I never believed in depression. I was always under the false impression that depression either came from sin, doubt, or some vice. Although I have struggled with depression since high school, I was never able to admit it and, therefore, get the help that I needed. My grades, friendships, and work ethic would all take a hit while I threw myself into any number of my hobbies (read “distractions”). I would maintain one or two connections, but completely shut out everyone else around me. At the beginning of the year, I made the decision to seek professional help. The discussions were long, and it turns out there are many things that have gone into this problem that I had refused to recognize before. Financial obligations, social obligations, and my responsibilities as a husband had fallen through the cracks, and now I am slowly putting together the pieces. I have a secular job now on top of the work with the church in Florida in order to restore some of the financial damage that has been caused. I have found help through counseling, reading, and the late Thomas Keating’s centering prayer (a silent meditation technique introduced to me by a friend who shares similar experiences with me).
My feelings or mood or whatever you want to call it come from spiritual growth (often called the dark night of the soul) and professional and social situations of which some of you are aware. The radical change from my conservative religious background to a, still conservative, but more open worldview has led me to relinquish long held beliefs that I have found to not be helpful in fulfilling Christ’s command the love one’s neighbor as themselves. While the road to recovery is still long before me, I thank you all for your patience despite me being someone very difficult to be patient with. Hopefully, I will be returning to a mental state that allows me to perform in a way that most have been familiar with and have come to love. I appreciate the private messages, the missed calls, the voicemails, and the other ways that many of you have attempted to contact me. Though I have not responded like I should, they have been very encouraging to me despite my silence. This new job has given me a lot of hope, and it has made me feel like I am better equipped to serve my wife in giving her the life that she deserves. Thank you again, and I hope to return fully to you soon. God bless each of you.