About a year ago I found myself at the bottom of a figurative pit. Life had been throwing me significant trials one after another, never allowing me enough time to recover. That, coupled with the buried hurt of my abusive childhood, was now crashing down and leaving me in this dark place with seemingly no way out. I tried to deny it. I tried to fight it. But the reality was that I had depression.
I didn’t know what to do. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. But I was also desperate for relief from these destructive thoughts and feelings. I turned to the scriptures, conference talks, and prayer hoping for direction. I soon found my answer from Elder Richard G. Scott: “Healing may begin with a thoughtful bishop or stake president or a wise professional counselor. If you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t decide to fix it yourself. Serious abuse can also benefit from professional help. There are many ways to begin healing, but remember that a full cure comes through the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Master and Redeemer. Have faith that with effort His perfect, eternal, infinite Atonement can heal your suffering from the consequences of abuse.”
I knew I needed to seek professional help as my first step. I timidly approached my husband with my thoughts and feelings and he supported me in this decision. I then met with my bishop who was able to connect me with an appropriate therapist. After the initial visit with my psychologist, I felt hope for the first time in a long time. It has been a long hard road, but as I reflect upon this last year I have recognized five truths that therapy has taught me about the Atonement.
Blessed are they that mourn
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
This is a scripture that I didn’t fully understand. For the people who mourn – whose hearts ache and who struggle with grief and depression and other ailments – how could that be a good thing? How does that make you a blessed person?
Lead image from Aggieland Mormons.
Do you feel despair and hopelessness even when you are doing the things that used to bring you joy? Instead of feeling the familiar comfort of the Spirit when you pray, does it seem as if your prayers are hitting a lead ceiling that is covering your head? In Reaching for Hope: An LDS Perspective on Recovering from Depression, you will learn how to recognize depression in yourself or a loved one and how to begin healing and finding hope to move forward—one step at a time.
This inspiring guide portrays the experience of the Vandagriff family, which struggled under depression for more than twenty-five years before relief came through the grace of Jesus Christ. Yet in the midst of great strife, the family saw the hand of God revealed in the form of inspired physicians, effective medications, and, most importantly, the direct influence of the Spirit. Written in turns by mother, son, and father, this poignant and uplifting account shows how to rely on the Spirit during times of adversity and draw on the Savior's blessings of peace, hope, and healing.