Encountering God in Depression
Week 5 is here! But what if the blues never seems to end? Living through depression last term was bleak. Getting out of bed every morning is a huge hurdle when there's nothing to look forward to in that day, and nothing seems to be worth living for. But yet drifting off to sleep again is welcoming the nightmares that have haunted me. Every criticism I faced from supervisors is amplified by voices in my head telling me that I'm incompetent. Being around people is difficult as I envy how people are able to talk to each other normally, and I'm some dysfunctional and ostracised sub-human. And when nothing seems to help, I slip back into self-harm. Physical pain seems to be one of the few ways to remind myself that I'm alive – I'm reminded that there's life as blood drips out of my arm. I'll spare you the other gory details, but you get this gist – it wasn't fun. But there were two things in that season that brought me out of it. The first was reading the Bible every morning. It is a common prayer among us to be more disciplined in our Bible reading. A typical image of quiet time would be a Christian sitting at a table with study bible on the left and an open notebook on the right, and possibly with a commentary somewhere. But what it looked like for me last term was a child of God, wrapped up in blankets, unwilling to get out of bed in the morning, often in tears, opening the Bible app on the phone in the dark. But God met me there. And morning after morning, He reminded me that He was worth living for, and that He loves me. That's what got me out of bed each day! The second was Christian brothers and sisters. God's love was practically shown through His people in Cambridge who have lovingly been with me through that season. A family from church took me in and allowed me to stay with them (and confiscated my antidepressants) for a few days after I considered suicide by overdose. There were so many brothers and sisters in CF and church who would avail themselves in the middle of the night to chat, to take loads of my shoulders, to sit with me and hug me and remind me that I'm loved so deeply. I am so grateful for all of them – all of you who have reached out to me. Let this be an encouragement to keep loving those around you, for you might just be God's instrument of love.