Overcoming Discouragements


Whenever I go through an episode of clinical depression, I feel as if I am wearing dark-glasses. Everything around me looks gloomy. The sun seems to have eclipsed behind the dark cloud. It is too easy to forget that behind those dark cloud the sun is still shining. And after darkness, will be the light. After the night, morning will come.

When I realized recently that I have once again slipped into clinical depression despite medications and efforts to cope, I was quite discouraged. I realized afresh that my battle with bipolar disorder is still an ongoing one. My hypomanic episodes will alternates with my clinical depression. I realized afresh the importance of managing hypomanic and stress better so that I minimize the tendency to overstrain myself and from burn out and clinical depression.

That morning when I was most discouraged, I poured out my heart to God in prayers. I asked God to strengthen my heart and give me the strength and grace to cope, and to live for Him.

God in His mercies spoke Words of comfort and uplifted my soul to Himself. I read the following encouraging devotional by CH Spurgeon.

God reminded me afresh that in life, we will face various ups and downs. After the morning, evening will come. And after evening, morning will come. Both mornings and evenings have their usefulness. God is with me through the mornings and evenings of my life.

I realized that my experiences with clinical depression is once again being used of God to draw me closer to Himself. I am cast entirely upon God. I know that unless God gives me the strength and grace to cope, I shall plunged deeper into depression when negative thoughts and doubts overwhelmed me.

I am learning to challenge my negative and faulty thoughts, recognizing that they are the effect of chemical imbalance in my brain. While waiting for the chemical in my brain to be restored, I am looking to God and actively seeking to identify faulty thoughts and reverse these thoughts and do that which is right in the sight of God. I read the Bible and speak to my own soul, counselling myself with God's Words to think aright and not believe my faulty thoughts.

If you are struggling with depression, everything will look very gloomy and negative. Know that it is not true. It is the chemical imbalance in your brain that takes away your ability to think and feel aright. Learn to identify these negative and faulty thoughts and to challenge them with more rational and biblical view. These will help you to see things in a more balance view and it can prevent further spiral down into deeper depression. Do read Dr David P Murray's message on Depression - The Condition and The Cure.

I realized that experiencing clinical depression once again is helping me to understand afresh the pain, agonies and discouragement that those who are going through clinical depression will experience every day. I sincerely believe that God is using this experience to enable me once again to be able to feel for others in their sufferings. When I am well, I will be able to be more effective in supporting and helping others who undergoes discouragements due to clinical depression.

So it is my prayers that this experience will not be wasted but that God will draw me nearer to Himself to depend upon His love and sufficiency, and God will make me more useful in His kingdom in helping others who struggles with clinical depression or other discouragements and sufferings.

Thanks once again for all of you, my dear friends, for stopping by and for praying for me and encouraging me. Thank God for all of you!

Thank God for His mercies and faithfulness in strengthening me day by day. I will continue to look to God and seek to serve Him in small ways during this time, and wait for Him for restoration.

Thanks again for stopping by! Hope the devotional from Spurgeon will bring some encouragements to you too.

“The evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5

Was it so even in the beginning?

Did light and darkness divide the realm of time in the first day?

Then little wonder is it if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine of prosperity to the midnight of adversity.

It will not always be the blaze of noon even in my soul concerns, I must expect at seasons to mourn the absence of my former joys, and seek my Beloved in the night.

Nor am I alone in this, for all the Lord’s beloved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and of mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and of delight.

It is one of the arrangements of Divine providence that day and night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation till we reach the land of which it is written, “there is no night there.” What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.

What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do?

Learn first to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good.

Study next, to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset, sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours.

Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief.

Continue thy service under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be labour, at night exchange it for watch.

Every hour has its duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord’s servant until he shall suddenly appear in his glory.

My soul, thine evening of old age and death is drawing near, dread it not, for it is part of the day; and the Lord has said, “I will cover him all the day long.”

(Taken from CH Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, 1 June, Morning)

8 Kind thoughts:

PlainCatholic said...

Prayers that you see happier times quickly. I like the following quote from an American nun to encourage me too:

Often in my desire to work for others I find my hands tied, something hinders my charitable designs, some hostile influence renders me powerless. My prayers seem to avail nothing, my kind acts are rejected, I seem to do wrong things when I am trying to do my best. In such cases I must not grieve. I am only treading in my Master's steps.

St. Katharine Drexel

Darlene said...

My soul sang with joy when I saw your message! I am so happy to hear from you...I do understand what you are going thru and how difficult life can get.

Your friends are here and rejoice in your return :)

Your words strengthen us in our own trials. I wish I could give you a hug...how about a cyber hug :)

Susan said...

Wanted to drop in and say hello.Sorry you are not feeling well.Hang in there,we serve a God who has you under his wings and will carry you though.My thoughts and prayers are with you.Have a good week.God Bless.

JC said...

Hi Nancie, I'm glad you're finding ways to connect with God even still through this rough time of discouragement and depression. I have been trying to do the same and I related to your post very well today. Be well, hun! Love, Jena

marja said...

You're a very courageous person, looking at the positive, even through your trials. Your faith will help make you well. And telling us about the journey you're on right now will help others who are suffering realize they're not alone. I pray that God will heal you soon so that you won't have to suffer for too long.

Take care, Nancie.
Love, marja

sbwrites said...

Dear Nancie,
I'm so glad to see that "you're back." It sounds like cognitive therapy might work for you. And even if you can't find a person to talk with, a book on the subject might be very helpful.

The focus is on getting rid on "negative self-talk" and developing new patterns.

What's difficult for everyone is not to burn out during a hypomania so that you slide into a depression. But you're doing all the right things with your photography, being outside, your activities at your church, etc.

So...this too will pass. Welcome back!


Shari said...

I'm so sorry that you've been having it rough lately. Good to hear that you aren't letting it overwhelm you and that you're drawing closer to the Lord. I'm sure that God will use your story and honesty about it to help others going through something similar.

Depression runs in my family, but I didn't really struggle with it until my last baby was born. The hormonal change from that birth altered my brain chemistry somehow. Thank goodness that there are good medicines available that help most of the time. But I still have those days where I feel like I must have forgotten to take my pill. I feel guilty for being depressed when God has blessed me so much. But, I have to remind myself that depression is a medical condition and not a sin. You seem to struggle with something even worse and I'm so glad to hear that you rely on God to get you through.

Nancie said...

Plaincatholic, thanks for stopping by and your kind encouragements. Thanks for sharing the quote. May God bless you abundantly! Take care.

Darlene, thank you so much for your kind note! Thanks for your cyber hug. It warms my heart :) A hug back to you.

Susan, thanks for stopping by and for your prayers. Hope you have a blessed week too.

Jena, glad you are looking to God too in your difficulties. You are in my prayers. Thanks for your encouragements.

Marja, thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Thank God that He gives us strength daily.

Susan, thanks for your encouragements. Thanks for encouraging me to write. Writing is indeed therapeutic and wonderful to have yours and many friends support. Yes, getting rid of "negative self-talk" and develop new patterns is so important. I do not have a therapist but am learning to do so through books and other readings.

Shari, thanks for your encouragements. I am glad God has seen you through your own difficult struggles with depression. Do take care.

Thanks to all of you for your kind support in this difficult time. I thank God for all of you.

With love and prayers,


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