A reader writes:
I enjoy reading your blogs and follow you on FB too and really appreciate your perspective on our Catholic faith. I know you likely get lots of prayer requests, but I was hoping I could ask you to say a prayer or twenty for me.
I’ve been going through a really
deep depression over the last month and a half. I have struggled with clinical depression since I was about 12 or 13 (I’m 37 now) but this most recent depressive episode has hit me much harder than others. The reason I’m asking for prayer is because I’ve been feeling really apathetic about getting better. I know there is no cure for depression and that it is a disease that can only be managed, but I’ve gotten tired of managing it. I told my husband that there is about 60% of me that really doesn’t care about ever getting better and would just like to end it. The other 40% is the part of me that knows I have a duty to him as his wife and to our three daughters to try and get better so I can be there for them and for him. That 40% is the part of me that is keeping appointments with my therapist and psychiatrist and is only entertaining suicide as an idle thought instead of actually making serious and lethal plans or attempting to carry them out (although I’ll admit I was looking for the firing pins that go to our M1911 .45mm a couple of days ago). The problem is that with every passing day, I feel like that 40% is getting weaker. I don’t sleep well at all (or get enough sleep). I have very little appetite (I usually only eat dinner, if that). I used to self-injure by cutting myself and have experienced a LOT of temptation to do that again (thoughts, ideation, planning, etc.) to the point that I’ve even gone to a substitute sort of self-abuse where I snap a hair elastic on my wrist to keep from reaching for a knife or razor blade. I know it sounds sick and truthfully, it is. It’s just really, really hard. And in case you’re wondering, my husband knows all about this. He is very concerned and is helping me in the best way he is able. Truly, he is a saint for putting up with all of my craziness and not running the other way. So many other men would have left me a long time ago, but he actually saw the fire when we were just friends and stepped into it. I love him and my children more than I can possibly express, but I am fearful that some day it won’t be enough to keep me here. The apathy towards treatment this time around is a whole different thing for me and it only solidifies my fears. The only hope I have is that I am currently unmedicated. I have been on meds before but went off them last February when I realized I was pregnant with our third child (who is currently 6 months old, but no, this is definitely not postpartum depression). I have an appointment with my psychiatrist to talk about meds this coming Wednesday, so perhaps something he hears from me will prompt a prescription that will help me feel less apathetic and more hopeful. I am a Catholic convert and since becoming Catholic have enjoyed a vibrant and fulfilling faith life which has been helpful in pulling me out of previous depressive episodes; however, even that hasn’t helped. In fact, lately, when I pray and go to Mass or Confession, it’s almost all rote and obedience. I have always had a love for apologetics (and even help moderate an apologetics group on FB) but even that doesn’t interest me lately. I’m really kind of angry at God and not all that enthused about talking to him in word or song (I’m a chorister and cantor as well).
Sorry to be so long winded. I’m just hoping that maybe if someone else prays for me (I find I can’t pray for myself and precious few people in my real life really understand this enough to pray) that maybe God will listen to them. He doesn’t seem to hear me much at all lately. Thank you in advance.
Father, hear our prayer for healing for this person in body, mind, soul, and spirit. Help her to bear this cross in union with Christ Jesus for the good of those you have given her to bear and bring her swift healing and joy. Give wisdom, grace, knowledge, understanding and love to her caregivers and to all who love her. Mother Mary, St. Luke, and St. Dymphna, pray for her. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!