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My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
Blogging through Depression

I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you guys this, but I have struggled with mild, chronic depression for as long as I can remember.

[Well, crap. That came out of left field. Isn’t this supposed to be a humor blog?]

I’ve had lots of different diagnoses—from cyclothymia (mild bipolar disorder) to depression to “that time of the month” (That was once my dad’s formal diagnosis. Once. And then I threatened to kick him in the teeth.). I’ve had lots of suggestions for treatment—from medication to diet to “more exercise” (also from my dear dad).

I now know that much of what I experience emotionally is just how I’m wired. But I also know that many, many circumstantial things have facilitated “depressive episodes” throughout my life. As a teenager it was the onslaught of hormones that sent me into a nearly-suicidal tailspin. In college, it was my on-again-off-again relationship with Brian. And then it was hormones when I was pregnant with JJ. And then it was my relationship with Brian again. And then hormones when I was pregnant with Averi. And then my marriage again. And then my hormones (!) when I was pregnant a third time. And again when we lost the baby back in January.

And then…well, things leveled out for a while. The fog lifted temporarily, and I no longer felt controlled by my emotions and their ability to pin me down at the most inopportune times. I enjoyed this freedom for about six months. Until, after months of daily use, I stopped taking my prescription, depression medication.

I know, I know.

But I was tired. Tired of feeling nauseous if I forgot to take it. Tired of the annoying side effects if I did take it. Tired of knowing that I “needed” a prescription drug to get me through the day. Tired of the conflicting reports I read about whether or not depression medications even work. Tired of not knowing the long-term side effects of the drug I was taking.

But mostly tired of this nagging thought that medicating my emotions may not be the best thing for me spiritually. 

So I stopped.

Cold turkey.

And I was fine.

For a while…

But after three months, the haze returned. Not a full, engulfing fog. But a debilitating haze nonetheless. Like the thin veil that surrounds the mountains after a summer rain.

Only, not nearly as beautiful and waaaaay more snarky.

Abraham Lincoln once said this about his own depression:  “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better, it appears to me.”

I’m confounded that someone so influential could have spoken those words. It’s strangely encouraging.

Thankfully, I don’t suffer the same utter despair that our 16th President articulated. I’m not suicidal or inconsolable. I’m not devoid of all emotion or overwrought with anguish. For that, I’m truly grateful.

I guess I would compare my natural, consistent mental state to the first hour of my day. Every day:

The room is dark. I’m not ready to wake up, so I have to forcibly open my eyes. I’m dreary, I’m confused, and I’m tripping all over the place because “where are my STUPID GLASSES?”

This is my brain on NO drugs, y’all. 

But I have decided to remain off the medication this time. Because I’ve never consistently fought it with scripture. I’ve always given in to the lure of prescription medications to level me out emotionally and haven’t consistently cried out to God to either 1) remove this spiritual “thorn in my flesh” or 2) to sanctify me through it (2 Corinthians 12:5-10).

Please know that there is no reason for alarm here. Sure, I’m dragging. I’m unmotivated. I’m not creative. I’m often defeated by my own thoughts—sometimes sinfully so. But I’m safe. I’m grateful still. I’m confident that this season of “fogginess” is part of my sanctification. And I know that I have been commanded to “rejoice always” (1 Thess. 5:16). Not “be happy” always. But “rejoice always.” Big difference.

And that brings me to blogging.

And blogging through depression or melancholy or whatever you want to call it.

On my two previous blogs, when depression would strike, I would quit. For a week. Maybe two. Sometimes for months. Until I was embarrassed by the failed effort and decided it was time to close up shop.

I don’t want that to happen to Katy in a Corner.

I was encouraged today by John Piper’s excellent book, When the Darkness Will Not Lift. In it, he quotes Richard Baxter, a 17th century pastor:  “I have known grievous, despairing melancholy cured and turned into a life of godly cheerfulness, principally by setting upon constancy and diligence in the business of families and callings.”

