As women we can all deal with some depression from time to time. I had depression when my daughter was born and could hardly care for her. No one knew what it was and it took 3 full days for me to be able to bond with her. I also dealt with some depression after I had gone through a physical trauma with some poison I was exposed to. There are different causes for depression – some can be brought on by hormone changes, trauma, medication changes and many other things. This story by Merri Ellen is a story of how one woman dealt with her depression and God walked her through it. Some depressions can be so bad or have gone on for so long that they may need immediate medical help to get through a period of time because through it the person may have lost their hope in God. We believe God can heal all things and we also know that He uses doctors in our lives. Please be prayerful and wise when choosing what to do for depression. Seek guidance from God, your husband, family and pastor before deciding.
by Merri Ellen Giesbrecht
I remember not so long ago sitting on my couch unable to form any words with my mouth. My husband asked me questions and I could only muster up enough strength to look back at him with a look of “why don’t you just kill me now?” I couldn’t speak. I was so emotionally exhausted and mentally burnt out from suffering from depression. I could not sleep and would get up in the middle of the night to stare out the window in darkness. I was completely lost in depression.
I was 25 years old and I had suffered a traumatic work related experience that left me in emotional shock and disbelief. I went through anti-depressant drugs which didn’t work for me and only made things worse. In fact, they brought on thoughts of suicide instead.
My world had crumbled due to the recent loss of my job thanks to the betrayal of mentors whom I had admired and sought for advice. Problem was their advice got me in hot water. Perhaps I wasn’t strong enough to make my own decision and listen to the warning bells going off in my own head. Now I was devastated.
The ones I admired and trusted had abandoned me. My life was now in pieces and my career as the department’s head stripped away from me thanks to another’s selfish ambition. I forever played the events over and over in my mind and I grew in anger, bitterness and depression.
Their words and actions cut threw me because I had put those leaders on such a high pedestal and when they let me down, I was deflated and incorrectly thought God was unhappy with me. I put those leaders in the place of God and so I thought surely God did not love me to allow such a thing to happen to me.
My family managed to get me outside to walk and get exercise. My father in law and I were walking alongside each other and we looked down and saw coffee cups littered on the ground. He asked me if I thought it was the fault of the coffee shop that their litter was on the ground. I looked at him strangely. Then he reminded me that even though God-fearing people had betrayed me, I should not attach them to God.
Amidst all of this, my husband and I were also expecting our first child. It was hard to feel any joy over the event at the time of my pregnancy. But, I now realize it was God’s perfect timing. My depression was so horrible that I would easily have committed suicide but for some reason could not bring myself to harm an unborn child. It was the child within me that kept me alive.
I tore myself up inside, attacking myself for trusting the wrong people as my leaders, I remember one early morning around 3am not being able to sleep with all the anger, bitterness and depression. I got up and yelled at God through my window looking outside as the rain poured down. The tears flowed alongside the rain. I got my Bible out and started reading in the Psalms where David is crying out wanting an answer from God as to why his enemies surrounded him. A familiar cry came from within my own heart, “Where are you God!?”
On that early morning and through the tears, I looked up and I saw a vision of God opening His arms out to me and I heard a voice say, “Trust me”. I then remembered Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads,
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (The Message)
Then my mind went to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament who was betrayed by his brothers and thrown into a pit and sold as a slave. Later, his master’s wife accused him of doing wrong to her and he was thrown in jail. I could definitely relate. I read the entire story again of how God was still with Joseph and God used the evil that was done to him for good. God somehow took Joseph from slavery and into the position of governor of the land of Egypt under Pharaoh to save the people from famine. Joseph’s despair later enabled him to bring hope to many.
When my son was later born, I gave him the middle name of Joseph, for my son was my hope child and a constant reminder that God could use the evil that was done to me and turn it into good. I hung on to that hope that perhaps my hardship could one day prevent other people’s hardship just like Joseph did.
My doctor at the time, offered little help other than drugs. Well-meaning people made comments like “you’ll get through this” but that did not provide hope. I soon realized that if I was going to get out of depression, then I had to take the steering wheel and do something about it myself. I couldn’t leave it to time or only to my doctor to help me. I couldn’t blame others for my state of mind. So, I set out determined to find an answer and the answer I found was different than what I heard on the commercials for anti-depressants (no kidding). I started to research medical journals on my own and discovered what truly cures depression.
That seems like ages ago…
However, it was only a few months later that I was able to find joy again. I came out of my pit and these days I look out of my window excited about life. When my husband talks to me, I am excited to answer! My passion is for life. My joy is found in living and in helping others find joy out of depression!
This is where God began to turn the evil into good…
After having coffee with a friend and months after my recovery, she asked me, “Wow, you’ve come a long way! What exactly do you think helped you get out of depression?”
She had been a loyal friend giving me strength throughout my journey back to joy and had been there through it all. I shared with her the discovery I made of 6 major ingredients that the medical journals reveal to cure depression better than any antidepressant. They are all ingredients that can easily be implemented. There are some specific guidelines that originate with general lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleeping routines, social circles and your self-talk (how you talk to yourself).
The more we talked, the more we realized that many of our friends and family members were going through the same thing and needed to hear my depression story and what helped me. Perhaps my story could help people around the world!
So, I started out doing research on using the internet for sharing my story. I had no formal training in this whatsoever but that didn’t stop me. I went to work. Soon I was interacting with thousands of people in over 80 countries. I absolutely loved the emails I started to receive from people sharing how their lives became changed after reading my own story and my research on my website.
One woman had been on antidepressant drugs for over twenty years but became depression-free and drug-free after going through my compiled story and research.
Another woman wrote…
“I just want to thank you. These tips have really changed my life in less than a month. I honestly believe that God has brought this website over my path for recovery. The work you done is wonderful and a true inspiration. If I think where I was a few weeks back, I can’t believe I am out of that hole. God will bless you for this wonderful work you are doing. You have inspired me so. Thanks again.”
The act of putting my website together to help others has only helped me further in my moving beyond depression. I am more aware of what to look out for in my life and I am having great joy helping others!
I’ve even found it in my heart to forgive what was done to me. It’s the only way to survive. Do I still feel angry? Sure, from time to time. But, I have learned that anger gets me nowhere. I am now stronger because of what I had to go through; and perhaps smarter. No longer do I put others in the place of God either. That role is only for God. He is the creator of the universe and only He is perfect – no person; only God. The best thing is, not only is God all powerful, He is also personal and wants to know me. Psalm 139 reads,
“God… I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body” (excerpted from The Message)
Once you fall into a pit of depression, it can be very hard to get out. But, it is possible and you need to be shown the way like a guide with a flash light through a very dark tunnel. I had friends, family and my hours of research to guide me. If my research and personal experience could help you along your own journey.
There is hope! You are worth it!
If you also have been deeply hurt and betrayed and are living with anger, depression and bitterness, there is hope for you too. We encourage you to open yourself up to God, and allow Him to love you, heal you and give you joy.
Here is a prayer you can pray for the first step.
Dear Father, I need You. I am so hurt and bitter and depressed. Please come into my life and forgive my sins and heal me. Fill me with your love. Enable me to forgive those who have hurt me—just as Jesus forgave those who beat and crucified Him. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.