A letter to my nephew:
Who is experiencing a darkness of depression as he draws near the end to his goal of attaining his doctorate degree.
Your mom has told me you are going through some difficulty with my old nemesis, depression. I don’t want to waste your time by telling you a bunch of tired old facts about depression in general. I have learned over time, from personal experience and experiences of others I have talked to, that depression is personal. Looking for causes can, at times, be futile. However you probably already have some insight regarding cause, being that you know first hand the stress and mental exhaustion you have been going through to reach your goal. You are nearing the fulfillment of your goal and now added onto the load you have been carrying, has been added more weight in the form of this darkness called depression. The description of having the feeling of drowning is the perfect adjective for this ‘ole slew foot.” It makes you want to lose focus, slow down, bring phantom panic, and assess everything that needs no reassessment. I don’t want to burden or bore you with a bunch of suggestions- only a few:
-From my own arsenal: Relegate the darkness to the background of your consciousness and doggedly keep focused on your forward movement and desired goal.
-Try to remember all of those who whole-heartedly support you in many ways tho not always visible.
-Remember that you’re not in this alone.
-Although all depression is personal, it seems to be that only the most sensitive and intelligent experience it at the least convenient of times.(which is always inconvenient)
-Remember your Savior! Always remember your Savior who always knows and is always present. And Who also experienced, first hand, what you are experiencing.
-Remember what you know – pay no mind to the phantom of fear from dark imaginings.
There is more but too personal to publish here.
In Psalm 23 when David said,”Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” He meant that.
He knew that fear is a shadow cast by the evil one. When we approach, and walk through it, only then do we expose it for what it is – a harmless shadow. It can only harm us if we allow ourselves to be immobilized and transfixed by the illusion of danger. Such is depression.
There is no greater fear than the fear of death. But that is not necessarily true for those who experience the darkness of depression while they are in it. Such an experience can give the illusion that death is preferable. And therein is another lying shadow cast by the evil one.