I am so excited to start this blog.

I need to tell you up front, I have another blog that I have had for a few years now. Here’s the reason I’ve started this one.

A number of years ago, I felt a prompting from God to write a book about my recovery from depression. While I was getting better, I started writing the book. Actually, it’s almost done.

The first of January, I started to decide on what my word of the year would be. I had a choice of about ten. Turns out the word I chose was “edit”. At the time I chose that word it was because I felt there were activities and interests in my life that needed editing.

About two weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and that still small voice of the Holy Spirit said, “You can write the book now.”

I knew immediately knew the “why” of the “now”.

My mother died over a year ago. She died of dementia. I didn’t realize there was anything wrong with her until probably the last year of her life. I’m glad I didn’t. I had been pretty much caring for her for years by that point. We were very close. We’d go shopping together. We’d go out for lunch. We laughed and had fun painting furniture, crafting, DIYing. I have to quit writing about her.

Anyway, I spent most of my emotional energy caring for her. I put the book on the back burner because I knew she would never understand if I wrote a book about depression. She would feel I was “airing dirty linen.” I respected her enough not to put her in that position.

Did I use her as an excuse? Could I have gone ahead and written anyway? “Yes,” to both those questions.

The point is I didn’t.

The point now is, I am.

So that’s where you come in. I hope you will be my “tribe”. I want this to be a safe place for me to write. While my husband and daughter know about this book, my friends and acquaintances don’t. It’s not that I don’t trust them but that I need to feel free to write and not edit for fear of hurting someone’s feelings.

I also learned a long time ago that when we feel God has asked something specific of us, and especially something that will become very public, it’s best to let it incubate for a while. Sometimes, even well-meaning friends can put a damper on one’s dreams. Besides, I have some things to settle for myself.

So I’m hoping you will spread the word about this blog. I hope you will share your journey with me. My e-mail address is listed under Contact in the menu.

So why me? Why do I feel I have something to offer?

I have an undergraduate degree in psychology but more importantly, postgraduate training as a hospital chaplain. I was employed by our local hospitals for a number of years. I have seen people at their worst. I’ve talked to people who didn’t know where to turn next, like the family of a little girl who was struck and killed by a car right in front of her house because everyone thought someone else was watching out for her.

Can you imagine? I conducted her funeral as well.

I’ve also led a retreat and have shared my journey of depression at a number of churches and women’s groups traveling throughout my home state. I have taught numerous Bible studies with both male and female participants. I have counseled many women over the years.

Most importantly, I am a survivor of depression and anxiety.

You will learn a lot about me in this blog. I won’t keep anything back unless it’s for the well-being of someone else. I will not share anyone’s story without their permission. I will share with you the origins of my depression while still remaining respectful of my parents.

Finally, God is good. I cannot tell you what He has done in my life. I can’t believe it myself. I was once a hurting and miserable child. I was afraid all the time. Anxiety and depression shadowed me every day.

And yet.

Overall, I’ve been very happy. Strange, huh? But depression would strike and I’d be right back in the pit for a while. But anxiety and fear never left. I have been depression-free now for about twenty years now. Oh, I have days, maybe a few weeks, where I might feel extra anxious or “down” but I’ve learned not to jump to the word “depression”. We’ll be discussing this in a later post.

I promise I will always and only share from my knowledge of God’s word and from excellent resources. I have read TONS of books while researching the topic.

I am not a doctor or a mental health professional. I am a person who’s been through depression not had an issue for many years. I have counseled many who suffer, and have researched the topic and related issues, exhaustively. Sometimes we learn the best from those who don’t claim to have all the answers.

I’ve seen a lot of people like this. They wallow in depression.

I’m not being mean. I’m being realistic. Sharing our pain helps, yes. Sharing our pain all the time, doesn’t. That’s called rumination and it’s one habit that every expert agrees makes depression worse. I will be posting about this.

This blog is for those of you who WANT to get better. This blog is for those of you who will WORK to get better.

I didn’t get better without the “wanting” and the “working”. You won’t either.

So come on board. We’re going to have a good ride.

God bless each of you.