“Godly cheerfulness.” I know that this can only come if I’m in God’s word consistently.

“Constancy and diligence.” Yup. That.

“Families and callings.” I am begging God for the energy and enthusiasm to care for my precious family right now. The way I want to care for them. The way He wants me to care for them.

And I am convinced that this blog is also a part of my calling right now.

[Seriously? Your calling is to impersonate your husband being pulled over by the cops?]

I know. Seems strange, right?

Thank y’all for hanging in there through this rambling pile of Whackadoodleville. Just writing this—and reading through the scriptures to do it—has cleared out some of that fog.

Just don’t tell Brian. Because I think I’ve convinced him that the only cure is for him to do all the laundry and dishes.

[Who is she kidding? We all know he does that anyway.]

I love y’all for being here.

Seriously, all the way down to here. This post was a mile and a half long.

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Comments to "Blogging through Depression"

  1. Karmen

    September 18, 2013

    Love you so much for your willingness to share your despair. It has blessed and will bless others. Also praying for God’s will for you–there is no shame in medication but I understand your need to try it with God alone. Know you are loved and being prayed for.

  2. Dona

    September 18, 2013

    I, too, battle depression. So does my daughter. So I know where you’re coming from and I’m with ya! You’ll be in my prayers.

  3. dusty earth mother

    September 18, 2013

    Oh my goodness, we ARE the same person 🙂 This post could have been mine. Amen to you for being so honest and for trusting God so much. Any time you want to pray together, I’m here.

  4. Brandie Reynolds

    September 18, 2013

    I have battled chronic depression every since the birth of my first child 18 years ago. Two years ago when my mom was battling breast cancer I had a mental breakdown. It took my husband almost 6 months to find the right Dr. for me. Right now I have been doing well for almost 6 months. The Dr. Said if I keep it up I can start lowering my meds a bit at a time starting in October. I pray the same as you Katy, and I will add you to my list. May God bless us as we learn how much we need to rely on him. Thank you for writing this, it’s nice to not feel alone in this battle. *smiles & hugs* being sent your way.

  5. Jennifer

    September 18, 2013

    Thank you for this. Replace “blogging” with “counseling” and this could be me. I went off my meds about a year ago. Continuing to struggle. Thanks for sharing yours.

  6. Wendy

    September 18, 2013

    thank you for sharing what you are dealing with. I’ve suffered from depression since I was about 10. I’m now 44. It frustrates me the people who say “oh, just be happy, life is too short”. I WANT to be happy, I just can’t control when the depression will creep in. Thinking of you and your journey.

  7. Jennifer Wilson

    September 18, 2013

    What a hard thing to be REAL about, especially in the public domain. Bless you for sharing and Bless you for pointing others to Christ through it! Will pray you lean into Him more and more and see the fruit of trusting Him through the struggles. 🙂

  8. Elissa R

    September 18, 2013

    Katy, this is one of the reasons I love your blog, for your honesty. I don’t know what depression is, or what it feels like. I’ve experienced the lost of both my parents to cancer before I was 30, and I was and still am sad about it, but never to the point of taking medication. I can only pray for your well-being. If blogging is your therapy, us, your readers, will be here to listen.

  9. Laura

    September 18, 2013

    I recently just found your blog. And this post really spoke to me. I have been struggling with depression off and on since high school. My father suffers from a mental illness and I, seem to be more prone to getting depression. My mom passed away when I was a little girl and I know that triggered it for me in high school. Between the hormones and all the suppressed emotions about my mom’s death, it just sort of blew up! I have not been on medication for a long time, but lately I am feeling it may be the way to go, possibly temporarily. I don’t really want to go that route though. I am also a blogger. I have a craft blog and it can be very hard to continue on with it during these times. But, I love the community I have found through blogging and everyone encourages me to move forward and keep going. I love and need that. Good luck to you with your journey. Sending you virtual hugs!
    Laura recently posted…Halloween Birthday Party InvitationMy Profile

