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Re: Antidepressants and religious faith... simus

Posted by Dena on December 29, 2003, at 10:53:06

In reply to Re: Antidepressants and religious faith... Dena, posted by simus on December 29, 2003, at 0:19:22

Dear Simus -

I'm so happy to meet you - what a gift to hear from a fellow follower of Jesus!

My last 5 mg. of Lexapro was taken on Christmas Eve, making Christmas Day my first drug-free day - I promise, I didn't plan it that way; when I approached my doctor several weeks ago, he put me on a withdrawal plan. I'm so grateful that I followed his plan ... previously, I went cold turkey off of Paxil, & then Celexa. I have never felt so wretched! Those withdrawal symptoms were horrendous! I felt like I had a case of the flu, plus like I was being poked with a cattle-prod every few seconds - the whole world would shift around me - weird!

So far, just 5 days drug-free, I'm happy to report that I feel -- fine? I'd like to say "normal", but I'm not sure I've ever known what that felt like! I have no withdrawal symptoms, & I sense no depression creeping in. Praise God!

I've experienced depression, along with a general pessimistic, melancholy personality for as long as I can remember (I remember feeling so depressed as a one year old - yes, I do have memories of that time). I also suffered with severe bulimia for 21 years, but God completely healed me of that just over three years ago. Perhaps the depression was healed along with it - only time will tell.

I only know that He showed me the root of my bulimia (which went way back into my time inutereo), & once He replaced the lies I was believing with His truth, the bulimia vanished (& I had been someone that everyone had given up on - countless therapists, treatment centers, prayer ministers, etc. had told me that could do nothing more for me).

I've had absolutely no thought of bingeing or purging for over three years, much less a temptation of any sort. Believe me, this power did not come from me! I was bingeing & purging continuously every day - the moment my husband left the house, I was eating everything in sight & throwing up - over & over & over. I could not stop on my own, nor with the best help that others had to give. Getting married didn't stop me, having 7 babies didn't stop me, homeschooling them (having them around me 24/7) didn't stop me, getting arrested three times for shoplifting food didn't stop me, taking 8 different anti-depressants didn't stop me. I was enslaved.

I've experienced "abstinence" before - with the support of a group of fellow sufferers, I was able to mantain "abstinence" for several months in a row ... but it was a far cry from being healed. I constantly wrestled with temptations & compulsive thoughts - my abstinence was achieved only with white-knuckle determination. It was not freedom from bulimia, it was torture.

When I was set free from bulimia, it was a complete transformation - I was no longer the same. For about three weeks after the healing, I felt as though I was enclosed in a "bubble" of safety? - protection? I wasn't sure - I didn't even want to analyze it, much less talk about it. All I knew was that I knew I had the CHOICE to not binge or purge - there was no compulsion. I just stayed within that bubble, & floated through the days, able to do the "next right thing". After three weeks, I decided it was time to gather the family & talk about this. They had all noticed the obvious changes in me - I was available - no longer spending all day going between the kitchen and the bathroom. My eldest daughter asked, "what should we do if we see you doing it again?" I was formulating my response, planning on saying something like, "let your father know", when I heard these words come out of my mouth, "I'm free. I'll never binge or purge again." I felt shocked, & my husband did a double-take. But I knew that I knew that I knew it was true. I had been completely healed & delivered from the bondage of bulimia. Completely.

This is not like abstinence - I don't have to do any sort of "maintenance" to "keep" my healing. It's not my doing at all - it's the power of God.

I've always believed, & now I know, that Jesus still heals people, just like He did when He was walking around here on earth. He healed everyone who came to Him, asking. If they had the faith to believe that He could & would heal them, if they recognized the power of the Living God in Him, if they hungered & thirsted for righteousness, they were healed.

And I know He heals completely. When He healed the blind man, He didn't say, "Now you can see - as long as you use these glasses," He said, "See." And he saw.

When he healed the paralyzed man, He didn't say, "Now take up your mat & limp as best you can." He said, "Now take up your mat and WALK."

I realize that He didn't heal every single person in the countryside - but He did heal every single one who came to Him, trusting Him, for healing.

For me, & for thousands of others, the healing comes when we allow Him to show us the depths of our hearts - He shows us the deceptions we're under, He shows us the lies we've accepted in place of Truth. And when we see the Truth, the lie disappears. When the lie is gone, so is all of the power of that deception, the power that enslaves us & keeps us from God.

My lie was that I had to provide for myself, since no one else was going to provide for me. I believed this lie while still in my mother's womb (yes, unborn babies not only feel, but can think; their bodies may be tiny, but their spirits are full-sized from the moment of conception). It felt like life-or-death to me, that I would be destroyed if I didn't get relief from the deprivation (I remember none of this, it was revealed to me during my healing). I then began to believe the lie that no one would care for me, to give me what I needed, & that it was up to me. I made a vow, as an unborn child, that I would never allow myself to be deprived again. (Later, while talking to my mother, she told me that her doctor had put her on a stict diet during my pregnancy - she was being starved, & I was feeling the starvation. I was experiencing an intense deprivation, & her own deprivation was transferred to me as well.)

When I was a young child, I constantly stole & hoarded food. I was always afraid of not having enough to survive. As a teenager, I became overweight, but struggled also with wanting to have an acceptable body. At 18, I "discovered" purging, & became bulimic. I created that "perfect" body for myself, while still being able to use massive amounts of food to keep myself from being deprived.

All of this self-destruction & enslavement, from believing a lie!

While I was being healed, the Lord impressed on me that it wasn't my job to sustain myself, but His. As soon as I saw the truth of it, the lie became powerless. It took me hearing the Truth from Him, directly, rather than hearing the same message from humans, to set me free.

He did this for me because He loves me, & He's done similar deliverences for thousands, millions, of others. I didn't earn this healing; I didn't do anything to become worthy of it. He did it out of His merciful grace.

The key for me was to come to the end of myself & my own efforts. To come to the end of what the world has to offer. To come to the place of giving up, surrendering my will to His.

The key was for me to allow Him to show me the ugliness of the lies in my heart, in my belief system, to be willing to let go of what was familiar (but destructive), for what was mysterious (but delivering). The key was to trust Him, not myself. The key was to be willing to lay aside all that I thought I knew about Him, about myself, about truth, & let Him fill me with His version of that Truth, even if I couldn't understand it. Even if it contradicted things I'd been taught.

I don't know why it took 39 years to come to that place (including 21 years of bulimia). But I know He doesn't ever waste any suffering. He's already used my suffering (even the self-imposed suffering) to enable me to relate to others who suffer. It took this long, because I needed it to take this long, so that I could learn what was necssary - I may never understand it on this side of eternity, but I know that He knows & that's enough.

Sooooo... I'm more than willing to believe & accept that He can also heal me of my other wounds, including depression. Maybe He's already done so, & it's time to find out. Maybe He's in the process of healing me, & I only need to trust Him, regardless of my perceptions (which are so limited, compared to His).

I believe that He has provided a way for us to overcome, if we trust Him in spite of our feelings. I believe that suffering is unavoidable in this life, but that enslavement is optional, provided we let Him show us how to overcome.

Shalom, Dena




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