I said I’d talk about it so here it is! For those who know me a bit, well or in certain circles and are accustomed to the happy, bubbly energetic Shawneda this may or may not come as a bit of a surprise. Depression has been an enemy and defeated foe for over twenty years of my life. Since my time at Trinity Episcopal school when I was referred to the school psychiatrist for bouts of rage after being molested the first time.
I have fought it ever since. I have only had one extended period of severe melancholy once, praise God and only one suicide attempt in high school when I was in rebellion against God. It is best controlled by diet, exercise and sufficient rest. When any of these things become out of whack I have to get back on track or be subjected to a possible flare up of achy joints, extreme exhaustion, extreme irritability and great impatience.
My relationship with God does not change nor my knowledge, wisdom or understanding of the truth I simply have to fight harder to walk in it and get my body back into sync to be me. I have not told people about my illness before because depression is so misunderstood especially in the African American and Christian community. People want to pull out oil, go down in sackcloth and ashes or accuse me of having no faith.
But today I’m thankful for the truth of who I am, who God made me to be and the war against depression that I have already won. Each battle is not mine, they are all the Lord’s. I win everyday because God says so and I’m thankful for that. I remember when I was not so sure of who God says I am or who He is to me and the studies and other things people tried to convince me were the truth. King David was beloved of God and battled depression so if He can be chosen of God, live out His purpose and destiny and worship with a pure heart so can I. I remember when I wasn’t thankful and I’m so glad those days are long gone, King David conquered “the spirit of heaviness” and so have I, each day I walk out the victory.