Marci's Story

by Marci
(Indiana, USA)

I will be 60 this August and have been fighting depression, fear & anxiety since I can remember. I have been a Christian since 1993 and Spirit filled since 1997. Once I was saved, I thought I was healed of this and for awhile it felt like I was, but now I know I wasn't.

A brief history ... my father was a cold, distant, unaffectionate, critical man who had nothing but harsh words for me, even until his death in 2005. I didn't weep over his death, I was sorry he died without Jesus! I felt relief that this tormentor was gone from my life for good. I DID grieve for the relationship that we COULD have had.

My mom is a Christian and we have a good relationship, but not a deep one. I still have to be the 'good daughter' around her or I'll be unacceptable and a disappointment to her. My parents both had really horrible childhoods too so I am sure it made them the people they are/were,

Both my parents and both my siblings suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. So there is a heredity component to this. My brother and I chose to follow my dad's therapy and drink our way through life. My sister has just 'toughed it out' like my mother. I haven't had alcohol since 1996, but it's a constant battle to avoid it because when I drank was the only time I felt 'normal' and didn't stress about life.

My husband of 24 years and I are both retired from the military so we both moved a lot. I had a son, now 29, who had ADHD which put us through hell and back when he was a child. He is now functioning, has a job, has a girlfriend but is emotionally like me, distant and cold. I learned that well from my parents and passed it on. My husband was also a single parent when we married and his boy had ADD. We eventually sent him to live with his natural mother because things got so bad. Sorry this is so long.

In 2005, we moved to Indiana where my husband grew up and we live on the family farm. It's nice to be in the country but it is very isolated and lonely. I have one friend who still lives 1500 miles away where we used to live near my mom. Now my mom is 84 and has no family living close to her. I worry about her a lot.

My marriage is stale, boring, dull and lifeless. No affection, or love or closeness. We go through the motions, attend our church, talk about nothing deep or about things we feel. My husband recently had a heart attack while driving long haul and through God's direct intervention, he was saved and his heart repaired. He is well enough now to start driving long haul again which, although the money is good and we sure need it, I will be alone again here in the Indiana country. I believe I will be very tempted to start drinking again.

I have been on xanax for several years to help me sleep but I find I am taking it more often and during the day because I am so stressed, so depressed, so self condemning ... which leads to despair and hopelessness. I have lost interest in most everything. I am always angry and snappy, sarcastic and bitter because of carrying around so much hurt, rejection, abandonment and betrayal issues. Most days I wish I didn’t have to live with MYSELF!

I have done all I know to do ... healthy eating since 2001, tons of supplements, exercise difficult since I'm always so tired, drugs, prayer, therapy, journaling, reading my Bible, worship & praise ... even doing programs like yours is hard for me because my first thoughts are always WHY BOTHER, IT WON'T MATTER, WHO CARES, etc.

I WANT to believe something will work but I'm losing the strength, mentally, emotionally and physically, to DO anything about it. I believe the root of this is the rejection and abandonment issues from the childhood i.e., if you want to be loved & accepted, you must be good and obedient!! Imagine how that has hindered my relationship with Jesus!

I feel like a trapped animal, alone in a dark cage, no one to talk to, no one to help, no one to understand, affirm, confirm and comfort me. Oh I do 'put on a happy face' especially at church, but inside I am DYING a slow death.

Reply from (Part 1)

Hello Marci,

Thank you so much for sharing your story here. Through sharing your story, I believe you will be touching the hearts of other readers who are suffering right along with you. As alone as you feel, I assure you that you’re not.

Our parents, being the first teachers in our lives, do their best to teach us what they know and although most of it is meant for good, it doesn't always turn out that way. From the time we are born we are learning - our brains are "programmed" with information that we receive from our most influential caretakers. Unfortunately, many of us have been unintentionally "programmed" to see the world, ourselves and situations through a distorted lense. Our parents or caretakers unknowingly pass down their bad habits of thinking. This is why genetics often play a role in the anxiety and depression that many people have.

Once we understand anxiety and depression and how it has manifested itself in our lives, we are then responsible for doing the work to turn it around. We do this by challenging our thoughts and making them obedient to the Truth. Our brain has a job...and that is to believe whatever we tell it. So if we are accepting lies for truth, we then feel the effects in our body's and emotions. As Christians, it is one thing to know what the Bible says and believe it, yet another to actually apply it to our lives. Belief always begins with the choice to believe, but many people stop here. Transformation begins when we begin to replace our misbeliefs with truths and act on them.

2 Corinthians 10: 5 says "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

This really is about you battling your own thoughts. Thoughts that have been allowed to stay because you have accepted them. Regardless of our lives and the hand we were dealt, we all have the power to choose how we perceive it all. It truly is about breaking the bad habit of misbelief in your life and nobody can do this for you - this is something you have to work at yourself and it's definitely hard work.

There is a great workbook that helped me in my own journey called Learning to Tell Myself the Truth by William Backus, Ph.D
This workbook is a 6 week guide to freedom from anger, anxiety, depression and perfectionism. Written by a Christian Psychologist, it actively teaches us how to overcome our misbeliefs with truth.

Another book that is also helpful is Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer Remember, these books can be found at your local library as well!

Exercise, diet, therapy, journaling and reading your bible are all fantastic things that help bring health and recovery to your mind and body. But if you are not dealing with your thought life first, then all these other things won't be as effective as they could be in your life. I really want to encourage you to work on replacing your negative thinking with truth thinking. This is done through repetition and has to be done until this new way of thinking takes over by habit. This is about creating a new habit of thinking based on truth but you must be persistent - more persistent than your old negative misbeliefs.

