A Depressed Look at Psalms 23

Far be it from me that I’m some type of bible scholar, psychologist or whatever, yet as I’ve grown, I’ve had to live with depression, anxiety, all which entail dealing with rejection, loneliness and even isolation by others, even from myself, and never learning how to deal with these things, or someone teaching me how to look beyond them, or use them. All this has brought up relearning how to handle myself around others but also learning the process of friendship, which is very lonely for me, no one to talk to, no one to even call me up and say hi. We are social beings after all, an aspect of humanity a lot take for granted or don’t think about. (I am grateful for the very rare few who actually take their time to do so, although it is small, sometimes the small is very hard to swallow, and I still have to go on one day to the next believing there’s love, all this without losing myself to some cold grip. If you want to learn more see the other posts.) I understand people have lives and I rarely ever share myself with others for this basic fact: I’ve often been blamed or looked at as if I’ve got some type of “needy” sign attached on my forehead, as if they thought I’m asking them to drop everything and come to my rescue. Pure and utter bull. Yet as time goes on I’m slowly learning who to trust and who to open up to. And I am very thankful for the rare few who’ve taken time to hear what I’m saying instead of blaming, or getting mad. Because of this I’m still around.

Acknowledgement of existence is important when dealing with mental health. Acknowledgement not necessarily of, “Hey how are you?” in passing, but acknowledgement that one is alive and wanted, that they matter for a reason. This is one of the aspects of humanity that those who do not necessarily suffer with some type of mental illness cannot understand their need for this until they’ve lost everything or someone. Coming from my experience, the ability to comprehend this and know what it means was unavailable to me because of the pure simple fact that my brain was not capable of understanding this! Trying to swallow that bitter pill was difficult. Now that I’m older, and looking around and relearning how to connect with others, at this age, makes it very complicated indeed. How does one think it affects those who suffer from this ridiculous mental illness stigma?

Another aspect of this issue is acknowledgement of one’s own existence. This includes our feelings, emotions, thoughts and core beliefs. Some are taught, including myself, that we are our feelings and emotions, so over time we’re believing that we’re always mad, or sad, or angry, or (insert your word here). This can become very confusing because you start to manifest these things as you get older, unable to identify what is us or the wound. (It’s taken me years to relearn that I am not my emotions.) Changing and understanding of these things takes time, especially as we get older and don’t have that help or neglect by others. Some don’t see that they’re doing it but it happens. There is also self-neglect, which is in my opinion just as dangerous. One thing to remember is that not everyone is at blame for our problems, but the blame should be shifted away from others at a certain point in time: when we are grasping what is going in inside of ourselves and know we have a choice. Sometimes things, if they’re having an unhealthy impact on Today, should be taken care of. People can tell us we have choices till they’re blue in the face, but that just means they’re not wanting to be responsible for how they’re talking to us, or their own problems. You can led a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Making it drink would be trying to overrule their own will and desire for water (assuming the horse is healthy). It is important to recognize that, one shouldn’t put a blame on oneself which rightly belongs to another. The point being? One cannot see through glasses darkly.

What we can’t see can’t hurt us. I call bull on this one to. Mental illness is rarely seen, hardly heard and others don’t want to understand it or they blame sin, society, things in food that shouldn’t be there. Regardless of how it is here, it is here! Stop blaming and start seeing I say. Although there’s a point where the point of origin should be identified. What others don’t see or even consider, we who have to go from day to day have to feel it, learn to “cope” with it and try to adjust to a society that finds it hard to accept what is different. We know everyone has their hands full, so why bother? Managing what we can we move on. Some call us strong, or warriors, or some well known people who fight it have the money to help themselves, or sadly, succumb to its effects. Managing and coping are no longer a necessary skill to survive.

I’m still not sure how I made it, how I’m still alive. Maybe in some strange mysterious way the sleep apnea saved me from bad things, yet every curse can have a blessing, and a blessing requires some type of sacrifice. So here I am, what come what may, yet at the right time some are revealed while others are no longer seen.

Psalms 23 is used time and time again from funerals to prayers during difficult times. I know I’ve used it in the past and now for some reason I’m using it again. And I wonder why? Depression could very well be looked at as a type of sad anger, a feeling of inadequacy, or I swear a feeling of inadequacy, a knowing of it that in reality no one cares, no matter how hard I try to care about myself and love others how I want to be loved, and yet regardless of how much we love, or whether or not we’re married or have someone special in our lives, that sinking feeling comes out of nowhere, or there’s a trigger some place that’s unknown to us, the whole point is that…it’s there.

I recently heard that in Psalms 23 there’s so many mountain tops and good things in this Psalm that it is saying that everything will be okay. Quite possibly, yes, mountain tops being many? No. I’ve come to believe that we don’t understand the importance of the “mountain tops” (I’ve only seen them as little hills in the “valley of the shadow of death”), without the impact of this valley, the realizing of our own mortality, including the everyday problems (don’t give me that silver lining junk, that’s only for happy Monday people), how can we understand the importance of climbing the mountain to the top? The process is I’ll say, more important than the end. We know where we want to go, what we want, what is important to us, yet the journey of clarifying these things and what they are is the challenge, the journey many don’t want to take, for lose is not a good friend for any human. Letting go is the hardest lesson.

In the next post I’d like to begin and end going through this Psalm personally and open up a little bit about what it means to me as someone who is learning to open up, express my “feelings” and has went through what I’ve gone through, maybe it’ll provide some insight and encouragement. This post is long enough and it is almost 6 in the morning. I couldn’t sleep much last night. I think 3 hours.

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