I’m spending my Sunday afternoon crocheting by the fireplace and listening to Christmas music. The selections have included a number hymns and songs to celebrate the season. This got me thinking about faith. I don’t think it’s all that unusual for a depressed person to question their faith. Particularly when times are most difficult. Now I know some conservative Christians might say that Depression would be the result of not having enough faith or some character flaw or unconfessed sin. That would be one of many reasons I reject conservatism and its narrow view. However, there are many occasions in the bible of doubt and despair, sometimes going hand in hand. I’m not getting into a theology lesson here, that’s not my area of interest or personal expertise.
At some of the worst times of my Depression, I felt the most alone. Separated from all others, including God. Despair can run that deep, and when there is no hope, that is when drastic measures seem the best solutions. It would be nice to have a simple answer to carry us until the despair resolves, but there are none, not even within the context of belief. Don’t get me wrong, faith helps us hang on…when we are grasping for reasons to keep going and can find no joy in life. But it’s hard not to question why. Why this particular illness? Why does it keep coming back? Why do I have to suffer so?
Of course I know plenty of people suffer from all types of ailments. But this invisible illness…takes its toll, invisibly. People don’t realize and can’t comprehend the emotional pain. I suppose that is also why we need our faith, to know that God understands our darkness and our suffering. We celebrate his son among us as part of that faith.
The holiday season always makes it a challenge to maintain a stable mood. So many messages are pummeling us and we are pulled in too many directions to assess how we actually feel. It’s always a difficult season because I have faced a number of losses during this time of year, so while I am supposed to celebrate my faith and socialize, I also grieve. Much conflict is carried around inside me which is difficult to share. I have shared much on this weblog which has been cathartic for me and hopefully helpful to someone else. I do look forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends, and perhaps a renewal of faith for the coming year.