Coincidentally, I have had 4 friends who have taken this coursein Wales, and all of them have made an amazing recovery from Chronic Fatigue and ME.
From talking to two of them, I learned that they have been trained to stop negative thoughts in their tracks, and self-talk positively (well, among other changes). This gradually stops seepage of energy, depletion of serotonin, the continuous depletion of adrenalin.
* * *
I am enjoying Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. She describes the dramatic effect that living in thanksgiving and gratitude had on her emotional life.
I read it and felt sad. I felt I had wasted years of my life in anger, blaming others, worry, anxiety and negativity.
If I had lived with thanksgiving and gratitude, how much easier would my life have been. I think of the early years with children, when I was so angry at Roy for not helping more, and so worried that I could not read and write more that I worried myself into a depression.
A real, clinical depression! My reading speed slowed down dramatically, I got into the bad habit of re-reading paragraphs. I wrote slowly, obsessively revising, second-guessing myself, not releasing anything that was not close to perfection.
* * *
I saw a doctor, took anti-depressants, which were like being reborn.
I strongly recommend this course of action. Depression, lethargy, a slowing down might be caused by sin—anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, anxiety, self-hatred, self-condemnation. However, the serotonin-raising medication raises your mental and emotional platform, so to say, gives you the strength to embark on soul-searching, repentance, scripture study, a thorough course of renewing the mind.
And from these things, not the medication, one tastes the peaceable fruits of lasting change.
· * *
Not being a therapist, I would hesitate to pronounce on anyone else’s experience of depression.
I probably don’t understand my own well enough.
But I can say this: Had I trusted God more, I would have been less anxious.
Had I been able to surrender the outcome of my life (success or failure) to God (and I struggle with this even today), I would have been less anxious.
Had I been thankful for what Roy did do to help, instead of being angry about what he did not do, I would have been less angry, slept better, gained less weight, had more mental peace to write.
Had I surrendered myself to God’s will and been able to accept time and seasons, instead of freaking out that I wasn’t able to read and write when my children were little (and my only ambition was to write) I would not have worn and depleted myself with worry and anxiety, and striving against the tide.
* * *
But you know what, I am going to thank God even for the years the locusts have eaten.
They have made the truths of living in thankfulness more precious to me.
They have taught me the important of positive thinking in the sense of trust, surrender, and gratitude.
I have learned the important of trusting God, not myself, or any human “saviour.”
· * *
Take and redeem, Lord, even the years I have wasted in sinful attitudes (even though I was a Christian at the time).
Just as you redeemed Joseph’s boastfulness by taking him to Egypt, ensuring he saved many lives.
Just as you redeemed Jacob’s restless scheming by breaking his hip in that midnight wrestling match, teaching him that blessing comes from you alone (as I too have learned).
Just as you redeemed Moses’ hot temper, ensuring that lead him to the desert, where he saw the bush which burned and was not consumed.
Just as you redeemed David’s lust, by bringing out of that partnership one of the wisest men who ever lived.
· * *
Take the life I have lived, Lord. Redeem it.
Bring forth beauty from ashes,
joy instead of mourning,
a garment of praise, instead of a spirit of despair.