How It All Got Started

A recent poster asked me to comment on how I began my journey to wellness. Without divulging enough information to kick off my warm blanket of anonymity, I will write a bit about how this all began.

We pastors go to many conferences and meetings throughout the year. Some of them are, frankly, a waste of time. Others are opportunities for growth personally and professionally. The pastors conference I attended this year definitely fits into the latter category.

One of the topics discussed was depression. There was a list of symptoms of depression. I fit the bill almost perfectly. It was as if I was attending my own intervention.

It wasn’t the first time I saw a list of symptoms of depression. Earlier in 2008 I visited my doctor. On the bulletin board in one of the exam rooms was a list quite similar to what was before my eyes at the pastors conference. I thought to myself, “Maybe I have depression and should talk to the doctor about it.” But I was ashamed to mention it. I didn’t want a total stranger to know I might be sick. I was afraid of the doctor telling me it was just an advertisement for an anti-depression drug and that I should get over it. I should have spoken up. But I stayed quiet. Not one of my better decisions.

While at the conference I wrote down some things about what I saw and heard. Only one other person has seen my thoughts: my wife. Even now as I hold the journal in my hands I am afraid to read it. Here’s one part of what I wrote:

“I’m sure I have [clinical depression]. I go days where all I want to do is nothing….I am gripped with a need not to care for anyone but me. I snap at my wife and [children] so I don’t have to snap at my flock. How wrong is that?”

Leaving the pastors conference was hard to do. I wasn’t ready to go home. Usually I can’t wait to get out of these conferences. Not this time. I needed more time to go back to the “real world”.

When I saw my wife, I broke down. I took time to talk with her about all the rotten things in my head and about how I was feeling. I told her some things I was ashamed to tell her before. I expected her to get angry and start crying too.

She didn’t. She told me she loved me. She would never stop loving me. She would help me get better. That’s exactly what I needed to hear.

Next post, I will talk about “first contact” with a psychologist. I will also talk about what might be my lowest point of depression and how things have gone since then. Stay tuned!


2 Responses to “How It All Got Started”

  1. Wives are a great gift. That is true.

  2. Thanks for sharing a bit of your journey. I’ve spent the last two years in therapy and have had some very dark times along the way. Things seem to be slowing getting better for me and I pray the same for you.


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