Happy five year anniversary this summer to Nora, Bess, and all the imaginary friends who make up the story in my novel Rose Hill Cottage. Although it is a light-hearted story with fun characters, Nora does deal with grief and depression in the book. I’ve been down that same road, and I think I’ve found some things that help. If depression is threatening you or someone you love, here are some places I’ve turned for help, in no specific order:
Okay, this one is in order. Prayer is the first place to go if you are a person of faith. (Or, even if you aren’t! God can surprise you.) But, sometimes we simply can’t pray, because our brains aren’t letting us think straight or even function. The Bible shows us lots of places where prayer healed the sick and broke the power of bad stuff. It still works the same way today. And, it helps us cope if the illness lingers. Which brings me to my next point.
Not every person in the world was healed in Jesus’ day. Fortunately, God has now given us the miracle of medicine, too. Our brains are magnificent organs. But they are organs like the pancreas and the kidneys. Just as the pancreas can fail and cause diabetes, the brain can fail to produce the right stuff for our minds and bodies to work. The chemical balance in the brain is delicate and mysterious, so be patient as your doctor tries to find the right combinations.
Friends & Family
These are the people who understand that you are struggling. They don’t coddle you, but they don’t tell you to snap out of it, either. They understand you would if you could. Mine have been known to wash our dishes, do our laundry, love our children, and basically bear with me until the Light dawns.
The Holy Spirit is our best Counselor, of course. But He tends to use people like you and me to help one another. Sometimes the mere act of saying something out loud breaks the darkness and brings the light. That is the role of a good counselor. To help us find the Light.
Faith & Hope
It has been more than forty years since I first whispered a prayer for help, and depression has never kept me down since. Sometimes it threatens and taunts. But, it never wins. I have a strong hope that it never will. That is the story I try to tell in all my novels. Light dawns. Hope arrives. Community helps. Love wins.