Summary: Depression, suicide, discouragement... Are you disturbed, wrought with depression, and teetering on the brink of self harm? Hopelessness, well, I've known it well.

Depression, suicide, discouragement... Are you disturbed, wrought with depression, and teetering on the brink of self harm?

Hopelessness, well, I've known it well. Depression, yes, it's been a constant companion on my life journey. So if you struggle with these very real problems, I'm glad your here.

It's a blackness of the soul. It's a sincere emptiness. It's truly a dwindling hope that eventually opens up to a giant black space where hope has no place. One has given up, and there is no longer any hope that things will get better. When hope is gone, then suicide starts looking increasingly helpful as an end to the pain.

Depression is pain of the soul. It's extended. It lasts for days, weeks, months, and years. Each day seems to only offer the gift of another day of misery. Sometimes it get be blotted out with drugs or strong drink, or lustful sexual encounters, or fickle, insipid relationships, but nothing seems to drive it off completely.

It urged me to stay in bed. Though I didn't need much encouragement to do so. In my story specifically it played a part in a circular pattern in my life: Drug use, drug use, more drug use, exhaustive collapse, mental breakdown/physical breakdown, withdrawal, depression, more depression, sobriety, recovery, more recovery, and slowly more and more anxiety, and depression and anxiety and depression, and discomfort... and relapse, drug use, drug use, and the cycle repeats.

I did that for years. But there was always a question lingering in the background: Why am I here? What is the purpose in anything? Why do anything? What is the meaning of life?

Without understanding the meaning of life, without understanding why I existed, depression was a natural consequence.

Depression can express itself in society as gothic teenagers, or emo boys, or teenage girls with cut marks on their arms. That's the stereotype, and often it fits, but there are many other expressions of depression.

Ravi Zacharias tells the story of a doctor and his wife. The doctor worked long hours in an ER. He was a surgeon, very successful obviously. Each day he would return home from work at 9:00 PM and his wife would be in bed and hear sometimes come in. And then he would leave again for work around 3:00 AM. And she would often awake when he left. She would always listen for him, because she seemed to hardly ever see him. Over and over he worked in this routine, day by day, week by week, and year by year. He helped others. He had meaningful work. He served everyday. And then one day she heard him come home, and then she heard a thud noise. He had killed himself.

Deion Sanders after winning the Superbowl was on the phone ordering a new Lamborghini, and he got off the phone, and he realized that he'd just achieved his ultimate and it had failed to satisfy him. And there he got on his knees and accepted Jesus Christ as savior, realizing, that every pursuit in life was meaningless, and He needed an eternal future.

The famous quarterback Brett Favre took many sacks and endured many concussions in his career. The pressure and the struggle of his fame, fortune, and family concerns led to addiction to Vicodin. He achieved so much in his career, but still struggled with meaning, and with drug addiction. He got clean from drugs and turned his life around. He had a great career. But there still seemed to be something missing. And isn't it interesting that when Brett Favre came to be conducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, he credited all his accomplishments to his savior Jesus Christ. Very interesting, that even when we achieve so much, even when we're at the top of the world seemingly, we still find meaninglessness in our hearts that can only be filled by a transcendence beyond the decadence and finity of this life.

Depression at it's core is an expression of meaninglessness in the heart of man. It's an emotional and intellectual decay stemming from the human heart and it's desire for eternity, for something greater than itself. We each have that desire for a power greater than human power. We each ache after longings that no single experience or event in this life can satisfy.

I've stood in a highway hoping a car would run me over. I've looked at the person driving that car as the car approached me. What a thing, don't you think? I've laid on roads in the night praying for a car to come, but none ever did. I've held a hunting rifle in my hands hoping I had the courage to use it on myself. I've lived in such wretched sorrow that I despaired of every passing moment of life. I've wished for the end of conscious so I could finally have a little bit of peace.

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