Treasures of darkness…when depression swallows you silent and what 21days in a dungeon taught me

HAMMOND DUNGEON

So I am sitting here in the dark and the cold.

Our home is still and he’s asleep but I am wrapped in a black woolen shawl pulled round my shoulders with a cup of steaming tea between my palms.

Staring weary at a screen flashing 3:17 AM.

So I read words written by a woman who cannot see.

And it’s the very last line of her post that opens my eyes and makes me catch my breath.

May He give you the treasures of darkness…Isaiah 45:3

Because just last week I posted this and those same words hit a deep chord and now I am asking Him what it all means. And so much of His teaching to me comes through this blog as feelings process and words flow and stories evolve and both you and me helped.

TEA AND DARKNESS

Yesterday evening I met a friend for tea and we were talking about how winter, even in spring, has refused to give up the ghost and the deluge of drab and dreary days has left us all needing significant sunshine and warm breezes and flowers bursting color.

I tell her that the last few weeks had been difficult for me battling SAD and black lace with wee hours wakeful bringing negative thoughts and worries of this world weighing heavy on my shoulders aching.

No amount of 85% dark chocolate was making things better.

And the Word which is the Light seemed dim, too, and laughter which always rolls easily from my lips jammed up. And I started shutting down with my world all sombre and scary and the serpent hissing lies.

Hard to write and harder to feel and my fingers refusing to fly over the keys because words were stalled in the shadows, locked away in depression’s dungeon. And my one flesh dearest felt the freeze. And all I wanted to do was nap in a dark room, shades drawn, so I did.

And the lie that lingered lazy, with anger closer than my next heartbeat, kept repeating: I just don’t care.

Now my brain recognized and remembered that seasonal affective disorder troubles me slightly each year, usually in the last couple of weeks in February, but never lasting longer than 10 days. I reminded myself the negativity and sense of hopelessness would pass but when it lasted twice as long I was about ready to pluck my eyelashes out.

It was a very long winter.

And looking to the hills for help all I saw was dirty, ugly snow and I wondered if my Help was hearing my cries both inside and out. Typically my passions bubble over with cares deep about life and Love and my beloved loved ones, but this season of SAD was so full of nothing — virtually no feelings, nearly no delight, and almost no hope — that I thought morning might never come.

Faith floundering weak and friends praying strong kept me putting one foot in front of the other, pushing through the fog and sometimes falling down grumpy. Poor husband! Thank you for grace.

But help finally did come in the mourning and He, our Lord and Savior, makes me dance. Cranking up the Latin tunes I salsa round the family room, kicking serotonin into gear and working up a sweat.

CITY HALL

And the next day I am traveling out of town, back to where I began with my son who lost his birth certificate. As we climb steep stairs to City Hall a strong, chill wind whips my hair in front of my eyes, sending shivers across my skin, yet in the twinkling of an eye scales of sadness slip away right there with help coming on that hill overlooking the fourth largest city in New York.

Holy Spirit rush fills me, every cell tingling alive and in the bright my heart is sunny, too. Smiling. I thank the Son for holding me through a long, tedious season of dark.

And the treasure take-away from this experience is priceless.

Here’s what’s worth remembering: {And if you are struggling with depression that absolutely will not quit, or having seriously dark thoughts, please contact your health care provider immediately.}

>>God showed me that I must be ever diligent to choose my thoughts wisely being positive even when I feel negative.

>>Mild, seasonal depression must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit

>>Darkness is a gift that makes us cry out for more of our Father

>>In the darkness He can shine His light on things in our souls that He wants to remedy

>>Scripture is solid gold truth and we need to focus our hearts on truth regardless of what emotions scream

>>Receiving the treasure of darkness yields a chest full of wisdom jewels

>>The sun will shine again because the Son is always loving us no matter what our critical inner voice says

>>Eat, sleep, pray for talking with Him, exercise, solid sleep, and a diet high in omega threes helps

>>Tickle your funny bone by distracting yourself for awile with movies that make you laugh like For Richer For Poorer and My Big Fat Greek Wedding

~sheila
All our longings end in love

City Hall image credit

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4 thoughts on “Treasures of darkness…when depression swallows you silent and what 21days in a dungeon taught me

  1. Thank you for your honesty about depression, Sheila. I know so many who suffer from it, and I do mean suffer. It is a hard thing. But God doesn’t withhold his grace even in it somehow. I praise him for that.

    This is beautiful: “Holy Spirit rush fills me, every cell tingling alive and in the bright
    my heart is sunny, too. Smiling. I thank the Son for holding me through a
    long, tedious season of dark.” Amen.

    • Like clockwork, Lisa, yearly towards the end of winter dreary comes the gloomies and I am such a girl of summer at heart. But God…He is my forever summer and He holds me tight and warms me, never letting me go even once the clouds have cleared. Thanks, my friend.

  2. Oh, I feel this one, Sheila. Spring has finally come to our little valley home and it has made such a difference to both my husband and I, as we’ve been groping our way through some darkness lately. Good words, my friend. Much love to you.

    • I sensed that theme running through some of your recent posts a few weeks back. And my heart went out to you and I thought we are all in this together. Glad that you and hubby are better able seeing the light. Thank you for your encouragement. My love back to you, my sister friend 🙂 PS yesterday I spied tiny sunny daffodils outside my front door and felt a surge of delight. (Photo in tomorrow’s View from Longings End) Blessings, Laura…