1.09.2013

Jesus or Zoloft?


I'm depressed.

There. I said it.

Happy freaking New Year.

2012 really kicked my ass. And now those six or seven major life events and that international move seem to be catching up to me. I've found, coming off a nine month adrenaline high, that I don't really want to get out of bed.

I got my kids off to school on Monday morning and then I curled up on the couch with a blanket over my head and slept until noon. When I finally got up, it was only because my cat was sitting on my face. What?! That's how he tells me he's hungry. Anyway. Here's a newsflash - If you sleep more than your cat, that may be a clue that you've come down with a smidge of the depression.

Yesterday, I got dressed at, like, 3 o'clock and it felt like a major victory. (Over-celebrating simple daily tasks? Yeah, that's clue #2.)

This morning I shuffled around my house looking for some unknown thing, circled the internet in search of nothing at all, and told myself repeatedly to “get it together”. When none of that got me anywhere, I prayed, telling God repeatedly to “get it together”. I need to write, I said. I need to cook. I need to buy toilet paper. This grimy, stupefied, agoraphobe thing isn't really working for me. I don't have time for mental illness, I told him. You're gonna have to make it go away.

And then I remembered the one thing some Christians will never admit out loud, which is that sometimes Jesus isn't all you need. Sometimes you need Zoloft.

I've fought with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember (seriously, like since I was a small child) and I know the things I need to do to escape this ditch. For me it requires healthy food, sunshine, exercise, safe friends, and, yes, Faith in my Healer and Counselor.

But, sometimes, it also means addressing the chemical needs of my body.

Sometimes it means popping a little blue pill. 

And guess what? It helps!

Guess what else? Depression is not a sin.

It's true that our brokenness can enhance those feeling of lostness, loneliness, and hopelessness; our transgressions, screw ups, and failures can work to further deepen a nasty depression (and vice versa!). And it's true, I believe, that we need Jesus to be whole.

But, I'll say it again, Jesus is not all you need.

Sometimes you need a Doctor. Sometimes you need medication. There's really no crime in that.

The real crime would be to live your God-given life with your head under a blanket, or your face under your cat's butt... ooorrr, y'know, whatever... when, instead, you could get help and come back to life. 

Do I need Jesus, or Zoloft? For today, I think I need need both. Maybe you do, too. 

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Ever been depressed?
Are you a pill popper or a prayer apologist? Or both?