Dealing With Depression Caused By False Accusations
Photo: Desolation: An Empty Beach
In Dealing With Depression: An Author's Look At Life I stated that, as an author, writing is not what I do but who I am. I went on to say that while writing and publishing a book is quite beyond me at present because I'm battling with depression (actually, skittering around the edges) a little creative writing each day helps me to deal with some of the signs and symptoms of my malaise.
The fact is that depression has as many reasons as manifestations. When it comes to finding solutions, identifying the cause of the slough of despair is as important as recognising the signs and symptoms.
It came to me, only last week, that a good deal of my problem lies in the fact that I'm embroiled in a situation which I can do nothing to change for the better. Neither can I do anything to escape from it. What I'm being subjected to amounts to emotional abuse and, at least in part, it is the sense of helplessness and hopelessness that this generates in me that's causing my depression.
The way it came to me was quite extraordinary. I'd been asked to speak to a group of ladies (yes, I still have to function normally, despite being on the brink of a black hole) and the topic was exactly what I needed to hear. As I thought about what I had to say to these ladies, and set out my talk, I realised just how much of what I had to say applied to my own situation. Let me explain.
A situation arose in my family more than a decade ago, in which I was wrongly accused. I'd been asked to express my opinion about a decision others wanted to take, and I raised several issues which I felt warranted further investigation. They were not objections. I simply urged those involved to think carefully: I wanted to be sure that they understood the various ramifications that might result from this decision.
To this day, I have been subjected to false accusations of "hostility". For years I have been yelled at; subjected to emotional abuse; put into Coventry; suffered persecution for my "unchristian" attitudes (I'm the only believer-follower in my family) and my "lack of forgiveness". Despite copious attempts at verbal and written explanation voicing my concerns, my accusers refuse to change their view of me. Of course, I realise - as they probably do - that to stop blaming me for everything that goes wrong might mean that they would have to accept culpability themselves.
STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION
In the first few years I was suicidal. Whilst practising the forgiveness I was deemed to be lacking, eventually I moved on.
Move forward more than ten years and, sadly, the family members concerned are now reaping what they sowed. Still unable to accept responsibility for their own actions, they have turned again on me. I am now subjected to false accusations of "having orchestrated the failure of the project". If it wasn't so hurtful it would be laughable. So once more tears and inertia have set in because, once again, I am under attack.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A LOVING GOD
It's amazing how God can speak into a situation like this, if only we will listen. The talk I prepared for my ladies was based on Psalm 36. It begins:
I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong.
It would seem that God, himself, understands my situation. Could it be that he is about to answer my need: to lift me from my sense of desolation?