Culture & Communications, Emotional Healing

Funked Out- Dealing With Discontentment & Eventual Depression

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Ever been a funk where if things were not going the way you absolutely confessed they would go from top to bottom and all the way around? Join the fifty million of people that assume that mindset and suddenly find themselves slipping into a state of discontentment and eventual depression. This state may have been experienced in the most subtle to the most extravagant way. Ever sat by the mailbox waiting for that acceptance letter that never came or waiting by the cell phone waiting for that person to call or went to the refrigerator and discovered that someone ate your piece of the pie? Discouragement, discontentment, and dissatisfaction are all tactics that are used by Satan to get us in a overwhelming state of emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, and mental stress. It is in these times that we must know that God is our number one lifter-upper and motivator. His sole purpose in this life is for us to know that He is fighting for us when we deal with funky things in life.

How do you deal with disappointment? I remember the times when I was not granted an academic scholarship that I had applied for in my early years of college. I had worked so hard to write the scholarship fund for criteria and guidelines. In addition, I was diligent about maintaining a 3.8 GPA and crammed so many extracurricular activities in my schedule. When I sent off my application, I just knew that I was going to get the scholarship. Three weeks later, I got a flat NO. I was beyond crushed and like me, maybe you wondered how you’d make it and what your next plan would be.

Psalm 30:5 is true that although weeping may endure for a night time, joy will come in the morning. For some, that morning may be translated into a couple of hours and for others, that joy may be delayed and come over days or months; but it will come. When I realized that I had to talk myself into getting happy again so that I could focus on the next step, the sadness and anger began to pour off of me like a wet towel. When I transferred the weight of the anger onto God and asked Him to help me deal with the disappointment, He helped me. I am so thankful the hurt did not escalate to sorrow, and eventual depression. Once this door opens, Satan has a field day and seeks to further break down our spirit with more problems.

Are you in your morning? Does it feel like the disappointment will never leave? If you find yourself in this state of mind, remember to do the following repetitiously until joy returns:

Accept Your Truth- A key factor for persons who deal with depression is the inability to face the truth of their situation and as a result, they close themselves up to forever sorrow. I am here to tell you that sorrow does not last always. The Holy Spirit was sent to bring us truth so it is okay to release your inability to handle a situation and transfer the burden over to God. Matthew 11:30 reminds us Jesus’ burdens are light and His yoke is so easy. That is great news. When my parents died, I did not know what direction that I was going. I felt like a marathon runner and just wanted to run. I wanted to run completely away from the truth that my parents were not present. Depression will cause you to remain stuck inside yourself and you’ll eventually find yourself mad at others for not wanting to hop onto your pity-party. I was there and this is not a pretty place. Once you accept your truth, whatever that may be, God can and will assist you and reveal himself to you and help you. Jesus is the awesome Helper, Comforter, Peacemaker, and Messenger.

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Reject and Rejoice- Satan is an accuser of the brethren and he seeks to allow the sorrow that we are dealing with because of our situation turn inward creating anger; which is the state of depression. The greatest GPS that we can know is that depression is not based on the situation that we find ourselves into but our response to how we are handling it. Don’t get me wrong; in some cases, persons may have a chemical imbalance where there are some barriers to logical thinking and I would definitely recommend therapy for those persons who find themselves in this state. The ultimate thing that we should do is to allow God in. It’s about relationship. Many of us have experienced rejection on many levels and it is easy to see how we could be subject to perpetual disappointment; but know that forever disappointment, God has a re-appointment. He knows the plans for you and God is not into making junk! Remain encouraged and commit to the process of renewing your mind so you can stay focused on your future rather than your past. Make a choice to be led by the Holy Spirit. Reject the stress and rejoice in being blessed. God is for you and everything is going to be alright.

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Symptomatology of Grief & Loss

Image Kubler-Ross five stages of grief are often sporadic reactions to a person receiving tragic news or experiencing a traumatic event. The defense mechanisms create opportunities for a person to cope through the stages of grief such as bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

 Bargaining is a postponement of the inevitable situation that the person is facing. The stage is brief yet potent as it attempts to create a system of rewards for behavior in exchange for longer life or time to settle differences or spend time with loved ones. Through the process of this stage, a person seeks to enter into a trance state of mind, absent from the pain of their illness or the shopping cart filled with prescription medications that they must take on a daily basis.

 Depression is the process of acceptance in the realization that the bargaining will no longer suffice and a person’s reality must prevail (Kubler-Ross, 1997). In this mindset, anger is turned inward and the person makes a decision to remove themselves from the participatory factor of their life.

 Acceptance is a state of looking to what is ahead in expectation that it is better than the trials or issues they are currently facing. It is a peace that surpassed all of the understanding that they hold and in some cases an inner knowing that all will be well.

 My mother, Talmer Joyce Solomon experienced these stages of a regular basis as she courageously faced her battle with advanced stage cancer. The news came at a time inconvenient for our family of course, having just loss a cousin to murder and a grandfather to illness. Having just lost my father to a massive heart attack 1 month before, my mother confidently planned my 21st birthday party at my aunt’s house. Not really in a mood to celebrate, our family collectively mustard courage to do so. At this stage, my mother was quite frail and had begun to weaken yet she still attended and actively participated in my birthday festivities.

 From the planning of my sister-in-law’s bridal shower, preaching at her church, to attending my birthday party, my mother did not have to cut deals with God because she was a woman of faith and I believe, bargain, or no bargain, she was blessed with “stronger” days than “weaker” days so that she could enjoy her children and assist us in our grief from my dad’s death. I believe that her seeing us laughing and carrying on gave her a peace in knowing that we could continue to function with time and have parties to celebrate our birthdays with the absence of her and our father.

 The bargaining and depression stage for my mother was short-lived because while at my party, her breathing began to slow and she grew tired quicker so she needed to lie down and rest. I remember leaving my party and going home with my mom and laying down next to her on the bed listening to her breath with great effort. It was apparent that her lungs were filling with fluids but she did not complain. I remember just laying next to her as she slept asking God to heal her.

 The acceptance for my mom came in the form of asking God for “divine healing”. Although I was at an age to understand what this meant and not being able to speak for my siblings, I believe that my mother had accepted that the doctors could do all that they could having accepted that long life with no hurt, for her, meant relocation to a space that was out of this world. So far away and unable to call collect, I eventually accepted her desire and supported her decision to make preparations to join my father, her husband in heaven. Her acceptance was letting us go and as was ours to let her go. With much courage as acceptance requires, we let go (Kubler- Ross, 1997).

 Danita Akendengue-Ogandaga

 References

Kubler-Ross, E. (1997). On death and dying. New York: Scribner.