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Year Two, Day 17: Spiritual Depression

I have been down for the past week or so. I'm not sure if you can see it reflected in my posts.

I have been tired. I have been feeling the need for a lot of personal space. I have been overeating. I have been anxious. And I have not been exercising enough. And I have not been seeking God enough. I have been escaping into my mystery novels and binge watching of the Sopranos. This provides temporary relief, but this morning I woke up thinking a little bit clearer.

I had restless sleep, with nightmares.  Of course, watching gangsters late at night probably does not help.  But part of the appeal of The Sopranos for me is Tony Soprano himself. Part of each episode focuses on his therapy sessions. Tony has trouble with panic attacks and depression. Like me.  But Tony has some bigger issues than I do.  I think.  Well at least the organized crime and murder part.

But finally the bubble burst for me this morning. The Sopranos is very entertaining.  One of the most intriguing television series I have ever seen. Right up there with House, MD, Downton Abbey, The Blacklist, and Doc Martin.

But what most all of the characters in these dramas have in common is they do not seem to learn or grow.  I mean, it would probably not have done much for ratings if Tony had confessed his sins to a priest, ended his life of crime, stopped cheating on his wife, read the bible daily, went gluten free and started training for a marathon.

Well, I would watch this, but would I get bored?

I feel like the cloud is beginning to lift. I can see that I have been stressed out about the upcoming Mozart Requiem performance. But last night was a very good rehearsal. Nothing left to do now, but keep my fingers in shape and then enjoy the ride Friday night.

Oh, how I look forward to waking up Saturday morning to my normal routine.

I wonder if my days of performance are coming to an end?

I am happiest when I have a day of breathing room.  A day where I can wake up, drink tea, pray, read the Bible, blog, put something healthy in the crockpot, go to the gym, hop on the bus and go teach students, with time to read and have tea and a snack in between.  On Sunday, my day of rest, I pop up energized and eager to attend the bible church that has been inspiring me for the past few months.

I got word from the community chorus I applied at last week. They had many applicants and while they enjoyed meeting me, they chose someone else.

I exhaled. And was greatly relieved.  I think one choir and students is enough for me right now. I also finally heard from the priest of the Catholic church where I applied and had numerous "guest spots".  He wanted to talk about employment.

My heart began to thud. I broke out in a sweat. I felt sick to my stomach. Not a good reaction. Although I could use the income, I do not think that is the place for me. I would so miss my current church.  And I felt such stress at the Catholic church sadly. So I emailed him. As I pressed "send", I was filled with joy.

A good sign!

Over the past week, as I attempted to pull myself up from the pit, I noticed that every day I was cheered up and rejuvenated by a student.  Mostly by their pride in their playing, and their love of the music they played for me.  I would feel goosebumps, and then an awareness that this present moment was all I needed.  And the depression would subside. For the rest of the day.

I need to continue to teach. In my positive, supportive style.

And now that I am prepared for the Requiem, I need to get back to the gym. I have been eating healthier the last few days. I have eaten mostly home cooked foods. Heavy on vegetables.  I have not lost weight, but my belly looks flatter.

As I turned to my psalm of the day today, again I was struck with goosebumps and a heightened awareness. The words spoke deep to my soul. I did a little research online, and discovered that my psalm from yesterday and today were often paired together. And both of them deal with depression. I found an amazing article at called " Psalm 42-43: Dealing with Depression".

I inhaled the article. I think I will print it out. But near the end of the article, the author writes:

"Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his solid book, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure ([Eerdmans], pp. 20-21), comments,
Have you not realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself....
The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’--what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’--instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God”.
Wow. Double wow!

I immediately powered up my Kindle and purchased Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure 


I reread Psalms 42 and 43.  And I will start reading my new book tonight.  Perhaps instead of the Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter mysteries? Perhaps even instead of  another episode of The Sopranos?

No, Fuhgeddaboutit ! I am not ready for that yet.  Baby steps!

But I would like to close with a few powerful verses I read this morning:

Deuteronomy.  Chapter 4: 29-31 
(King James version)

"But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them."



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