Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Depression or Just Depressed

DEPRESSED - sad and gloomy; dejected; downcast
DEPRESSION - a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal;
sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.

I have only been on this journey for eight months now. I do not claim to have anymore knowledge than the dozen or so other women I have met who are in this same position. But, I do recognize that this blog is a connection of sort to what grief is. The majority of you have never walked this path and neither had I until this year. My thoughts and emotions are hopefully a help as you not only pray for me and my family but also as you help those who are in similar positions.

Psalm 42
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

We all recognize the beginning of this Psalm as a familiar song we sing in church. We might not recognize the rest of the Psalm though. We usually like to skip over the parts of the Psalm where David is lamenting, depressed, and downcast. It is more up our alley to read the "joyful noise" verses. But, the Psalms are an incredible gift in that they show us all sides of our emotions. In the Psalms I find that it is o-kay to be is a part of grief. To be downcast and sad is a part of the human emotion that God created.

We are not dealing with depression here. Our sadness is not prolonged or too great....instead our sadness is God ordained. This subject has come to the forefront of my mind as I deal with my emotions and the emotions of my children. For some odd reason, I have to continually remind myself that it is o-kay to grieve. I guess I continue to just live life and forget that this is the biggest loss I will ever encounter. So, if I am forgetful, overwhelmed, tired, and sometimes say things that don't make sense I can remind myself that there is a reason...I am grieving the loss of one of the most precious gift God gives us on this planet.

Now I am recognizing that it is not just I who lost this precious gift. Eric's family lost a son and brother. My family lost a son-in-law and brother-in-law. Our friends lost a friend. But, most importantly, my children have lost their daddy. The grief that my children are dealing with has been hard for me to see because of my own grief. Being a bit further down the path has allowed me some clarity. My children are suffering...some more than others. Boo is a great example of this. Monday I took her to the Doctor to rule out any physical ailment. She had been having sharp pains in her chest. The EKG found that her heart was strong so the Doctor then said she was depressed and handed us a months supply of anti-depressants. We kindly took them home and after much prayer and communication with a few friends I have decided to take the anti-depressants back.

This is not a condemnation on anti-depressants...sometimes they are needed. But, in our case Boo is truly depressed and not in a depression. Her grief is not prolonged...if we were still dealing with the grief at this magnitude in a year from now then I would rethink this. But, her grief, along with mine, is right on time. It is valuable as it refines us and cleans our heart. The tears are theraputic as is the Word of God. I wish we did not have to suffer but there is a comfort in being counted among those who have suffered.

So, this is what the Davis family is doing to deal with the depressed feeling so that we don't spiral down into a depression:

1. helps balance out the chemicals in the body

2. No sugar...not only is it a great way to lose weight but living without processed foods and sugar can eliviate the mood swings and keep you grounded.

3. Sunshine....all that Vitamin D is really good for you! When we have fog in the valley this winter you will probably find us in the Bay Area where it is usually rather sunny.

4. Herbal tonics and Essential oils....I used to think that these things were for the flower children of the '60s. Was I wrong! These natural elements that God gave us are incredibly helpful in such matters. We have a stress and tension tonic that we will continue to take and Lemon essential oils (among others) are amazing mood lifters.

5. Lots and lots of cleans out the impurities in your body.

6. Deep breathing...try it!

7. The most important...memorizing God's Word. II Corinthians 10:5 says "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Here are just a few that I have memorized over the years that are ever so helpful on this path of suffering...

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Phillipians 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Even better is to pray these scriptures. I will ask the Lord to take away my anxious thoughts and then name off all the things I am thankful for (it says with thanksgiving) and then lay out my specific requests that are causing the anxiety. I also thank the Lord ahead of time for the peace that He promises me when I obey Him.



wifeofcdh said...

