When you are undone by depression

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I was 21, and contemplating and standing in the dog food aisle, when I realised that I did not want to kill myself anymore.

I remember the moment clearly; I can even picture the bag of dog food I was examining when I realised that I did not want to die, that I wanted to take another shot at life.

I wanted to breathe, to live, and to stop wishing cars would run me over when I walked to university.

When I was growing up – blowing bubbles, climbing jungle gyms and jumping on trampolines – I never imagined that at 21 I would be unraveling like the hem of my trouser leg and needing to crawl home for some love and repair and hope.

I was broken and shattered. I was unbalanced and confused and bewildered because my dreams had plunged like the neckline of a prostitute’s dress.

I was depressed

I did not know what to do next, or who I was, or what life meant.

I was undefined. I recall sitting for what seemed like three weeks, but was probably only three days and writing the same words over and over.

I wrote these words in big letters; I wrote them in small; I wrote them in journals and on the walls.

I scribbled these words in pencil and painted them in scarlet red; I typed them and printed them and wrote them on my heart.

These are the words that I stole from a shepherd boy who became a King:

God, you know when I can’t get up and when I spring out of bed;
you recognise my thoughts from among millions.
Nothing about me is strange to you God.
You could start my sentences you know me so well…
there is nowhere I can go to get away from you God,
no where I can crawl that you could not find me
and follow me into…
You created me, stitch by stitch,
moulded my arms and legs and liver and placed jewels in my eyes…
all the days that you have given to me were planned
before I drew a breath.

I knew only one thing at the time

Even today there are times when I know nothing else but this one thing. I do not understand it. I cannot explain it easily. And I wrestle and grapple and argue about it constantly with myself, with others, and with Jesus.

The one thing I knew then, that I still know now, was that when I was stumbling through my life, when I was wandering in darkness, Jesus was with me and he liked me very much.

Jesus was with me and I was not alone

I do not know how Jesus happened to be there, and I do not know how he found me; all I know is that he was there.

Sometimes it felt like I was alone; it felt like even hope had left me. I told you this was a hard one for me to explain. But even when I felt alone I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew that Jesus was sitting right outside the door, waiting for me find the energy to unlock it, and invite him in.

Sometimes my life still makes no sense to me. Often I feel myself battling the darkness, but I know now that I don’t fight it back alone; Jesus is with me.

Some other posts on depression I’ve found helpful this week:

Wendy is married to Xylon, who talks non-stop about cycling, and makes her laugh. She writes for anyone who has ever held a loved one’s hand through illness, ever believed in God despite hard circumstances or ever left on a spontaneous overseas holiday with just a backpack. You can follow her story and subscribe to receive her free eBook, Life, Life and More Life at her website.

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2017-09-22T00:56:26+02:00 June 13th, 2016|Categories: Depression, Suffering, Trials|Tags: , , , |3 Comments


  1. Sandra June 14, 2016 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Wendy and all the Beauty for Ashes ladies

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    At the conference this year we were asked what topics we would like to see articles on and depression was one of my requests.
    Wendy’s article and the ones she listed at the end really spoke to me and choked me up as I read that there are people that DO understand the helplessness and judgement of it all. Thank you ever so much

    • Aldyth Thomson
      Aldyth Thomson June 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandra
      Thank you for this positive comment. Have you seen another Beauty for Ashes blog post written on this topic by Michelle du Toit? http://beautyforashes.com/how-is-it-possible-to-overcome-depression/
      Aldyth Thomson

      • Sandra June 17, 2016 at 12:42 pm - Reply

        Hi Aldyth

        I just read Michelle’s article, thank you. Very valuable suggestions!
        Unfortunately I am single and live alone, so its the loneliness and being single that leads to the depression, amongst other things.

        Thank you to all of you for your selfless efforts

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