Jesus or Zoloft? Yes, Please.

I’ve been following Jamie The Very Worst Missionary for a couple of months now. I was pretty sure that I loved her before she wrote this blog post Jesus or Zoloft– but that sealed the deal for me. Love. Her.

Y’all remember when I said that I wasn’t scared anymore? That I was fixin’ to bring me, ALL of me to the blogosphere? Well here comes some of that. Last year, I was struggling with the worst bout of depression and anxiety I’ve ever experienced in my life. I worried about the very same questions that Jamie poses. I worried that taking Zoloft was “giving in” and that it equaled spiritual failure.

There were days I couldn’t get out of the bed. There were days that Sister Wife had to drag me out of bed and make me exercise or go to the grocery store. Then there were a few really bad days when she climbed into bed with me and waited for me to lift my greasy head off the pillow.

I don’t like writing about this stuff. I didn’t and I couldn’t when I was going through it. But I have to write about it now because I get emails every. single. day. from women who have read one of the very few posts I’ve written about depression and thank me. I talked to women all over the country who are struggling with the same things and I feel like I am failing them to not be completely transparent and honest. I feel like because of what I publicly stand for–”finding the funny”– that you need to know the whole story.

You need to know that my sense of humor, that any laughter I experience or bring– is the grace of God in my life, because left to my own devices, I’d curl up into a greasy stinky ball in my bed and watch Netflix 24 hours a day. And you need to know that you can get better. It’s going to be work and it’s going to suck.

A lot.

But if you go to therapy (I did) and if you take meds (if you need them and I DID! I’ll save my panic attack about the fearsome Dayton International Airport for another post for another day.)  If you get help, you will get better.

So I did therapy, I take meds and I took a strong shot of Jesus with it. It was hard for me to go to church. It was bad enough that I was having to put a happy spin on all of my writing when I didn’t feel like writing at all, but I simply couldn’t go to church and smile like everything was fine. Sitting in the pew with my kids crawling all over me was torture. Making small talk between the sermon and Sunday School was excruciating.

My Give-A-Shit-O-Meter got broke– the miniscule filter that used to keep me from putting my foot in my mouth every single time I opened it, was gone. If someone asked me how I was doing, I was incapable of smiling and saying, “Fine.” I was much more likely to snarl at them and say, “I hated that song we just sang. When are we going to sing a song written in the last 500 years?”

So I hid and prayed. I went to therapy, took my meds, traveled all over the country and met women who unknowingly helped me heal myself and I clung tightly to these Scriptures. I’m sharing them here because as I said before, I have this conversation with someone EVERY SINGLE DAY. I want to be able to send them a link with my story, my verses and hopefully your comments and let them know they aren’t alone.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He ONLY is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.” Ps 62:5-6 ESV

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait I say, on the Lord!” Ps 27:13-14 NKJV

Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.” Heb 10:36 NLT

“He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” Ps 112:7-8 NIV

“I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how. God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.” Ps 119:32-33 MSG

“Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Cor 15:58 NIV

“You’ll use the rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild & renovate, make the community livable again.” Is 58:12 MSG

“Relieve the troubles of my heart & free me from my anguish.” Ps 25:17 NIV

New year, new me.

I’m not apologizing for cussing or posting Scripture. If you don’t like it– it’s THE INTERNET! Go somewhere else.

If you need help, please ask for it. If you’ve been there, or are there now, I hope you’ll share your story with us. This is a safe place. A-holes will not be allowed in the comment section.

This post is dedicated to a very special friend of mine who is on her way out of the pit. Love you. xo

 



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Comments

  1. says

    Great post. No truer words: “If you don’t like it, it’s THE INTERNET. Go somewhere else.” I was once attacked on Twitter by some food blogger who judged me based on my reality. I didn’t make her read my blog, but she sure did take it upon herself to throw me over the coals about it to all her twitter followers. Mean people suck.

    Continued success on your self-care.
    Lil recently posted..Three Minutes this Monday Morning

  2. Chelsea says

    i have been following your blog/facebook page for a while now, but this is the first time i have ever felt compelled to comment on a post (yours or anyone elses for that matter).. right now im curled up under the covers with the glowing light of my kindle keeping me company (while my husband sleeps soundly-must be nice!) after a long snow day at home with two boys. your post just left me breathless because you could have easily been describing me lately. i laughed out loud (content hubby didnt even flinch) when you mentioned sitting in church feeling like it was the last place on earth you should be. thank you so much for this, i look forward to the cloud lifting soon!

    my go to verse is always Matthew 6:34 ” Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.” sometimes i think that was written just for me!

    • Kim says

      Chelsea, thank you for sharing your story and especially your go to verse. I found it to be a comfort, as well.

      My prayers go out to all of you ladies, each with your own situations. May the strength of the Lord (and medication, if you so choose) be with you!

