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TITLE: untitled
By Carol Shaffron

My audience for this writing is mainly those who have had or are struggling with severe clinical depression. It's not how to overcome, but simply an expression of some of the issues those overpowered by depression face for long periods.
Write about what you know best, say the articles on how to write well. Let me see! What do I know best?

Anger, frustration and rage

Now who wants to read about those subjects? Those who are still suffering from those things? Well, Iím not sure they will even be able to hear what I write because those pits are so deep itís like drowning alive in quick sand. You never really drown; youíre just in a perpetual state of powerlessness and paralysis so you canít really do anything to get out of them yourself. And usually youíve been so betrayed by others that you canít even ask for help. Besides you donít know what kind of help you truly need. When grace has done its full work, perhaps I will write about how I overcame..

What else do I know well? How to cook. I thoroughly enjoy cooking and coming up with new recipes. My favorite foods are spicy with lots of onions and garlic and hot peppers. Those ingredients can be used in most dishes. But Iím not really interested in writing a cook book or instructions on how to cook anything. When I do cook up some new recipe, itís always spontaneous combustion..

Then I also know a lot about Godís forgiveness. Oh, yes, do I know a lot about Godís forgiveness and mercy and His grace. At this point, itís still difficult for me to write from a perspective of grace, however.

But I believe that God will continue to restore my soul and that the creativity stolen from me will be 100% restored.

At this point in time I have a strong sense that Iím supposed to be learning to KNOW my God and to also know myself as I am designed to be. Not sure I really like the process of being trained and disciplined and submitting to the dying process. Itís hard to describe.

My heart's deepest longing is simply to KNOW God as HE is. For I have come to realize all else flows from that relationship. I have Godís promises and Iíve grown enough in the Lord to know the seeds must die for the blade, the ear and the full corn in the ear to begin to be manifest.

Having been isolated during my childhood from the rest of the family unit, I am accustomed to the hermit like existence I was forced into. However, I am now bursting at the seams to develop healthy relationships that seem long in coming.

It has become much easier to focus on seeking my God with all of me! God likes to play hide and seek. I assume to weed out those who truly desire Him from those who can either take Him or leave Him.

Perhaps I have also become a bit of an expert on seeking God with all of my being. But how to write on that eludes me as God continues hiding! Realizing that He has not abandoned me has been a very difficult process given my childhood history of being banished from the family unit to my room as punishemnt for some imaginary infraction in only Mother's mind. Itís taken me an extremely long, long time to come to know God is not punishing me, nor was He ever! Religious indoctrination like weedy, choking vines strangled me for so long I am still amazed at my fairly new-found liberty and freedom.

If my story touches but one other life, I think, it is worth the telling regardless of whether no one else finds it interesting or worth reading. Sorting through the piles of rubble left from my shattered hopes, dreams, wishes, desires, longings, aspirations I see glimpses of the glorious plans God has for such shards of ???

Write about what I know best.

No one truly wants to hear about the years depression bound me and held me captive and paralyzed incapable of anything but moving robotically as though frozen in slow motion movie frames. No one really wants to hear how I slept my days away and came awake about 3 or 4 pm in the evening and far into the dark hours of the night and early morning until weariness simply overcame me and I again slipped into sleep forced by my weariness.

No one truly wants to hear how the deep, deep wounds of feeling so invisible set off such volatile rages I in turn terrorized my own child who to this day bears his own scars. No one truly wants to hear the struggle I had with shame and guilt and unforgiveness and resentment and bitterness and self recrimination and self condemnation and about the cycle of despair and false hope and deep despair and illusions and hopelessness and the crushing disappointments that stole even my ability to believe a God who truly loved me existed.

No one truly wants to hear all that. Itís depressing.

Yet, all around me I see people who appear to be alive, but are walking zombies. Suffering from depression? Maybe not the deep dark paralyzing depression and cycles of false hopes and dreams from which I suffered for years, but surely some level of depression.

But God intervened.

I can write on Godís long suffering. Iím only learning to walk in step with Him there. I think perhaps I have overcome my impatience with myself! And that permits me to now extend long suffering to others who before would have set me off like a volcanic eruption. That because the neural pathways in my brain were literally mal formed. That is no joke.

While I was not partly brain dead, some parts of my brain were not connected by neural pathways therefore preventing any other possible re-sponse. It took years of ingesting Godís word to create connections to the positive areas of my brain where belief and faith are active and operating fully functional. So never judge someone who has a quick temper. The brain takes over when set off by certain stimuli! God has to really deliver me from the shame and guilt I was buried under regarding my helpless ness. While family and even brothers and sisters in Christ judge me as being simply lazy and unwilling to work the emotional wounds inside crippled me so I could not work.

When we judge others we bring judgment upon our own selves. I watched more than once a person who judged me severely suffer similar circumstances as they had judged me for. By then, thanks be to God I knew enough not to gloat. Yes, I also know a lot about Godís mercy and loving kindness.

Forming new neural pathways in my brain has not been and easy row to hoe, but it has been doable and it has banished the depression, loneliness, terror, despair, and all those other things I know well from my life.

Perhaps the day will come when I will be skilled enough to write about those issues with grace and humor and lift others out of their grasp, but for now I will continue to write whatever comes to mind from my spirit. Perhaps this stuff needs to be purged before the grace and wit begins to flow..

Perhaps the seed has burst and the beginnings of the stalk are peeping out..

Note: I have done all the necessary forgiving work and only for the sake of telling my story authentically do I mention my Mother's part. Getting the proper perspective and digging out all the resentments and bitterness took years of true repentent prayer and confession before God and my spiritual mentors.

Copyright © Chesvan 5768 Carol Shaffron aka Shalah
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