This is an entry for the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt hosted by Positive Writer. http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/ I post this here because Christians rarely discuss depression, and it is just as worthy a topic as any other illness. So, without further adieu, here is my entry.
Four and a half years ago, my family and I moved to a new city for my husband to take a job. I had tried my hand at some fan fiction over the previous year and had received favorable feedback. My plans of participating in a novel-writing contest though were derailed when I lost our third child. Oh, I said I wasn’t going to stop. I said I was going to keep writing, but something settled over me. A thick, black, dark something I couldn’t define. We barely knew anyone in the city, and I wasn’t sure what to do. I tried to put words to paper. Tried to write stories, but they all sounded wrong, sounded nothing like what I had written earlier.
I moved through the first part of 2012 barely managing to keep it together, but then the question came that would change all of our lives. My son asked if we could find a church in our new community. Something inside me broke a little, and I decided to say yes. Meeting the people at the church lifted my spirits, but there was something still there. It was a fog I couldn’t get past in my attempts to write. This fog made me doubt my ability, made me doubt I had something worth saying, and in late 2012, I was considering putting up my notebooks and my pens for good. I didn’t want to. Something in me was yearning to break free, but I didn’t know how to make the fog stop, how to make the pain stop.
Through speaking with the pastor of the church we had been attending, I finally realized at the beginning of 2013 I was suffering from depression. It had crippled me to the point where I could no longer see the good in my life. My pastor offered to counsel me, and I accepted. It didn’t take long for him to get clued in as to how I coped with the world, and he suggested I journal what I was feeling and be completely honest about it. See, that was something I was afraid to do—be completely honest. I did what he suggested though because I trusted him, and the fog started lifting. I had a place where I could be completely honest with myself, and it was a place I didn’t have to share with anyone else.
Since that time, I have filled many journals and written blog posts and stories. None of my stories have been published yet, but I know that is only a matter of time. I am grateful for the fog of depression and doubt lifting and look forward to encouraging others who have experienced the same crippling doubt about their writing ability.