Comments 10

  1. Neal, thank you very much for sharing this. I have a similar story and many of the pieces of this resonate with mine. However, I didn’t go in for help until my poor wife had already put up with me for a few years. And I never had suicidal thoughts, but I did begin to finally realize that I had trouble savoring all the little things in life. I was always looking forward to the next big thing, unable to appreciate the here and now. And my emotions—those things got out of control for me too. It’s easy to over-medicate for anything, but in this case I found the medication alone to be very helpful. It balanced my emotional and rational thoughts, and I finally saw what normal was. And I’m sure it also saved our marriage!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jamin. Your story will help give hope to other people who are struggling with similar things. Hopefully, the more people who acknowledge what we’ve gone through, the more other people will feel free to do the same. When that happens enough, the stigma will disappear. Thanks for starting the process of sharing our stories.

  2. Thanks for being wiling to share your experiences, Neal. I am praying your words bring hope and encouragement to others out there struggling with depression.

  3. Thank you for your story! I hit my breaking point in May of 2000 when I came to the realization that my life was going smoothly and I felt miserable and very suicidal with nothing to blame it on. I ended up moving from Tucson to Sioux Center where my parents live. I have been in and out of the hospital more times than I can count. The last three years have been hospital free and the best I have ever mood wise. Praise God!

    I really appreciated you saying that some people struggle with doing devotions because that is something that I have felt very guilty about not being able to do. Thanks again for sharing your story!

  4. I remember that night. What very different lenses we both wore to navigate the world at that time. Picturing the future a day, week, or month in advance was near impossible then and here we are 15 years later. Keep sharing your story and keep the conversation open. It just might help someone else get 15 years down the road, too.

  5. Depression, my constant companion. What hope is there when all that is wonderful, all that is treasured and all that you love does not keep depression at bay? When you realize that you have all the marvellous things of life and yet you still can not find peace. What is one to do when one agrees full heartedly with all those who state “You have so much to be thankful for.”, all the while it is this very fact that intensifies your dismay? Why do I feel this way when I have nothing at all to pinpoint as the cause of such darkness? It is always a struggle, and yet I find I am attached to it. It is intense, and when the trances of gloom arrive I am somehow glad to feel at last. It is indeed a bewilderment.

    I appreciate your thoughts and your willingness to share something that is so very deep and personal. I have found that sharing, perhaps, is one of the healthiest ways of coping with such an issue as this.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Called. I identify very much with what you’re saying. I think this is one of the things that is hardest for people who have never dealt with depression to understand–the feelings it causes are not rational, are not explainable, and have no clear source. They can not be attributed to one thing like “Oh, that’s why I’m depressed.” It’s a general feeling. At least for me, most of the time it felt like a general haze or fog, rather than an acute pain: it was more of a detachment, feeling nothing, than a real sadness. The nothingness is soul-crushing, and, after a time, you’d rather feel pain than nothing at all. So I can empathize with what you’re going through. Depression convinces you that that you do not need to get treatment for it, that you do not need to get better, that you cannot get better, no matter what. That’s part of its power. Sharing does seem to help, at least for some people. So thanks again for sharing.

  6. i too have my story of depression,how i fought n how an angel helped me out…something similar to what neil said…when i started reading his story all i could think was it is the “story of my life” which he has written..if you feel my story too can help people please guide me how to proceed with it…thanks; kiara

    1. Kiara,

      I’m glad that my story was helpful to you. I’m sure that hearing your story will help others, too. Please share it with those who need to hear it. The more of us who speak openly and unashamedly about our stories, the more we will combat the stigma against mental illness.

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