Far From Alone2 min read

As I write this, I am on the heels of a depressive episode that has threatened to kick my legs out from under me. For almost a week, I’ve been holed up my apartment; sleeping, watching television, staring at the computer screen. Menacing voices scream inside my head even as I hit the letters on my keyboard, yelling that I am an impostor, that I have nothing to say that people would want to hear.

At times like these, the fact that God delights in me is far removed from my thoughts and feelings. Instead my thoughts are filled with things I’ve done wrong, my feelings are dominated by regret and shame. I sleep and sleep and sleep some more, but even my dreams are distorted by fears that I am unlovable, that I am alone in a pit of despair, far from delight.

But I’m not alone. I know this, even when my feelings and thoughts are disordered.

When I open up about my mental illness, people respond in various ways. Some treat me with kid gloves. It is like they are afraid that one wrong word might set me off into a blind psychotic rage. Others avoid me altogether, as if my illness is contagious, that some demon inside me would suddenly jump into their psyche if I got too close.

There are some, however, who respond in ways I can only describe as transforming. As I share the delight in Christ I have found in the midst of my mood disorder, we share in the recognition of how God’s grace is sufficient for us, God delights in us not only in spite of our disorder, but because of it. We may feel like we are alone. We may even think we are alone. But, we are not alone. Far from it.

But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.  (Psalm 22.19)

2017-10-13T10:02:57+00:00

About the Author:

I am a man with an unquiet mind who delights in the One who delights in me.

  • Love the new website, Tony 🙂
    You know, it really ticks me off when church folk…no, not church folk, when CHRISTIANS — because not everyone who goes to church is a Christian. As I said, it really ticks me off when Christians, so full of arrogance and self-righteousness look down on someone who suffers from a mental illness, and say: “You don’t have enough faith, that’s why God won’t heal you.” or the age-old favourite, “You must have unconfessed sin in your life.” Poor old Job went through the same thing with all that happened in his life. No wonder the saying, “Job’s comforters” has lasted for so long.

    God looks at us with all our frailties — physical, mental and spiritual — but He looks at us through His beloved Son and He rejoices over us with singing. God says in His word, that He neither slumbers nor sleeps. If God is going to be awake all night (and all day), I don’t see why there is any need for me to stay awake as well — unless I’m talking to Him.

    • Beautifully put, my friend. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  • Andrea karen Kine

    Thank you tony for always having the courage to empty yourself of what is inside you… the good, the bad and the ugly. On good days, and on bad days when it is so incredibly dark that it doesn’t seem to be a flicker of light in your heart.. no hope . I know those times, those feelings, days, moods exactly. I know the illnesses that drive them and the reactions from people when they know about them… I have family who are some of them… which is sad. But I choose to rise above them knowing that in MY grand scheme of life, I don’t need them… not really. I got through the worst of my illnesses without their support, and now I don’t need their or anyone else’s acceptance or opinion. I don’t rely on anyone else in order for me to be me or to be happy. What I am is inside me already… and it isn’t any illness. I am not defined by my illnesses. They are just something I have, like blue eyes or blonde hair, or mitral valve prolapse … they make me nothing nothing special… but my heart and soul do. And that comes from God. THAT I have always had and as long as I let that stay in my heart, my mind will never be able to shut that out. Ever. A mind and soul can never be separated. Thanks tony… I hope that you get on the other side of the rainbow… you have done it so many times before… just know that you are one of the strongest people I know. And the more time we spend sleeping, the more time we want to… but the minute we break that cycle… as hard as it is to want to-to open those shades, let light in, the better we will begin to feel. See you on the other side of the rainbow Tony!! Hugs and love to you.

    • Thanks for your understanding, Andrea, and the encouragement. I appreciate the hope you put forth.