The time between Thanksgiving and New Years Day is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, right? Well, sometimes it ISN’T. Two years ago my Mom was in deep depression, suicidal, and struggling for hope. Today she is full of hope, dreams, and love. With her permission, I’m sharing parts of her story in order to inspire others to continue on. I’ll also be sharing parts of my story of coming alongside my Mom while in depression and ideas of how to push through to recovery. Here’s a few thoughts, with more to come in the future.
Two years ago my Mom lived with me and some housemates for several weeks while she was trying to get more emotionally stable. My happiest memory from that time was when my roommate and I stuffed an 8 foot pine tree into my Ford Escort and brought it home to our living room. Mom was feeling okay that day, so we got a little smile out of her as we put it up and covered it with lights.
We had an advent wreath on the kitchen table, and we lit some of the candles together.
Another fun memory was when I had the youth leaders from my church over to my house to play games after we all had gotten pizza. One couple had baby twin girls, so I took one into my Mom, and she held her on her lap for a while. It felt peaceful in that room right then.
Living with someone in depression is hard. You don’t know how they will be when you walk in after work. It’s unpredictable and draining. You have to take time for yourself or else you’ll get too drained you won’t be able to help anymore.
Many of those days, Mom would look at me with desperate eyes and ask, “Is there hope?” I always would answer, “Yes, Mom!” and give her reasons, but it didn’t reach her heart right then. She had some thyroid issues that she was finally getting help with, but she was deeply down. Looking back, getting her more help faster might have helped. I didn’t know what I was doing; I hadn’t done this before. I know that there’s hope in Jesus, and He used many people to help my Mom get back on track during those days.
What helped me as care-giver and helped my Mom recover?
Reaching out for help from others.
Getting counseling and looking into support groups helped.
Listening to peaceful music, such as Handel’s Messiah.
Eating lots of good food.
Finding out about the resources that are out there:
Counseling clinics such as this:
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, put a suicide hotline number in their phone.
“By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.”
Receiving prayer, counsel and advice from loving people at churches such as:
Continue living and loving, even if someone you love is very depressed. Jesus was born into a dirty stable to poor parents who were away from home. Remember that he is with you in this hard time.
So whatever you feel right now, there IS hope. You will make it through this. Let the hope of Christmas dawn in your heart.