Journey Reblog 3
After a checkup, my doctor became concerned about my sodium level and suggested I discontinue taking my antidepressant medicine. I stepped down on the dosage until I was off that medication. I prayed, read my Bible, read devotionals, spent quiet time with the Lord, and asked others to pray for me (which they did).
Nevertheless, sleeping problems started in the first week without the medicine. I woke up frequently in the night with sweaty palms and a feeling of panic. During the day, my insides felt like jelly, and my hands trembled constantly. Soon, fear and self-doubt took over my mind. My thoughts jumped onto a hamster wheel of failures, not good enough, should have, ought to, God expects better, others are better, and on and on.
I returned to my doctor who prescribed different medicines which didn’t seem to help. I finally checked into the geriatric psych unit of a local hospital. That gave me a break from my usual responsibilities. The doctor there got me back on the antidepressant that had worked before. The staff connected me with a nearby mental health clinic with which I could follow up after my hospital stay.
After I returned home, I felt overwhelmed by the simplest tasks. At night I slept only 2 hours at a time, waking up in panic between “naps.” At first I had to force myself to get up in the mornings because I felt overwhelming anxiety and thought I couldn’t face the day. But I did get up each morning and attempt to spend a quiet time with Jesus. I mostly wrote prayers in my journal, tried to read a little Scripture, and sometimes sang a hymn.
I wanted to feel better right away. I didn’t. Throughout the 4-month long struggle with anxiety/depression, I continued to pray, write in my journal, read Scriptures and devotions, and attend church where I worshiped God with others, had fellowship with my church family and found spiritual nourishment in good sermons.
Sometimes the encouraging Bible verses I read didn’t seem helpful or encouraging. I didn’t feel less anxious. But God’s Word is true. My feelings don’t change the truth of His Word. I kept writing verses in my journal and hoped they ministered to my spirit even though my body and troubled mind didn’t seem to be paying attention.
“We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let Your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone”—Psalm 33:20-22. Without you, Lord, we have no hope. “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence”—Jeremiah 17:7. (Both Scriptures New Living Translation.)