Hey.. Boo can come hang out with us!! Tay would love
I think your doing a great job. Truth is if there had been prozac a long time of go.. we would not have the Psalms.
since Papa died Tay has a bit more emotional. We also tell her that we can cry but Joy comes in the morning.
Thinking of you guys often.

Janet said...

My husband went through a time of panic attacks years ago and he experienced pains in his chest among other things. The doctors also prescribed meds but like you he didn't take them. He pushed through...concentrating on the sovereignty of God in his life and in all things.

I am taking vitamin B shots as a part of a diet I am on and they are doing wonders for my overall health and well being. Do you have access to vitamin injections?

Praying for you and your precious children.

Anonymous said...

Heather, I have been reading your blog since I first heard of your loss. It has been an encouragement and an inspiration to me in many ways. Today was just such a day and I wanted to let you know. Although the struggles that I am going through really are not comparable to yours, I founds myself searching God's direction in regards to depression versus just being depressed. I'm rejoicing that He brought me to your website right now. Thank you for all that you are allowing Him to be and do in your life and for sharing it with us.

Karen said...

Girl, I loved this post. You have such strength in you. Tell Boo I am praying for her (and for you and the rest of the kids...but I will lift her up specifically.) I suspect I need to do some of your remedies for the depressed since it's October and I tend to get a little "unique" then.


Katie said...

-Great thinking! Great attitude! Great advice! Great job!! :)

Basnight said...

Heather, I was just praying for you this morning and I thanked God for your treadmill! I was thinking of and praying for the emotional benefits exercising will bring you.
I will be praying for Boo specifically and of course will continue to lift you all up daily.
I love you!

Marlene said...

Oh how my heart aches for Boo. I too was 19 when my Dad unexpectedly died; here one day, gone the next. Please, oh please watch her carefully as my grief led me far away from home and Godly things. That was 20 years ago and thankfully I've found my way back to my Heavenly Father.

Planting your daughter firmly in my prayer list.


six2love said...

Such great advice. That Psalm is so my song right now, verse 3 "my tears have been my food day and night". This is where I'm at. We're not quite to 3 months yet, but my children are really starting to feel and experience the loss now. I could see them pushing away their new reality during all the distraction afforded them by so many friends and family after their Dad died. Now it seems like they almost want to get out of their skin; they seem so uncomfortable with our new life without Daddy. Lots of conflict and hard, hurtful emotions and words.

The Lord is really holding us up through the hands of his saints though; so many friends helping/praying. Think I will appreciate the opportunity to suffer later; right now not enjoying it much. Although I believe it will serve great purpose in ours and others lives.

Thank you so much for the blog; am continuing to pray for your family and will especially lift up Boo at this time.

Attempting to "count it all joy .."


Mountain Mama said...

Oh Heather!
Your family continues to be in our prayers. We will pray specifically for Boo.

Girl, your faith is amazing. Stay strong. Fight the good fight!

Great ideas for staying healthy and hopefully preventing any serious depression. I am telling you, you should read "A Sacred Sorrow" by Michael Card. After I delivered our stillborn son, Jeremiah, a friend gave me this book. It talks about mourning and the 4 mourners of the Bible, Job, David, Jeremiah and Jesus. Highly recommend!

Be encouraged! You are blessed!!
blessings to you,

Heather said...


We are praying for you and your precious children!!


godlover said...

Still lifting your family up daily but I will pray specifically pray for Boo. You are so balanced, Heather, what with realizing the difference between depression and being depressed. It is perfectly normal to be depressed after the death of a loved one. The anti- depressants are for people who are depressed with no particular reason or cause.

Next winter when the fog settles in, come up here to the gold country where the sun shines year around. (That's not totally true but almost.) Let me know in advance and I'll meet you somewhere. That would be so cool. We could stroll Columbia again or walk the downtown section of Jackson or Sutter Creek would be even better.

My computer was down for over a week. But I've been able to go back and read what I missed. Continue to grieve because that's what you're supposed to be doing at a time like this.

Love you all,