Is There Anybody out There?

Well, we just hit 61 readers who are subscribed to Dark My Road.  Yeah for us!  This blog has been tremendously helpful to me over the last year and a half, almost two years.  I’m always amazed at finding people who read this site and relate.  It just doesn’t seem that profound to me, but there is so little talk about mental illness in Lutheranism, that I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

So who are you, gentle readers?  If you’re up to it, tell us a little about yourself in the comments here, what else you would like to see, and where you go for comfort in the midst of the dark road.

Thanks for speaking up!

-DMR

24 thoughts on “Is There Anybody out There?”

  1. Thank you for your regular postings. They have provided significant insights into my pastoral formation (through seminary and currently vicarage.) I can see the dangers, especially for those of mental illness.

    I have learned to not be ashamed to seek help. Who pastors a pastor? Brother confessors, definitely, but in some cases further help is needed where physical/mental issues are found.

    Thank you.

  2. Thank you for your regular postings. They have provided significant insights into my pastoral formation (through seminary and currently vicarage.) I can see the dangers, especially for those of mental illness.

    I have learned to not be ashamed to seek help. Who pastors a pastor? Brother confessors, definitely, but in some cases further help is needed where physical/mental issues are found.

    Thank you.

  3. Its good you’ve posted again…..and very good to hear you’re busy, for that implies you are actively engaged in normal life activities…..right?! A depressed depressive is not able to do that. “Busy” goes out the window when the mood is dark……at least that’s been my experience.

    I was diagnosed “Bi-Polar:Type 2″……Type 2 meaning I’ve had a “major depressive episode” meaning the depression reached the point where it adversely affected my thinking as well as my mood.

    I’ve attended a rural LCMS church for 30 years, and, yes, I’m the only mental patient I know of from the congregation. Lutherans don’t succomb to mental illness very often; they drink it away or work it away or become immersed in sports. Obviously, I’m not a drinker or a very ambitious worker, or much of a sports fan.

    Where do I go for comfort? Solitude, prayer, the Psalms, long walks, blogging. Do I find comfort in God’s love?…..YES. I attend church regularly, but do I find comfort for my depression there……NO. Depression can’t be cured by going to church.

    I’ve decided blogging is a bi-polar activity for me. As I write a post, I’m in a manic state……then as soon as I publish it, a depressive state temporarily moves in as I think: “What is the point of blogging…..the world doesn’t need another blogpost or photograph.” But, then, as the day goes on, I notice little things here and there which my mind starts forming into a story for a blogpost……lifting me out of the depressed mood.

    This cycle goes on everyday…..and like when riding a bicycle……as long as you keep pushing the pedals you have momentum to stay upright, balanced, and moving forward. It all works together, but you do have to make the effort, the strength for which comes from God, of course.

    That’s not to say the blue mood isn’t often there. It is. Tears come when I’m alone, but they are cathartic. Being physically active is very important, too, to keep the feel-good endorphins flowing in the brain. That is important to me because I absolutely do not want to take medication.

    A contributing factor to my depression is being too sensitive to other people……to what they say, to their facial expressions, tone of voice, their behavior, and their situations. So, I’ve had to learn to sort of inwardly ignore people…..toughen the shell, not completely, but enough to protect myself.

    Every depressive’s case is different, I’m sure, and what works for me will not necessarily work for someone else.

  4. Its good you’ve posted again…..and very good to hear you’re busy, for that implies you are actively engaged in normal life activities…..right?! A depressed depressive is not able to do that. “Busy” goes out the window when the mood is dark……at least that’s been my experience.

    I was diagnosed “Bi-Polar:Type 2″……Type 2 meaning I’ve had a “major depressive episode” meaning the depression reached the point where it adversely affected my thinking as well as my mood.

    I’ve attended a rural LCMS church for 30 years, and, yes, I’m the only mental patient I know of from the congregation. Lutherans don’t succomb to mental illness very often; they drink it away or work it away or become immersed in sports. Obviously, I’m not a drinker or a very ambitious worker, or much of a sports fan.

    Where do I go for comfort? Solitude, prayer, the Psalms, long walks, blogging. Do I find comfort in God’s love?…..YES. I attend church regularly, but do I find comfort for my depression there……NO. Depression can’t be cured by going to church.

