO WOULD I GO TO CHUY'S WITH?!

    1. I have tried to reply to this 3 times...but yes, I am the girl to go to Chuy's with :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Beautiful, honest post friend. Love you dearly!!

  4. Andrea, you are not alone dear! I have had similar issues in the past, struggling with depression and anxiety. Having people in church tell me if I only prayed more and had more faith and trusted Jesus more that my problems would go away. None of that helped. I also chose to take medication, several years ago, and I still take it today. My counselor explained that I wasn't taking medication because I was weak, or because I didn't love Jesus enough, but because my body didn't make enough serotonin and other chemicals like it should. It was a physical, chemical imbalance. And just like I would take Tylenol for a headache, or insulin if I were diabetic, I needed to take medication to balance out my chemical levels that were causing depression and anxiety. I will admit, taking medication wasn't an instant fix. I still struggled with these issues today, but taking medication has helped, and I would recommend it to anyone. It's a hard battle. The first type of medication may not be the one for you. I went through three different types before I found one that worked well with my body. It's a stressful process with lots of doctor visits, and when you don't have support of the people around you this can be even harder. But, don't give up! I believe with all my heart God created doctors and medication to help us with our physical weaknesses. You are not less of a person, or less of a Christian if you need medication. You are being wise with the resources God has given you. You are beautiful and strong! I pray that you find help with medication, and with your doctors and counselors. It's a step-by-step process, with lots of setbacks. It's tough. It doesn't fix itself in a week or a month or even a year. But when you push through, and look back at all the success and progress you've made, there is nothing you can do but praise Jesus, because you see that He was right there with you the entire time, cheering you on. I love you :)

    1. gah! All making me cry :) yes, this is my 3rd drug. SSRI's... make me barf. all the time. so hey... yay for one that is genuinely working well for me right now... at half dose. and yes, completely a stressful process!! I wish a long time ago I would have made this decision. Its hard when the church puts shame on you regarding this... so hard. Shame has no place in church. It truly doesn't.

      And I love you!! thank you so much for your input here!!! So encouraging to me and I am sure others... You're the best!!

  5. You picked the right group of friends to hang out with because most of us struggle with this :) I.e. Sara's sweet words above! I had jaw surgery the summer before my freshman year of college, so that first semester, I was still just trying to get my stamina back. I went to OU knowing no one and my friends from high school were not the best and they went on with their lives. I would have panic attacks and cry all the time. If you know me now, I'm not a crier and never have been, so it was weird!

    When I went home, my doctor suggested Lexapro and we did Clonapin to help me sleep. And I went to therapy there at OU. I realized I did not know how to cope with basically being all alone since I am such a social person. It got better and I made the best friends the next semester, but it was so very lonely.

    I had a rough time again my junior year with a breakup and did a little bit more of therapy to survive.

    Then I got married and we've moved a lot during our marriage, which sparks moments of anxiety. My anxiety manifests itself as feeling extremely lonely, and like I have no friends, when really, I do. And I start to worry irrationally about the future. My husband is learning, but all I really need him to do is tell me it will be ok. Even though I know I sound crazy!

    This past December, my managers at work were really giving me a rough time and then my work BFF quit. And then the rest of my team did. So I went from a team of four to just me. And my desk is on the end of a row of empty cubes, so basically every trigger possibly presented itself.

    I was having panic attacks again and couldn't sleep. I was so stressed. So I asked my doctor if we should up my meds. She actually suggested we switch to a newer one. So I tried it for a month and when I tried to gt it filled, I learned it wasn't covered by insurance and was $400. The side effects of this med apparently are similar to drug withdrawal. So I had to scramble and get a medicine in the same family.

    Over the years, my grandma and recently even my boss expressed that they want me to be able to cope without medicine. Well, let me tell you, I am a medicine person. I knew I wanted the epidural with my son and the doctor is the first place I go when I feel an infection coming on. What is the use in putting yourself through unnecessary pain?

    It's a concept called common grace. That God created these brilliant men and women who created these medicines to help ease suffering. Thankfully, I've never been told to pray depression away, but know that the medicine, therapy, and prayer go hand in hand. You take away a piece of that and you crumble.

    I'm so sorry that you didn't get help sooner! And let me know if you ever need to talk or hang out :) Believe me, it helps me just as much as it helps you!