hanging on the edge

Sunday night.  Its been a very crazy week.  As I have said before I work at a high school, one of our students was hit by a train and killed this week.  I knew the student fairly well. It was a weird accident and a senseless death.  That happened Tuesday night.  Wednesday morning I talked to every news agency wanting me to comment off the record what happened and they were relentless.  My Mom loved my writings when I was growing up and hoped I would be in journalism.  After this past experience and the news I see on TV I am so glad I am not.  It has become a reporting of the sensationalism.  There is no “writing” just a promotion  and exploration of people when they are having their worst day of their lives.  I sitting at the front desk of a school get to see lots of stuff.  This in not a gentle job. I am the lowest paid person in the office but I dealt with the most difficult situations this week.   The investigation officer was at my desk the day after and told me all the details of the event.  The student who shared her locker with the student brought me all her stuff the day after her death, from the locker.  Including her wallet and personal items and books.  The younger sister of the victim, came to inform me of the funeral arrangements.  I greeted the director of the School District of Education in our City as he came to give staff, condolences.  I spoke to the Minister of Education who wanted to give his condolences to the Principal of our school.  I spoke to neighbours that want the school to lobby for fences to be built.  To alumni who want to build a walkway over the train tracks to make public safety better. Parents of other students who just wanted the inside scoop on what was what and who was involved, and all the gory details.  Wednesday night I came home and had a nap I was so exhausted.

The worst of it all was having all these teenagers walking around hopeless and I know a secret that they need to hear.  How Jesus the son of God died for them.  That this girl was escorted through the valley of the shadow of death because Jesus opened the road for us to cross in safety.  There is hope and love and I never got to tell her and I could not, do to school policies,  tell the others of the hope that comes through God.  So I prayed that God would knock on their hearts and they might open the door.

But beyond all this surreal week, today I have been feeling really down.  I feel like my ledge broke away and I am hanging on by my fingers.  I have been good for a while now.  Maybe its lack of sleep – I did nap today for an hour or so.   It’s not anything bad or evil, I just feel totally numb.  Unable to think.  I prayed in church today but could not get myself to feel anything.  My relationship with God is not a touchy feely thing.  It a solid relationship.  But I felt stoned  (which I am not) just numb to feel anything or think anything.  Just part of the depression package.

I am hoping that I can get it together before Tuesday.  I have been asked by the Phys Ed. teacher to talk to her grade 12 girls about depression.  I am teaching a class.  !!!! Never ever thought I would be doing it.  But here we go.  I have created a lesson plan, handouts, and topic of discussion.  It should be a good class and an interesting  day.  Will tell you how it goes.

But for tonight I am tired, despite the nap, I am sad, I don’t know why, I am afraid of not getting out of this mood, I am angry, for feeling so good for a while and dipping again, I am numb, I do not know what to think or what to do.  So tonight I pour my broken heart out to you and a friend.   I was texting to my best friend from school.  And what a friend she is, she would drop everything to come and help me and I would do the same for her.  She  is an amazing friend and I am not going to tell you how long we have been friends cause that number might make me feel more depressed cause that means I am getting older 😦   .    I was telling her about my week and when we had finished talking, I realized that God had blessed me so much in my life.  Husband,  friends from home, friends here in the city.  I am a blessed lady with a great family and friends.  How can I still feel depressed with all this support.

Oh Lord help me out of the hole…………..till next time…………………….

Depression and Death

It’s the first week of October and its been a tough one.  I work  for a High School in the office.  I work the front desk, I am the face of the school the first contact and I have a lot of contact with the students.  I live in a large city and there are several High Schools near by.  At two different High Schools we have had two 17 year olds who committed  suicide.  Depression related. My heart breaks for these students families, because they are planning funerals instead of where these kids are going to school next year.  One did it on Monday the second on Tuesday.  I spent most of the day talking to students who were their friends about what depression is like and how dark it is, and that the voices that they were hearing no one could break through. These students are young and dramatic and I don’t think they understood, but I listened and listened and consoled the best I could.

So what do you say? I can tell you what I didn’t say.  I didn’t admit to anything.  I would never tell people that I understand that darkness, that these students faced.  I didn’t tell them that I have seen the road that they traveled down, heard the voices calling down into the darkness.  I have felt the desperation, the loneliness, the isolation of that kind of darkness. How close it has come to me.  It has sat on my back for a day taunting me keeping me in a state of panic, till I could not resist anymore and it smothered me. How that night my husband came home and saved me.  The darkness and its lies are strong.  When you face them and need to fight them it’s not a “lets brighten up ” moment.  It’s a Godly intervention type of moment.  Where you need the prayers of the saints and someone to take your hand and save you.  There is no strength, there is no will, that type of fight, takes it all out of you to the point where you don’t fight, you die.

