Staying Happy when Life’s not Right

When I was a teenager my Dad had a breakdown and suddenly my reasonably normal life turned into a terrifying place full of suicide attempts and hospital visits. I have always been a worrier and I decided that the best way to protect myself would be to imagine the worst case scenarios and expect that to happen – that way I couldn’t be taken by surprise. It seemed to make sense – and most of the time I was right. If I saw a police car driving in the direction of my house I would assume it was because my Dad went missing – and usually it was because he had. If I woke up in the night I assumed that my Dad had slammed the door and left, or that he was trying to drink himself to sleep – I was nearly always right about this one (I sleep deeeeeply).

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Did my method protect myself? I thought that it would as so often I was right about my fears, but the actual result was that I became depressed myself. I suffered from reactional depression, which is a depression brought on by the situation I lived in. I was in a constant state of panic and my body over produced adrenaline, this meant that all my systems went out of whack – most importantly my limbic system or my brain. It’s complicated but the chemicals which help you to think, and help the nerve endings in your brain to work, leak out of your brain when there are high levels of adrenaline in your body, meaning you become depressed and simple tasks become a struggle. At university I studied Biomedical Science and when I learnt more about reactional depression I saw the massive danger in expecting the worst and keeping adrenaline levels high.

So this brings me to the next series of posts I am hoping to write. I am, again, in a situation where the health of someone I love keeps getting worse and the temptation to “protect myself” by expecting the worst is kicking in….. So in an effort to see the hope I have (in Jesus!) and not to get negative I am going to post stories from my life about how good things, sometimes even amazing things, have come from the worst times. I would absolutely love to share some other stories too so if you have any inspirational, hope filled experiences I can include please, please leave a comment below 🙂

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/stage88/3854925173/”>Sam Ilić</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

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17 thoughts on “Staying Happy when Life’s not Right

  1. I deal with a similar situation. I too had a childhood that kept me on high alert, depressed, and emotionally alone. When I was in high school I would always sense when something was about to happen. Like knowing when we’d get in a car accident, or dream about getting in a fight with someone who didn’t even go to my school…only to have it actually happen. These dreams, and senses became all to real in 1999 when I had a dream about slowly falling down a black hole, with layers of people all around me. I didn’t jump like most falling dreams jolt you awake, I had this calmness and alertness that I was dreaming. When I landed on the ground the dream ended and I awoke. I knew this had some kind of meaning so I told my best friend, and a couple other family members. Then 2 weeks later my best friend and I were sitting next to the last man who saw my brother alive. I asked him how Mike had fallen from the 9th floor at a hotel, and as he told me how Mike had taken a running jump to sit up on the balcony he jumped too high and went right over the edge. His exact words were “Crys, he just kept falling like he was in a black hole” immediately my BF & I gasped knowing that I had dreamt about him falling and didn’t know until that day. The layers of people were because there was a concert down below and everyone was on their balcony. You can imagine the horror that came with any bad dreams after that. As the years went on, if someone was sick and I would pray for them I would have a “sense” of their healing or their death. And like you I’ve been pretty on the mark. This has caused me to one be sensitive to seeing signs and warnings that opened my eyes to seeing God in ways that many don’t. But this has also caused me to panic in fear that someone else is going to pass. The last time this happened I realized that I had become accustomed to being within Gods will more diligently when a warning appeared. I asked God to forgive me and to help me to seek Him everyday as if it were someone’s last and to rejoice and not fear death. I know this is long and seems depressing, but the truth is through these experiences that always led to heartache and loss, I became dependent completely on the Lord. I am able to see His Voice in ways that I would never trade. But I’ve also come to realize that every moment of my life, (and yours) had been preplanned. God knew exactly where and what I’d be going through and He purposed GOOD for ALL of it. Just like Joseph going through years and years of what appeared to be undeserving punishment, it was actually Gods plan all along, that He told him in advance. Genesis 50:20 has given my past a purpose, and I pray that you know that although your life here as a child was hard… and “the enemy planned it for harm, God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” You have PURPOSE! Jesus chose you and KNEW you would glorify Him and by doing so you will Shine HIS LIGHT among other women who are where you once were. I’m sorry this was so long, but you didn’t come to my blog by chance this morning. God loves you and Hope is what He has given us in Christ Jesus. I pray that God delivers you from any ailments that the Dr’s and textbooks say is wrong. They may be factual, but they’re not the final story. You have the Creator of the Universe living inside of you. Remember that when the days get hard. You are CHOSEN!

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  3. Powerful post! A friend of a friend committed suicide last week; this 20-something year old man was a committed Christian, but he battled depression most of his life. I just don’t understand how a Christian could commit suicide. Do you understand? Thanks. You’re an inspiration!
    Bill

    • Oh that’s so very sad! Suicide is absolutely awful. I do understand what you mean about how could a Christian do this, but I guess I also understand the place that he was in as I myself have struggled in this area. Depression is at it’s heart a chemical imbalance and a physical illness (although it can in most cases be helped by healthy balanced thinking). I think just like we would understand how a dementia patient could forget Jesus because of their physical disease I can understand the pull towards suicide for a christian who is struggling with the physical disease of depression. It is such a heart breaking situation, I will pray for you and all involved. God Bless

      • Do you have any posts comparing your dealing with depression before and after Jesus came into your life? I really want to understand this kind of depression – I do not think I can offer hope without understanding hopelessness. Thanks!
        Bill

      • Hmmm I don’t have a specific post about this yet, but you mentioning this has made me want to write one! My case isn’t straight forward though, I was a Christian both before and after my depression, through the illness it was a make or break situation for my faith, although thats massively simplifying it. Also I suffered from reactional depression which is caused by traumatic/incredibly stressful situations in which case most people would develop depression – it was not a chronic depression which plagued me for years like my dad suffers from. I’m sure this raises a few more questions than gave answers so I will actually write this post 🙂

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