Heavy. Hurting. Dark. Lonely. Unfocused. Unmotivated. Empty. Oppressed.
That pretty much sums up my emotions right now. I was totally pumped to write about ‘confrontation’ but a cloak of heaviness has settled over me and I just can’t shake it.
Soooo… I tossed my confrontation blog aside and opted to write about heartache. Yeah. Heartache. I can definitely write about miserable heartache today.
Sidenote: My biggest problem is that I’m just not used to dealing with depression. Where in the world is this coming from? My OCD need to analyze and problem solve has forced me to dig deep to unlock the mystery of my sudden descent into the dark abyss. I mean, I have lots of stuff to do:
I don’t have time for this.
I don’t have time to be depressed.
Hello. I have a Type-A personality.
Plus I’m a *Pastors Wife* and we all know PW’s are not supposed to be depressed. I’m supposed to be happy. And holy. And modest. And approachable. And calm. And kind. And wise. And sensitive. Willing to drop everything at a moments notice… to pray. Or feed the poor. Or clothe the homeless.
Did I mention I’m supposed to serve my family tasty, organic casseroles and deserts made from scratch while also simultaneously raising the most lovely, well behaved, respectful kids?
Well, I actually have the lovely, well behaved, respectful kids, but that’s just a fluke. I can take no credit. My daughter came out of the womb 100% content and obedient while my 2 sons are mirror images of their father: super smart, caring, respectful and successful.
Wow. It just dawned on me that I’m the weak link in my family. Oooookaaayy. Not really the revelation I needed when I already feel like I have a 5,000 ton weight on my chest. Dang. Not good.
Sorry… I digress. Back to analyzing my depression:
Hmmm…maybe I’m burnt out. My ministry organization has been taking off… which is good. Really good. And really exhausting. Maybe I’m burnt out.
Hmmm…maybe it’s because I have 4 autoimmune diseases that are ravaging my body as we speak. Come on. Who wouldn’t be depressed? Maybe I’m finally realizing the gravity of my health.
Hmmm…maybe it’s hormonal. I just read over 50% of women over the age of 35 years old are estrogen dominant which can cause depression. Umm. Yeah. Maybe that’s it.
Hmmmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmm.
At this point I don’t care where it’s coming from. I just want it gone.
Okay. Back to Heartache.
Being involved in front-line, ‘in-the-trenches’ ministry gives you a glimpse into the unfortunate heartache of really good people. Good people who have taken an unwelcomed detour into ‘Heartache Land.’
Please. Guard. Your. Heart. With. Barbed. Wire.
Heartache Land is NOT a place you want to reside. Or visit. Or even pass by on an interstate.
What if it’s too late? What if you already visited Heartache Land? Or reside there? Or even worse, are held prisoner there? What do you do then?
You get your hands on a Heartache Antidote.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of antidote is: a remedy to counteract the effects of poison; something that corrects or improves the bad effects of something.
Yep. That’s what I personally need right about now. An antidote. Something to counteract the effects of these horrible emotions. A heartache antidote.
Now I realize my heart is not technically ‘broken’ but it is depressed and now that I think of it, a broken heart and a depressed heart feel the same! I’ve had both and, trust me, they feel the same. Broken or depressed… it doesn’t matter because this little grinch heart of mine needs to be mended. I’ve shared the following antidote with countless people. Today I need to listen to my own advice.
Sigh. Deep sigh.
How To Deal With Heartache: 6 Keys To Mending A Broken Heart
1. Remember that Jesus is close to the brokenhearted.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
That’s cool. Really cool. And that’s what is so awesome about my buddy Jesus.
By the way, you probably noticed I call Him my Jesus. This is because He’s mine. He’s MY Jesus. Kinda like, I have MY husband and I have MY Jesus.
But, just so you know, just to be clear, although I’m not willing to share my husband, I AM willing to share my Jesus with you 😉
Here are some refreshing facts about Jesus…
He KNOWS that life is rough.
He knows what it’s like to be betrayed.
He knows what it’s like to be rejected.
He knows what it’s like to be accused.
He knows what it’s like to not get credit.
He knows what it’s like to be lonely.
He knows what it’s like to endure physical pain.
And He knows what it’s like to die.
Jesus is acquainted with sorrow and this simple truth allows Him to surpass all the other potential gods a person can choose to worship. My Jesus SHINES like a flaming beacon of hope when it comes to understanding suffering. And it makes me feel less lonely. And I love Him for it.
Go to God and be honest. Brutally honest. Radically honest. Tell Him exactly what is going on and how you really feel. Huh? What? Honesty? How dare I?
It’s okay to tell God you’re mad.
It’s okay to tell God you’re mad at Him.
I mean, He’s God…
He already knows if your angry with Him.
Then once you’ve cleared the air, tell Him what you need and then thank Him for the things you do have.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Sometimes, when I’m in a lot of physical pain, I struggle to find something to be thankful for. But when that happens I thank God I’m not on a raft. In the middle of the ocean. Surrounded by sharks. With no one looking for me. Yeah. That’s a good one. I definitely can be thankful for that.
3. Talk and cry it out with someone who is safe.
Safe because they won’t tell the whole world your business and safe because they will bring out the best in you while encouraging you to keep fighting the good fight!
I have a friend who lets me vent but when I’m done she asks, “So now tell me how you’re going to respond like a Christian?” The first time she asked me that question I secretly swore at her in my head BUT once I got used to it I started to appreciate it and rise to the challenge.
Maybe you’re not an extrovert like me. Maybe talking to others isn’t therapeutic. Maybe it feels more along the lines of sticking sharp needles in your eyes. That’s fair. Than get your thoughts and feelings out on paper. Or if you’re a tech-y kind of girl, get a ‘journal’ app on your device. They even come password protected 😉
Get busy. And, yes, I do realize when your heart is broken and hurting and depressed it’s almost impossible to be active. I get it. But I’ve noticed when I force myself to help and serve others… I almost feel normal again. Getting out of myself and making a difference in this world will do just that. It will make a difference. To them AND to you.
6. Move it.
It’s time to talk science. God created these super cool brain chemicals called endorphins. Get this:
“Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. In contrast to the opiate drugs, however, activation of the opiate receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.
In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.” (source: www.medicinenet.com)
Did you know that gram for gram, endorphin is 3 times more powerful than morphine??? Now maybe it’s the addict (recovered addict!) in me talking but I REALLY NEED TO GET ME SOME ENDORPHIN’S. Seriously. And actually I do. Ever single time I break a sweat. Breaking a sweat releases these amazing chemicals.
So go for a run. Or fast walk. Or kick box. Or dance. If you aren’t into ‘working out’ simply put on some crazy fun dance music and break a sweat. Who says dancing is only for weddings or bars?
You can even enlist the kiddos. Kids like it when mama dances. And I’ve learned husbands also like it when mama dances. Mine always says: happy wife means a happy life! And that is EXACTLY why I’m not willing to share the guy 🙂