The Wasteland

 

In order to find the way out of the wasteland you first need to realize that you are there, how you got there and most of all did you structured your world your life as one big desert.

About six or seven years ago my Dad asked me a simple question and following my answer made an insightful comment which I didn’t understand until about two months ago. He asked about my plans for that coming weekend, I stated, I was planning to go into the office. He replied; “you are really making it easy for yourself”. Two months ago during one of my counseling sessions I finally realized what he implied. I was in the wasteland.

I was rather content in my desert happily counting the grains of sand until there was no more. When I lost of my job I moved from the orderly structure into chaos.  The wall, the only wall that supported me, what gave me structure, purpose, meaning was knocked out.

What lurks underneath the surface of depression? There is anger, there is lack of purpose, loss in status, and the list can go on.

Strangely enough if you look around information on depression, the cause and how others deal or better said “how to live a meaningful life” stares us in the face wherever we go.  The bizarre thing is we run to counselors and physiologists for answer maybe because it’s easier. If we read though our history book careful enough we will notice depression isn’t such a modern illness, it is more prevalent in today’s western society because we have more time to think, talk and lament over our limitations, our lack of haves. History books are full victims claimed by depression and we will find the heroes who have overcome and conquered it and walked away with extraordinary accomplishments in spite of their depression and others who died due to their depression.

I think Thomas Wolsey died of depression caused by his loss of status.  Thomas Wolsey defined himself through is position and often rightful so portrayed as the alter rex though after he lost his status and position there was nothing left which made his life worth living.  Evidently on his dead bed Thomas Wolsey stated ruefully; “Had I served my God as diligently as my king, he would not have given me over in my old age”. Frederick the Great suffered of depression to the extent that he carried with him a flask of poison at all time, to put him out of his misery, in light of his depression which probably was caused by his tormented childhood his accomplishments were immense.   We can learn from these historic figures.  We can learn what to do and what not to do.

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2 thoughts on “The Wasteland

  1. There are many types of depression. All types would be easier to manage if we were to place our hope in Christ.

    Yet remember that there is a type that does have a medical component that is chemically based. This type requires medical treatment as well as correct placement of hope.

    Sometimes to we need to learn how to correct our thinking – to learn skills to problem solve and check evidence rather than just assume false things – here we need both the psychologist and the Scriptures. Psychologists have much good to offer, but they will never replace the truth of the gospel and its implications for our lives well taught. Don’t write them off as of no help though. In their place they are enormously helpful. I am a Christian who is well acquainted with scripture and could counsel someone through the use of the scriptures. Yet I found that I benefited enormously from the intervention of a good Psychologist who taught me some excellent skills for coping with depression alongside the truth and hope that I have in Christ.

    • True, there are many types of depression and each manifests itself in a different way. Every person deals with it differently. What works for one person may not work for the next person. I’m at the start of this journey it will be interesting to see how I view the world a year from now.

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