Coming to Terms With Depression

S. Bradford Long

photo-1448546120959-a4b0e3dd910dI’ve spent the past year recovering from, and coming to terms with, a depressive episode that happened at the beginning of last year. All depression alters you, but there are some encounters that reach so deeply into your core that they leave you permenantly, utterly changed. My breakdown of 2015 was such an episode, and I’ve spent the following months trying to come to grips with the experience, and the person I’ve become. I’ve spent the past year trying to fathom the experience – what it was, how to describe it, and what happened.

The experience of depression is like the inverse of a profound, mystical experience. Instead of being immersed in an impenetrable light, reaching towards and touching the divine, you are plunged into complete darkness. You are buried underground, deep within some unknown part of yourself. Extreme depression is like a possession – something dark and infinitely alien…

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The Letdown: Why Do I Feel Bad at the End of Good Days

FAIRLY SPIRITUAL

The Letdown

There might be a very good reason you feel down after big days. And there is a good chance is has less to do with reality and more to do with how your mind is processing reality. Don’t get me wrong, it is a real feeling you confront, but it might not be based on reality. Let me tell you why…

Big days are different than normal days. They are usually defined by increased excitement and increased sensory input or even sensory overload. For example, have you ever gone to a big Fourth of July celebration? Did you go to a big party with lots of people, games and fireworks? Did you see bright flashes of light and hear large bangs all around you? Did you stay up longer and experience more than your average day?

If some or all of these experiences happened, there is a good…

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Carried

FAIRLY SPIRITUAL

[I wrote this poem a couple years ago…rediscovered it today. I still really like it.]

Carried
by Doug Bursch

Today I’ve been feeling sad, heart heavy, soul weary.  I presume I could find a reason for the feelings, but it seems to me that the feeling arrived before I could ascribe to it cause.

Some people cast out sadness like a demon.  They pray against sadness as if it were an attack against God’s purpose for the day.  This may be true on occasion.

But today my sadness feels less like an attack and more like a familiar song.  A song that gives me permission.  Permission to stop, rest and listen.  Permission to weep, permission to wonder, permission to sit bewildered, naked and unable.

Unable to fix it, unable to figure it out, unable to make my offering worthy.

Sad days are notoriously unproductive.  They sidetrack me from the tasks…

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God Never Settles – exposing patriarchy’s nonsense about women

Tim's Blog - Just One Train Wreck After Another

A woman read one of my posts on the Bible’s examples of God using women and men both to lead and teach, and she left a comment that said,

“I don’t know if you’ve heard this before but I’ve been taught that the reason God allowed Deborah to lead Israel in Judges 4-5 is because there was no man willing to take charge. God had to settle for a woman instead.”

Yes, I’ve heard people say that. There is not a shred of evidence in the book of Judges to support the position, but people say it anyway. It’s the only option for those who ascribe to a patriarchal view of faith. They have to explain away all mentions in the Bible of God building his kingdom by way of women teaching and leading. (See Silencing Women – the guaranteed way for men to stay in control.)

But let’s take…

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Anger and Racial Injustice

FAIRLY SPIRITUAL

A systematically unjust world will produce perpetually angry people. Anger flows from a lack of control, power and value. When we are powerless, devalued and controlled by societal injustices, anger is the appropriate response. In fact, it would be wrong to tell systematically sinned against people to relinquish their anger. Anger is a natural, logical human response to being perpetually sinned against. When people are controlled and devalued by individuals in positions of power, the just response is to be rightfully angry.

It is wrong to tell people to relinquish their anger without addressing the injustices that have caused their anger. Justice focuses on the systematic oppression that produces the fruit of anger. Justice contends for the value of the oppressed, and tirelessly works to rectify the codified control and power differentials in society. Justice champions systems and procedures that empower and value the worth and freedom of every individual…

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