  10. Monica

    September 18, 2013

    I have come to love you through your blog. I am so thankful that you are willing to keep writing and fighting. I would miss you and your continuing witness. You are in my prayers – prayers for peace, contentment and true joy centered in the love of Jesus. ((hugs))

  11. Cindy

    September 18, 2013

    I truly understand what you have been through and how you have felt. I had a slight problem with depression when I started back at age 11. Through each of the different times (first sexual experience, and my first pregnancy) it seemed to get a little worse. Then I got pregnant with my second child- was a horrible experience! Had my first panic attack right before I found out I was pregnant. Ended up having post pardom depression. After my hysterectomy that was when it all hit the fan! I am now on medicine and also taking a different type hormone. Also taking a womens formula from AdvoCare that has really helped. I have tried to come off meds but I can’t. Your story has helped me and will help others. May God bless you!

  12. Emily

    September 18, 2013

    I think it’s completely inspiring that you’re speaking about this. It’s a subject that’s always been “taboo” and people don’t want to talk about it because they fear what others may think about them. I enjoy reading your blogs – they always make me laugh! So proud to know you and see what you’ve accomplished and how you get through everything! It’s not always roses and daisies. Thank you so much for sharing something so personal. You really are an inspiration to me.

  13. Devon Fults

    September 18, 2013

    I absolutely love your blog. I am also a devote Christian and a Therapist….*cringe*! I know we can get a bad reputation sometimes!

    I will definitely be praying for you as you attempt to fight this battle from the spiritual perspective. Depression can be a mean monster to fight and it can have a number of different causes. I encourage you, should you have to get back on medication, to not be too hard on yourself. Depression is more than just a mix of emotions. It is an actually chemical, biological deal. Medications work to assist in leveling out those chemicals, just as insulin assist in those suffering with diabetes.

    God is so good and definitely able to bring healing. Praying for you and your journey, whether it be medicated or unmedicated!

    Let’s not kid though, there are days I swear the Lord himself created Prozac!

  14. Shawna B.

    September 18, 2013

    K. I just have to share – JK Rowling has dealt with serious depression as well (please! keep reading!) and she wrote that feeling into one of the characters of her books – the dementors. Lemme see if I can find a good explanation: “Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself…soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”
    And here’s the funny thing, I’m letting my older daughter read “Harry Potter” and she was EXTREMELY scared of the Dementors because they just sound so scarry, but I told her that it’s base on depression and that some people have to deal with it. And she was dumbfounded. She asked the inevitable… “How do those people fight that, Mommy?” To which I said, “I have no idea.” Okay, so that was more ironic than funny, but I had to share.

    Hang in there – not only are we told to rejoice, I take comfort in the fact that we are not to be afraid.

  15. Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    September 18, 2013

    Katy! I blog through depression too! It actually is therapeutic for me to write… even if it’s not about my feelings. But blogging about our infertility crisis really helped me gather myself and understand my own thoughts and despair. I wish you lived closer so we could be depressed together… wait, I mean LIFT EACH OTHER UP! 🙂 People LOVE you and your blog. Don’t give up!
    Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos recently posted…Our couch-hunting saga has a happy ending!My Profile

  16. Jenn

    September 18, 2013

    It looks like you are not alone. I wanted to add my voice of support. I stayed on antidepressants for 8 years…it was numbing but I felt like my head was at least kept above water. Eventually I decided I wanted the good and the bad and have gone off for the last 10 years. During that time I experienced the birth of three babies, a chronically sick baby, a husband with advanced cancer and definite dark places. But joy does come in the morning. And when it does I want to feel it. Like the spring after the winter, I rejoice in the good times all the more. It is an affliction of the creative and the sensitive I think. And I am neither when I am medicated. That said, my “normal” is a generally happy place and if it weren’t I would advocate for medication for anyone who felt it made life easier to handle. Mental illness is an illness and I would advise someone to treat it like someone fighting any other illness, with biblical principals and also all the tools God has given to us, including doctors, medication, meditation, holistic practices and anything else they find to be remotely helpful.