    I’ve decided blogging is a bi-polar activity for me. As I write a post, I’m in a manic state……then as soon as I publish it, a depressive state temporarily moves in as I think: “What is the point of blogging…..the world doesn’t need another blogpost or photograph.” But, then, as the day goes on, I notice little things here and there which my mind starts forming into a story for a blogpost……lifting me out of the depressed mood.

    This cycle goes on everyday…..and like when riding a bicycle……as long as you keep pushing the pedals you have momentum to stay upright, balanced, and moving forward. It all works together, but you do have to make the effort, the strength for which comes from God, of course.

    That’s not to say the blue mood isn’t often there. It is. Tears come when I’m alone, but they are cathartic. Being physically active is very important, too, to keep the feel-good endorphins flowing in the brain. That is important to me because I absolutely do not want to take medication.

    A contributing factor to my depression is being too sensitive to other people……to what they say, to their facial expressions, tone of voice, their behavior, and their situations. So, I’ve had to learn to sort of inwardly ignore people…..toughen the shell, not completely, but enough to protect myself.

    Every depressive’s case is different, I’m sure, and what works for me will not necessarily work for someone else.

  5. Christopher Esget, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA.

    During what was then the darkest point of my life, a wise pastor said, “Now you will learn to pray the Psalms.” That is where I go, and to the hymnal, on the dark road. Thank you for your blog.

  6. Christopher Esget, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA.

    During what was then the darkest point of my life, a wise pastor said, “Now you will learn to pray the Psalms.” That is where I go, and to the hymnal, on the dark road. Thank you for your blog.

  7. I’ve found your regular postings to be both useful and heartening. As Sem. Gillespie notes, it’s good for all to see that Pastors are not immune to the cross of mental illness. I can attest that laity carry the very same cross. Fortunately, none of us carry that cross alone.

    I thank you for boldly writing your experiences & sharing them with us. God has blessed us all by your having done so.

  8. I’ve found your regular postings to be both useful and heartening. As Sem. Gillespie notes, it’s good for all to see that Pastors are not immune to the cross of mental illness. I can attest that laity carry the very same cross. Fortunately, none of us carry that cross alone.

    I thank you for boldly writing your experiences & sharing them with us. God has blessed us all by your having done so.

  9. I am a pastor on the Northern Plains. I went mental in December 07. I knew I was in a situation that I couldn’t deal with myself. It was beyond depression:I was mentally ill. It is hard to face that I, A PASTOR, am mentally ill. I asked God every day to heal me and I expected a divine healing from above.
    But God works through means to heal even in mental illness. The Doc was great, the nurse was great. The first batch of meds didn’t work, the next batch continues to help make me, me.
    I found your blog via Cyberstones. Thanks for all the great reads that have been such a help.
    The Robert Prues paper was a great help too.

    Thanks DMR!

  10. I am a pastor on the Northern Plains. I went mental in December 07. I knew I was in a situation that I couldn’t deal with myself. It was beyond depression:I was mentally ill. It is hard to face that I, A PASTOR, am mentally ill. I asked God every day to heal me and I expected a divine healing from above.
    But God works through means to heal even in mental illness. The Doc was great, the nurse was great. The first batch of meds didn’t work, the next batch continues to help make me, me.
    I found your blog via Cyberstones. Thanks for all the great reads that have been such a help.
    The Robert Prues paper was a great help too.

    Thanks DMR!

  11. This blog was recommended to my Deaconess Skills class as a way to gain insights for spiritual care with those suffering from depression.

    I have struggled for more than 15 years with depression and tendencies to cling to that darkness that I know, rather than to the Light of Truth that are alien to me. After 12 years of trying many doctors and many, many meds, it turns out my problem is hormonal in nature. One simple pill a day has unshackled my mind from the grip of darkness.

    Now, the gifts found in Word and Sacrament are clearly hope, rather than shrouded mysteries not meant for me. Now, I can be a support to others through Christ Who gives me strength.

    DMR, thank you for the insights you share. Thank you for encouraging others to seek appropriate help, both from the medical community and from the Lord in His gifts.