  3. says

    I am taking my daughter to inpatient treatment at a children’s hospital tomorrow. She is 17 and has struggled with depression since she was 12 (probably long before that but that is when she was diagnosed). In the past month, she has suddenly developed the most debilitating anxiety and cannot leave the house. Today we finally had enough and agreed to try to get her admitted to inpatient treatment. They said they should have a bed open tomorrow. I pray that this will help her. My whole family struggles with anxiety and/or depression. We are fun, funny, full of love and laughter and no one would EVER know the struggles we endure. But even the funniest people have pain. Especially the funniest people. Thanks, Robin, for being so honest.
    Mary-Leah Moore recently posted..Unfunny………

    • says

      Mary Leah! How brave of you and your daughter to get her the help she needs!! I hate that there is a stigma and pray that she will have true friends who will walk through this with her!

  4. says

    I also struggle with depression, and I’ve questioned myself for going on medication instead of relying solely on my faith. I think you have it right to combine the two.

  5. Ashley says

    Thank you so much for posting. I struggled with anxiety/depression my whole life. When I was 24 I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease which is an incurable progressive disease. I never have energy and the meds they give me does not help. I have struggled and felt bad for having to rely on certain medications to just let me live me life. But I have recently decided I have to do what I have to do to be able to live and function as a normal person. I’m not the type of person who enjoys not being able to get out of bed and I’m done so bring on the meds and life. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one!!

  6. says

    Robin, this post spoke to me perfectly. I too have gotten the pressure that somehow my faith was faulty if turned to anti-depressants. Horrible feeling to have a horrible place to be in. I also went through a period last year when I just couldn’t handle church, the people, the fake smiles and demand to be happy…I get what you are saying, and I love this. The Isaiah verse you shared is is giving me hope right now. Thanks–and prayers.
    Meredith recently posted..Take-aways from the Farm Show

    • says

      Thanks for being one of the women who helped me get better even when you didn’t know you were doing it. I was a BASKETCASE at Erma. Your friendship buoyed me!

  7. says

    Why is it that so many people think the choice is Jesus OR Zoloft? How about Jesus helped people make Zoloft so they can help depressed people get better? Smart people get help. Speaking from experience… Kudos to all of us who get help so there is light at the end of that dark tunnel! BTW – nice to meet you!

  8. Amy says

    I also suffer from anxiety. It began after I had my first child, over 4 years ago. The signs were there long before her birth, but it showed it’s ugly head when I was left alone in the hospital while my husband went to work the third day she was born. I would just sit and shake and worry about how in the world we were going to survive raising a child! Prozac and Xanax were a life saver. After two weeks, the Prozac was in full swing and I was feeling great. After the birth of my second child, it was even worse. My mom had to stay with me for a week, when we brought my son home. My husband couldn’t stay away from work that long. Luckily, my doctor met with me for two hours one evening and made me see that I wasn’t the only new mom that suffers from anxiety. She said at least 40% of her new moms take an antidepressant for the first two months after they give birth. I WASN’T ALONE!! I still take Prozac regularly, to curve the anxiety. We have a plan in place for if and when we decide to have baby number three.

    Thanks for your candid post about antidepressants. Why does the world have to make us feel like less of a mother, if we take a mediation to get through the darkness? I pray every day that my anxiety is relieved and it doesn’t effect my children. God has helped me.

  9. says

    I’m not surprised by this (not that I assumed this either)… it’s just that so many of us deal with this. I often go dark on my blog when I’m having a hard time, because my head hurts too badly to find the words. But every time I’m honest, readers respond. We need others to know that even though “we find the funny” or that we celebrate and look for good things, that we paint a pretty picture (I mean, it’s art… we want to leave people better than we found them) it doesn’t mean there aren’t quite a few cracks in the frame. And it’s so okay. It’s what makes us alive. If we didn’t have a healthy share of challenges, we’d be dead.
    Angie Mizzell recently posted..Whew. I made it.

  10. Kim says

    Hi, Robin – I am a new fan of yours and shortly into reading Ketchup is a Vegetable, thought “where has she been all my life?” I appreciate your honesty, selflessness, and sharing both the good and bad.

    This is my first visit to your blog, and this particular one was EXACTLY what I needed to read today. I, too, struggle with depression and anxiety, and after reading what you and these other wonderful ladies have written, makes me truly feel for the first time that I’m not alone; there are real women out there who suffer and do their best to get by, just like me.

    The scripture verses you provided were perfect – I started crying on the very first one. Thank you for what you do, regardless of what others may say about it (i.e., Jesus and cussing). You are so brave to share your true self with us, and your “realness” gives your readers courage and strength.

  11. Monica says

    Thank you so much for this Robin! I have struggled with depression most of my adult life. There is always someone that doesn’t understand and tries to make me feel l like a failure as a mom because I need meds…it’s reassuring that I’m not the only one…you are sooo funny and crack me up everyday. Thanks for the mommy-therapy.

    • says

      Much love to you Monica. There is NO shame in getting help and being the best version of yourself you can be. YOU deserve it and so do your kids.

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