  17. Sarah

    September 18, 2013

    Thank you for your honest words!

  18. Deanna

    September 18, 2013

    Your transparency will be rewarded in spades. And I’m placing my bets (who am I kidding? I don’t bet–Dave Ramsey would have my HIDE for betting!) on those spades paying off in strong spiritual and emotional connectedness. Thank you for sharing openly so that others might be encouraged to do the same. You’re pretty awesome, girl.

  19. Bekah

    September 18, 2013

    Wow. I am not one to say things like this… But this was so timely! I honestly don’t even know how I landed on this page, I was doing fb on my iPad, and this page stated loading. I mist have hit a button, anyway I had watched your funny video earlier, so I thought, ” I like that lady, I’ll read.” So today I was just praying and asking God for wisdom on if I should take prescriptions for my depression/fog.. I’m still not sure the answer, but I sure feel like he is hearing me! Thank you for sharing.

  20. Melissa

    September 18, 2013

    I’m a fairly new fan to your blog, but I absolutely love all that I have read so far. As someone who has also dealt with depression and anxiety, its nice to know we aren’t alone in this struggle. And here’s some food for thought: have you ever looked into alternative medicine for help? I recently began using essential oils to help with my anxiety..my mind has been blown! I haven’t taken any meds in over three months. Just something to think about! Keep writing! I LOVE this blog!

  21. Megan

    September 19, 2013

    Katy, what apt timing. When my daughter was born 18 months ago, I struggled with postpartum depression (never had been diagnosed with depression before but I am naturally a more anxious, worrisome, emotional swing kid of gal) and I went on a low dose anti-depressant for 6 weeks to get me over the hump. It was extremely beneficial and I feel like I was instantly a better mother for it (especially to my 3 year old son who was driving me CRAZY!). Recently, I’ve been feeling short tempered and find myself yelling more and more at him, until he gets a terribly sad look on his face, starts to cry and asks me to stop yelling. I basically feel lower than scum at that point and ask God every night to help me be a more patient and loving mommy. Just today I thought, you know what, if I just went back on that anti-depressant, my moods would level out and I wouldn’t have to feel this way all the time. But, you know that doesn’t really FIX my issue of being short-tempered, just masks it. Thank you for the encouragement to look to God for mine and my families’ needs. Ok enough, I’m tearing up and work and now I look weird :). Thanks for the awesome blog.

  22. Amber

    September 20, 2013

    I know what you are going through. Thank you for your honesty. I admire your perseverance in blogging through your depression. It’s so hard when you don’t feel like going on. But, we can’t always live life through how we feel. We need to live by truth and by the word of God. When satan feeds us a lie or when we think less of ourselves, it is important to ask ourselves what does God think about us? What is His truth? And, it always leads us back to, He died for us. He loved us enough to lay down his life for us. We are loved and worthy of his love. I dealt with depression after my son was born. Thank Gof I have a husband and a God who didn’t give up on me. Love us Katy! Keep on bloggin’ on!

  23. LaLa

    September 26, 2013

    Katy, look how many comments you have. Isn’t it refreshing to know that we are not alone? I agree that your post is timely. I just had a conversation with my precious hubby Josh about how I can’t go on doing “nothing” about my depression. I have tried the pills ( I too hate the side effects!!), tried an all-natural, gluten-free diet, tried herbal remedies, tried counseling (which I am still participating in), tried prayer. Nothing seems to bring me consistent, safe relief from the bluesy, down, anxious, worried feelings that seem to haunt me. I’ll be fine for a month or so, like you, and then WHAM, it’s like my heart and mind got a case of the flu. It is so comforting to know that great minds (like Abe Lincoln and that pastor you referenced) have gone before us and struggled with the same thing.

    Keep us posted. I’m “anxious” (pardon the pun) to hear the results of your non-pill, Sola Scriptura remedy. Fighting for joy with you. Love you!! LL

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