  12. This blog was recommended to my Deaconess Skills class as a way to gain insights for spiritual care with those suffering from depression.

    I have struggled for more than 15 years with depression and tendencies to cling to that darkness that I know, rather than to the Light of Truth that are alien to me. After 12 years of trying many doctors and many, many meds, it turns out my problem is hormonal in nature. One simple pill a day has unshackled my mind from the grip of darkness.

    Now, the gifts found in Word and Sacrament are clearly hope, rather than shrouded mysteries not meant for me. Now, I can be a support to others through Christ Who gives me strength.

    DMR, thank you for the insights you share. Thank you for encouraging others to seek appropriate help, both from the medical community and from the Lord in His gifts.

  13. I don’t have words, can’t express, can’t stop feeling to cry loud and shriling, can’t let the tears come out when i am in front of people, i am doomed in the darkness of grief, no reasons for grief but no joy, i am a walking dead carrying alot of pain in me. i wana cry,. let me cry loud, let my tears come out, . let me be loud,. i wana sleep.. i wana sleep calmly..

  14. I don’t have words, can’t express, can’t stop feeling to cry loud and shriling, can’t let the tears come out when i am in front of people, i am doomed in the darkness of grief, no reasons for grief but no joy, i am a walking dead carrying alot of pain in me. i wana cry,. let me cry loud, let my tears come out, . let me be loud,. i wana sleep.. i wana sleep calmly..

  15. I just clicked here from someone else’s blog list because I liked the blog name. I have struggled at times with depression, although it has never been debilitating. I agree with you that in general, many Christians have difficulty dealing with mental illness. On first impression, this seems to be a good work that you are doing.

  16. I just clicked here from someone else’s blog list because I liked the blog name. I have struggled at times with depression, although it has never been debilitating. I agree with you that in general, many Christians have difficulty dealing with mental illness. On first impression, this seems to be a good work that you are doing.

  17. I’m a theology student and disability blogger. I’m interested in depression, although I do not actually suffer from it myself. I’m interested in faith communities. I’m particularly interested in Christianity, although I was not raised Christian and struggle to understand a lot of it. I link to your blog, because I think others should read it, and because I somehow think that by linking I am sharing an identification with your struggle, although my own is quite different.

  18. I’m a theology student and disability blogger. I’m interested in depression, although I do not actually suffer from it myself. I’m interested in faith communities. I’m particularly interested in Christianity, although I was not raised Christian and struggle to understand a lot of it. I link to your blog, because I think others should read it, and because I somehow think that by linking I am sharing an identification with your struggle, although my own is quite different.

  19. I’ve commented here about my issues before, but I’ve suffered from depression since I was a teenager and am currently diagnosed as bi-polar. I hit my lowest point late this winter when I was hospitalized because of anxiety attacks/suicidal plans. I’m on a new regimen of medicines and am receiving help from my doctor, a counselor and a psychiatrist, so I’m hoping not to stray too far down the dark road again.

  20. I’ve commented here about my issues before, but I’ve suffered from depression since I was a teenager and am currently diagnosed as bi-polar. I hit my lowest point late this winter when I was hospitalized because of anxiety attacks/suicidal plans. I’m on a new regimen of medicines and am receiving help from my doctor, a counselor and a psychiatrist, so I’m hoping not to stray too far down the dark road again.

  21. I know who you are (don’t worry, I’m not telling), and as you know, I’ve been there too, as has my wife, each in our own way. Your postings have been invaluable as we’ve struggled with many of the same things you have, as has been your pastoral care during our times of crisis as well. Thank you, Pastor, for everything.

  22. I know who you are (don’t worry, I’m not telling), and as you know, I’ve been there too, as has my wife, each in our own way. Your postings have been invaluable as we’ve struggled with many of the same things you have, as has been your pastoral care during our times of crisis as well. Thank you, Pastor, for everything.

  23. I’m a fairly regular reader, if not subscribed. I appreciate what you’re doing and have learned a lot from it. One certainly awaits the resurrection and the perfected body! (I have my fair share of physical health issues…)

  24. I’m a fairly regular reader, if not subscribed. I appreciate what you’re doing and have learned a lot from it. One certainly awaits the resurrection and the perfected body! (I have my fair share of physical health issues…)

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