But for these two boys, they did not die alone.  They may have planned it that way, they may have thought they were totally alone.  But Jesus was with them.  In John 15 Jesus says” though you did not choose me, I choose you” and “You are no longer servants I call you friends”.  Psalm 23″ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me”.  Jesus went with these boys.  A shadow can only be cast when there is a light.  Death is the shadow, God is the light. Jesus made it possible to pass from the dark to light. Jesus said on the cross “forgive them for they do not know what they do”  He was praying to God to forgive the men who were murdering him.  But I think this prayer to his father is also for these two boys for they were surrounded by the darkness and they did not know what they were doing.

If you suffer from depression you can only resist the darkness with the power of the light.  You can only resist the temptation of depression and the voices and the negativity with help from the God who loves you.  We can not do it with out him. If you know someone with depression, be alert.  Anything sudden, mood change from dark to happy or the other way, any thing that makes you stop for the slightest second and wonder where they are heading.  Stop them, be with them, talk to them or maybe just listen.  It may be the life you save.

First full day of school – sitting in the Vice Principal’s office

I am a secretary in a High School.  It’s a cool job.  You get to deal with all sorts of kids.  Nice ones, shy ones, creative ones, ones you could do with out and broken ones.  I love my job I have done all kinds of work over my working years but, this one I like.  It is the first full day of school.  School start-up is a very stressful time of year, kids are nervous, staff are nervous, Office staff are running around trying to get all the paperwork, teachers and students in line and where they are supposed to be with the correct paperwork in hand. We get the job done.  There are five of us putting it all together.  Today however was the first full day of school and I ended up in the Vice Principal‘s office.  There is something about being in a Principal’s office that can make a grown adult turn into a ten-year old kid.  I lost my temper with a fellow staff member; who I think deserved it, but was raising her voice at me and I told her to stop raising her voice to me – only rather loudly, and demanded she allow me to have the paperwork I needed to do what I had to do.   I hate office politics, I hate gossip, I hate staff that bully, I hate people who are part of a team but are too good to help with the team.  I, much later in the morning, ended up being called into the Vice Principal’s office and told that I was totally out of character for me and it was surprising.  They know the person who I was dealing with is difficult and they need my support in keeping a peaceful office.  They also said that I was known as handling this person wonderfully and am relied on as a rock to keep the peace and flow of the office.  Was I ok, and why was I out of character? What do you say.  Sorry I forgot my anxiety meds at home and I flipped out. Sorry I am on antidepressants and sometimes I feel down and need people to stop stomping on my nerves.  I was shaky when I got up so I should have known that I was a little off.   I apologized for my raising of my voice, but if they wanted a peaceful flow in the office then all parties in the office need to work together instead of around someone.

I went back to my desk shaking.  I was angry, I was scared, the negative voices started up.  I was afraid that maybe I was losing it and that the bosses would figure out what was happening to me.  I can’t tell them at work.  Promotions are coming up and if I want a shot at them I have to be on my game.  The bosses want me to go for these promotions so I have to keep looking good and doing my best.

I don’t feel like me, I don’t feel like I have it together. I don’t know if these meds are working right and I don’t know if I should be going back to the doctor and getting the next step as she says in my progress of dealing with this.  I don’t know if I should be seeking counseling, stopping the drugs, jumping off a cliff!!  Its confusing and frustrating.  I want to be me, I have ministry ideas I want to do at my church, I have plans for programs at my school.  I have action items that I want to proceed on with.  I want to write, publish, I want to speak of God at conferences,  I want to do so many things but I feel like I can’t get started.

Oh God you are the God of good, you are the God of Love, Lead me in this journey I pray.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – a Lutheran Pastor murdered in WWII, said “that he believed what God said through the scriptures He knew that what ever befell him or the faithful brethren would open new opportunities, in which God would operate.”

This time in my life is a moment for God to open new opportunities for God to operate.  Through desperation God creates hope, in crisis God is faithful, in heartbreak God is loving.  The devil is the operator of despair, hate, anguish. I need to keep my eyes up to the Lord from where my help comes from. I need to keep my heart up and open to him to heal this brokeness.  Though I look down at the pieces of my heart scattered upon the floor, God is there picking up the pieces.  The desire of my heart first is to be a woman after Gods heart, and secondly to spread His love to those around me.  Though I may not be whole, God will make me better, and I need to trust that even though I have depression and feel not in my right mind, not feeling myself the desires in my heart can be accomplished through God.  The rub of it all is I have to not listen to the evil voices in my head and keep my eyes and heart on God.

There is the rub.  Depression tries to rob you of all you hold near and dear.   It makes you paranoid, it makes you second guess yourself, it makes you feel alone, it isolates.  I can be sitting in the middle of a crowd and feel like the loneliest person in the world.  And because if the meds I can’t even cry about it.


I am going to end this post here.  It is a day in the life of a woman with depression.  I will continue to fight the demons that haunt me. I will continue to try to eat, I will make an apt with my doctor and see what is next. I will continue to pray and look to God, for from him my strength comes, even when I think it isn’t there. God Bless you to next time.