Living With Addiction
Strongholds of Depression
Damage more than the Afflicted
Day 8 of 40
Depression is cruel. It is not discriminant in nature and/or symptomatology. My story is simple really; I became so low and full of despair in my desperate attempts to belong, anywhere, I couldn’t understand or figure out why this sudden gloom of hopelessness was developing that was attacking and overwhelming my heart and soul. I tried to talk to my family about it, but they were detached and busy about their ways and girls in high school just did not talk about depression. Girls talked about boys, surfing and where the next party was while sizing each other up.
Because the pain was becoming intense and the heaviness of the cold and thick residue of dampness had chilled my body, I tried visualizing about things that would wrap me with warmth and happiness: Boys! But when reality set back in and the daydreams were interrupted because of life, school and work, I felt more alone and isolated. Even though there was a crowd of people encircling my presence, I felt as if I was inside of a bubble and no one saw me or even cared about my existence. I was just floating by hoping and praying someone would notice me.
This loneliness and despair led me to seek out such vices as drugs and alcohol. When those temporal fixes wouldn’t suffice; you’re only happy when you’re high on mind-altering substances because you’re denying the truth that you must work through and face when sober, I started developing differing personality traits and vices to diffuse some of the air in my bubble and coddle my need for attention. It’s called Negative Attention and Hello Insecurity!
I have been asked what my ulterior motives are for sharing such an extremely painful, personal and dark journey of my past. My motives are pure and simple: Why not! There’s no shame here talking about it; it’s just another amazing victory and piece of the glued shattered glass in the vase that illuminates God’s grace and mercy through each and every crack displaying His Divine nature and love over my life. That’s called beauty made from the ashes. When we’re truly healed and set free, we want to share and help others leap over the hurdles and finish the race victoriously!
I didn’t have the help to sever this stronghold of depression that was stemming from the environment caused by living with addiction that has been a part of my family for centuries. Instead it was swept underneath the rug because of shame and not having the strength or time to deal with it. I may have claimed and received complete healing, but not before it stained and tainted more of my beautiful family. These strongholds are going to take several generations for it to be removed completely or Divine intervention; but awareness is the key to freedom!
Working on the high school staff for a year at church opened my eyes to the purpose of my pain; helping others beat the affliction of depression and anxiety and insecurities that are so prevalent in our students in high school today. No wonder heroin is the drug of choice now! If I can help one parent, one person, beat this monster of depression by the awareness I am bringing to it, then it makes sense in how God has turned my ashes into beauty!
On one of my report cards from 40 years ago, the teacher responded, “Great academics, but student is quite boisterous.” Since I was receiving new attention from this conduct, I developed this mindset that negative attention was love and acceptance. It helped quash down and mask over the roaring pain that was expanding in my tattered heart. This may have helped develop the comedic side to my personality, but that just meshed over the real pain that was brewing inside. I passed that trait onto one of my precious sons.
When the boisterous side ran its course, I gravitated towards boys and love; my first love. When you’re a young girl in high school, you may think you’re mature and know it all, but truth be known, there are so many life experiences you could never conjure up in your adolescent mind, much less know how to walk through it victoriously. That’s why life experiences and pain are part of life; they teach us how to better handle people and situations later on and we grow through knowledge.
My family did not engage in much communication because of all the shame, addictions, strongholds and busyness of life. I did not know how to handle all the emotions of depression that I was feeling or knew of the dangers in being led down the wrong path. All I knew was I was in love, I was ready to play house, my life was going to be perfect and full of love, and no one was going to take that “gift” away from me. It was mine for the taking. Needless to say, that gift was unwrapped and I gave myself over to a boy who promised me unconditional love, but gave me only a heartache and ammunition that fed the fuel lines of depression that were ready to explode!
This multiplied the pain I had stuffed down into the deep recesses of my heart and soul. I had just been rejected and abandoned again. That love, that sense of belonging, that I was starving for was just a tease to lure me even lower into the pit of hell. With feeling like no one cared and I didn’t matter to the world, I started taking extremes to fill that void; that deep sense of loss and hole in my heart that only God could fulfill.
Many have also asked what I did during my life with addiction and the strongholds of depression that developed with it, so be prepared to hear the raw, the dark and transparent part of my story. This is where you get the opportunity to wait a week or two to come back and visit the blog if you can’t handle hot messes because it’s going to get messy.
Enjoy Mary Mary’s song called Shackles. Be prepared to boogie. This is the freedom we receive when we believe! We can praise God during our difficult circumstances because He will bring us safely to the other side.
Until next time…