Tuesday, March 06, 2007


First of all, I want to tell you I'm not doing badly - not good, but not badly either.

In my last post I raised the topic of waiting - waiting for depression to lift. Although I love the Bible and try to live by it, it does in places make waiting seem rather simple. My favorite Psalm 40 says: "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry." It misses the torturous feelings that come with that waiting.

In reading Nelson Mandela's account of his experience with solitary confinement, it struck me that depression is very similar. It is an emotional solitary confinement, but probably just as torturous. Mandela said, "The mind begins to turn in on itself, and one desperately wants something outside of oneself on which to fix one's attention. I have known men who have taken half-a-dozen lashes in preference to being locked up alone."

Mandela found relief whenever an insect came from the crack in the floor. It gave him something to focus on, something to take him out of his self-consumed state.

I think that's the way it is for us too when we're depressed. We need simple little things to draw us back into the world. I've found relief in simple things - usually things of a physical nature to draw me out of my dead emotional world: A nice hot bath, a glass of bubbly 7up or mug of sweet hot chocolate, begging a hug from a dear friend (if there's no friend available, pretending my pillow is her is better than nothing. I hug my pillow)

Dream Writer said how important it is to write. The medicinal value of writing out our feelings is such a mysterious thing, yet so very strong. My journal has become a place where I seek comfort. This blog is where I reach out to others. Writing takes us out of ourselves and helps us make sense of our feelings. It helps us work things out. It takes the worries and pain out of our minds and dumps them onto a page. I pray much better in writing than I do with spoken words. There is so much more certainty in it. David found that in his Psalms. They, too, were prayers.

"How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? ...But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me." Psalm 13:1-2, 5-6.

I talked my pdoc into not starting me on antidepressants. They're too dangerous for me because they might cause me to go manic....and I'm not that bad. I may pull out soon. I have many strategies at my disposal to deal with this. This morning I will go for a workout. I will putter at things, focusing on things that give me satisfaction, talking with friends....writing.


Nicole said...

I hear you completely. Finding something small and simple to focus my thoughts on has been a lifesaver. And always taking it minute by minute, that seems to be absolutely critical. May your waiting not be longer than it needs to be.

steve g said...

The fact that you suffer gives you credibility to others, that you can't get any other way. Hang in there Marja and thank you for being you.
Good news about the media exposure.All because of little ol you, people are comforted and their problems and hurts are given some attention thereby some healing.

bipolar_girl said...

Hang in there, Marja! Glad to know you're doing something to get out of the awful feeling. Many bipolars will learn from your experiences. God bless!

marja said...

Hey Nicole, steve, and bipolar girl! Thank you for your caring concern, but please realize I'm not that badly off. It was only brief periods of these feelings that made me want to write this. I'm not that deep and I don't intend to get that deep, if I can at all help it. I guess I write for the benefit of others who ARE going through extended periods of this waiting, because I know how it feels.

Now I feel guilty for making you all think I'm in a bad way. I WILL pull out. And by helping others through this writing, I help myself. Beautiful how that works!

I love you all.

Michele said...

Marja, I'm glad it is not deep. Have you tried taking a good walk and noticing the beauty of the world God has given us. A brisk walk quite often helps me break these depressive moments. I walk every morning that I can just for that reason. It's a good time to think and clear the mind, meditate or whatever. Hope you're a little more up. Michele

chalexa said...

Hi Marja. I'm so sorry to hear about your feelings of depression and feeling low. I hate that, being depressed is the most horrible thing for me and i try to avoid it at all cost and take tons of preventable measures. But, unfortunately, since we are bipolar, we have our low times. I will pray for you.

Don't forget to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and make sure to keep reading the Word!!!! Reading your bible and talking to God will be the best therapy you can possibly do for yourself.

God loves you and will never leave your side. He is the God of all comfort.