Darkness and Light

An empty, sucking loneliness envelopes you, and the world seems dark. Your capacity for joy, for hope, for love is lost.

Worse than lost; because you no longer feel them, you have ceased to believe they exist. Love has been reduced, in your understanding, to a short-lived illusion created by brain chemistry to ensure the continuation the species. Love, hope, joy – as critical to human survival as air – as far as you can tell they are merely literary constructs, something they are selling in books and movies but have no place in reality.

There are days when the darkness is almost tangible. You envision a dusty black smoke swirling at your feet with every step. The emptiness is a black hole in your very soul. The crush of it is almost unbearable.

You have an intellectual awareness that you are depressed, and you realize that your perceptions are out of step with everyone else around you.

But even that recognition is distorted. What your emotions tell you has become your reality. You don’t believe that other people believe in love, have hope, experience joy.

Of course they don’t, you think; these things do not exist. Everyone knows that.  It does not occur to you that your perception in this matter is fundamentally flawed.

No, the problem – as you see it – is that everyone else knows these things don’t exist, and yet they are dealing with this “reality” better than you are. They are somehow able to live in the world without them. That others can bear it – while increasingly you cannot – this is what you understand to be the issue.

You realize that you could – probably should – seek treatment, to medicate the pain of the darkness away, or to talk about why the darkness is so much more miserable to you than (apparently) to anyone else and come to terms with it.

But it’s hard to seek help when the darkness seems so deep and endless, when the exercise seems so pointless. Because of your distorted view of reality, it does not occur to you that things could be better. That things are in fact better than you think they are. 

But no… Why merely learn to become comfortable with the darkness, if you don’t believe there to be any light? Why go on at all, you wonder, when the aching emptiness can be better replaced with what you imagine to be a peaceful, silent nothingness?

On the darkest days, it is only the thought of the pain it would cause others – and in such a dark world, who could bear any more pain? – that holds you to the planet at all.

What you don’t know, what you can hardly dare to imagine anymore, is that there is light, is hope, is joy, is loveIn abundance.  That what your feelings are telling you is not trustworthy, not reliable. 

What you don’t know – what you won’t know until much later, when you’ve been restored to reason and you can recognize (in retrospect) that your particular flavor of depression was every bit as much spiritual in nature as psychological or medical – is that the dark heaviness inside you is the weight of a spirit dead in sin – but that God in Christ can breathe new life into you, can give you His very Spirit to restore and renew.

Later, when you’re seeing clearly, full and complete in the brilliance of light and life and hope – you’ll see that the whisper of the darkness was the whisper of the Liar. 

There is help; there is hope. Feelings lie. You don’t have to listen to the lie inside you. Seek the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

Depression has many types and causes, and many treatments are available. If you or someone you love is experiencing depression, please seek professional help.

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~ by lorakceel on December 1, 2010.

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