Friday, April 13, 2012

The Depths of Hell

Now the title of this blog post may offend some of you but to me it is the best way to describe depression. Especially when it is at its very depths. In the Doctrine & Covenants 122:9 we read:

"...and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth after thee..."

At my very lowest points I felt that the very mouth of hell was open wide and ready to swallow me whole. Family, friends, medication (that is another whole blog post in itself), therapy, spending ten days in the psychiatric unit and of course Heavenly Father's help have all helped me to start to climb out of that pit. I have begun to join the world once again. Many of you have seen me or have interacted with me, and I have to be honest that I'm pretty good at acting like I'm a lot farther along on my journey than I am. Have I reached the top of my mountain that is in my path? No. I still have a long ways to go (at least it feels that way).


One of my favorite poems is by Robert Frost and is titled:

"The Road Not Taken"

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth,

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Some where ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

I often ask myself which road I would take or will take in the future. For each of us come to turning points in our lives. Will I have the courage to take the road less traveled? Knowing myself as I do I probably would take the path more trodden down. Would I then miss out? I don't believe so. Even if we take the path that seems to be more traveled we are each different individuals and find different mountains and hills that block our path that we must climb.

Depression is a lonely road but one that many have traveled, are traveling or will travel. My heart goes out to all who know what it feels like to reach the depths of hell. It is most definitely not a pleasant place to find yourself. But there is hope and there is help. The Doctrine and Covenants 122:9 continues:

"...know thou, my son [daughter], that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

That is what I am holding onto. That is what helps me to get up in the morning and start climbing my treacherous mountain one more day. That when I reach the top of my mountain I will be able to look back and see my own personal beautiful heartbreak. That I will be a stronger individual because of my own personal struggle. That I will gain experience that is for my own personal growth.

There are still days, even hours and even moments where it would be so much easier to let "the very jaws of hell" swallow me up. But I am doing my best to stick it out and see where my personal road takes me and what difference it makes not only in my life but also in lives of those around me. As easy as that sounds in words it will be a continued battle. A battle that I hope with Heavenly Father's help I can win. That I can continue to have the courage to breathe one more day.


Rachel said...

You put things into words so beautifully! Keep holding on! I love you!

MousEarz said...

Depression is a horrible thing that isn't well understood by those who have not plumbed those depths. Each day is a struggle, and an accomplishment, and the love and support of your family, your friends and the Lord will help you through.

It takes a brave soul to make the statements you have and bring this debilitating illness to light. May you continue down the lighter path and remember that God does not give you what he knows you can not handle.

Bless you Melissa.

Lynette said...

My dear Melissa, I wish I could be there for you. Just know that in spirit I am and that I will not stop praying that our Father in Heaven will lift this heavy burden from you.

Kathy said...

Amen to the wonderful words the others have already shared. Depression is a monster, with very wide jaws indeed. I am so glad that you are seeing the light--even if it seems far away at this point in time. The light is there. It is streaming toward you and urging you not to give up, not to turn back. You have a lot of strength, and a lot of people to lean on when that strength is running low. Keep breathing. :-)

Sandra said...

Dear Melissa,
I love you so much and my greatest desire is to help ease your burden as you walk this path that was not of your own choosing. It is difficult to say just the right word or offer a hand at just the right moment, but I know our Savior Jesus Christ knows the answer to all those questions. He said "I will ease the burdens which are put upon you.....that you may know of a surety that I the Lord God do visit my people in their afflictions." You may not always be able to feel His presence, but He is there and will never desert you.


Leslie said...

Melissa... I agree with Kathy, Amen very eloquently spoken. The Robert Frost poem is one of my favorite poems. Joy will come. Keep up the positive thoughts and the beautiful writing... I think that helps.

Thomas said...

Melissa, this is beautiful. I know that you are going through the hardest time in your life. Though this is a harsh blog post, it is very inspiring. May you find the light and get out of your hell. We love you, and you are right; there are many people who are doing what they can to help you and show you their love.