(**To read the continuation of this response, please click the link below to read or post comments)

Comments for Marci's Story

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Aug 12, 2012
Hello Again!
by: Marci

Just got an update via my email from my story here written last year. I read through it all again and unfortunately I could write the same story today.

Despite my objections, after six months of recovery from his heart attack, my husband went back to driving long haul and left me to tend the farm alone. He found had to complete eight months of driving to 'fulfill his contract'. So for 8 months I was alone on the farm handling everything. Fear took over quickly. I stopped driving to church, which is 30 minutes away.

Once he was able to quit driving, within a week he had triple bypass surgery. While is recovering, I'm still handling it all and now that includes caring for him as well. He's not disabled, can dress himself, care for himself, cook meals and such but tires easily, can't lift, push or pull anything heavy and mostly lays around a lot. I understand he needs to recover and I do want him to be well, but part of me is very angry about this. He won't take care of himself and the speed at which his arteries clogged up again is scary to me. I mean, what else can be done if the bypass vessels clog, a heart transplant? Where does it stop? When does he CARE about his health? It affects ME too! I am still in permanent panic mode.

My emotions and moods and depression have gotten so bad it's affecting me physically with severe digestive issues, headaches, etc. Every thing I have tried to do, to get involved with in town, to meet others locally, has come to a dead end. I have seriously considered divorce or at least separation for an extended time period and moving back home. My husband and I recently had a short spat where he told me to 'go home' [to my hometown in Washington which I miss terribly and he knows it] 'if that's what I wanted since I seem hellbent on doing that'. At least we were both honest and let out the anger, but he later apologized and said he wanted me to stay. There are still some big issues he and I need to discuss, but part of me has given up on myself and my marriage and my life. I also seriously considering going back on Prozac again which I took for awhile in 1990. I can't stand my own emotional mood swings and I am beyond stress at this point. Even tho I'm almost 61 now, I'm still having monthly crying jags, emotional craziness and severe depression!

I just want a husband who loves me and SHOWS it, who cares about me, who cherishes me, who appreciates me, who protects me, to loves me like Christ loves His Bride! My love tank is empty and even the fumes are gone.

Being able to share and vent here and know someone is reading it and wanting to help me gives me hope and as long as I can hold on to hope I know it will be ok no matter what happens.

Dec 27, 2011
I have been there... and here is hope!
by: Debby in Kansas

Thank you for your openness and honesty, Marci. I relate to so much of what you shared! The hope I have found and want to offer you is simple yet profound. We can't fix ourselves. We can't be who we need to be or do what we need to do. Some of us are better at trying than others; but those of us who are lousy at trying to be our own saviors are the most blessed! It is easier for us to give up. Yes, I am suggesting you give up. When I said; "I give up!" God seemed to say; "Good, now we can get somewhere!" I said "I can't!" and He said; "Glad you finally realized that! No you can't. Only I can!" I said; "OK, Please Do!" He did and does - every time I choose to let Him. I am not talking about a one time event, that would be nice but it wouldn't draw and drive me to Him. Every time depression creeps up, I have a choice of whether to go with it or ask; "God please come be my Peace, come be my Comfort, will you be my Joy?" I ask Him; "Come be your Love in my life." He ALWAyS quickly comes and answers so obviously, so powerfully, so wonderfully that I can honestly say, it is always worth the pain! I hope you can hear what I am trying to express. God has used several tools to reveal Himself to me during the past two years, (I am about your age), and I pray He will do the same for you! Below is a link to one of those tools. Another great on was a book called; He Is My All, by Debbie Alsdorf. It helped me begin to receive God's love for me. "We love because He first loved us." That was the starting place for me and seems like it would be for you as well.
May God reveal His love to you and bless you, Marci! - Debby

Jun 07, 2011
Continuation of Reply

Consider this... you "feel" like a trapped animal, but are you? You "feel" you have no one to talk to, but is this true? You "feel" like there is no one to help you, but is this true? You "feel" like no one understands, but is this true? You "feel" like there is no one to affirm or confirm, but is this true? You "feel" like there is no one to comfort you, but is this true? You see, we place so much weight on our feelings when feelings are an END result of what we choose to believe. Many people think that if they feel a certain way then it must be true, but this isn't so. Feelings are what happens at the end of our thought process.

Another way you can help yourself is through helping others who are in the same situation as yourself. When you tell others the truth, you tell yourself the truth...when you encourage others, you encourage yourself...when you repeat truth to others, you repeat it yourself. Our suffering gives us the sympathy and understanding so we are better able to reach out and help those
who are struggling with the same thing. If I did not suffer with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, etc.. then I would not be so effective in relating to others who are in the same boat. God has an amazing way of turning our mess into a ministry if we just allow Him to.

Today, make the choice that you will not participate in anymore self-destructive thinking. Make this choice EVERYDAY! And then make a habit to catch those lies and deliberately replace them with truth. When you notice repetitive old negative thoughts, write them down. Keep a list going until you think you've caught them all. Then take the time each day to search your heart, mind and the scriptures for truth to replace it with. If you need help, please feel free to post here anytime. I'd be happy to help. Also - If you feel you could use some help spotting your negative thinking, there is a free non-profit program called Recovery Inc. where you can learn to actively spot and change your thinking with other people in a group atmosphere with others just like yourself. Click here to find a meeting near you.

You are not without help Marci. There is hope and now is not the time to give up no matter how tired you are. : )

Hang in there!
Blessings to you,

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