Where the hell is Counselor Troi when you need her?
What I am about to share is not a popular topic among most Christians. It is one of those “close your eyes and pray, maybe it will go away” type of things. But, facts are facts and they should not be ignored. My name is Christopher Kirk and I suffer from major depression and PTSD among other things. There! Now it is out there and we can discuss it. I was diagnosed about 17 years ago, but I really believe that my depression started at an early age. Being brutally abused in about all the ways you can possibly be abused (sexually, physically, emotionally, verbally) has a way of messing with your head. The beatings alone do a big trick on your brain chemistry. At a time when your brain really needed to be further developed. I honestly do not know what my psyche lacks, but I am thinking that there are some huge holes in there that need some serious patching.
Don’t get me wrong, The Lord has brought me a ton of healing over the years and we have made great progress. However, my pit of despair seems to still be with me most days. I take anti-depressants every day and most of the time they help some, but it is like I never get fully over the hump of my sorrows. Jesus is with me in this I do not doubt because HE too was,” a man of sorrows familiar with suffering.”
Paul wrote in Romans 9 that, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” If this apostle suffered in such a way… why should I be exempt? Yet there are many religious folks out there that simply say that God’s children should never suffer from such things. They pray for healing (which I am all for), but if the healing does not come. They say the one who was suffering must be in sin or lacking in faith. When the simple truth is that some depression or suffering is just part of living life on life’s terms in this day and age.
The way I get through each day is simple. I depend on Jesus and fellowship with my siblings in Christ. Since I have not tried to hide my afflictions my sisters and brothers are able to come alongside me and help carry my burdens, and in turn I do the same with them. When I say fellowship I do not mean sitting in rows where all I can see and relate to is the back of someones head. To me fellowship is an all inclusive deal. It is totally shared life between believers. It means totally being there for each other with warts, blemishes, sins, farts and all. I am talking about deep relationship here. I am talking about shared life and holding nothing back from the table, not even the embarrassing stuff. When I get depressed and down they lift me up. When they get in a jam I am there for them. Quite simply we are more than family and we belong with one another. Through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of life, We are HIS Body.
Today is not such a great day for me, but due to some encouragement from my believing friends I will get by. Better than that eventually I will overcome. But, until then ” I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
P.s. Wow! I wrote this blog post in August 2011, the very first month of this blog’s existence. I sit here now in awe of just how far Jesus has brought me in the last 5 years. These days depression is minimal in my life and I rarely visit “the pit of despair” and I haven’t had a full blown PTSD episode in over 3 years. I literally take less than half the amount of medication that I used to and will be reducing it even more in the coming months. I am pretty certain that makes me a walking miracle. I have the best friends anyone could ask for and the fellowship we share in Christ is so full and rich that I cannot hardly begin to express its depth with mere words. Jesus has put the most wonderful woman back in my life and I am very grateful for that. Feelings of fear and dread that used to be with me everyday are simply nowhere to be found now. I now look forward to every day and my future is very promising. Thanks to Jesus, my sibling peers in Christ, Janet, my Spirit filled psychiatrist, and a counselor who is closer than a brother. I am now living my life in Christ to its fullest with no regrets. I would not be who I am today without being able to share openly and honestly about my afflictions, struggles and problems. Totally free & open, Spirit led fellowship and being able to hold nothing back has set me free. That is why I deeply desire to help others find true, rewarding and rich fellowship. Freedom is out there people. So please don’t give up. Thanks for listening.