A Southern Pastor: My Counselor Says To Write


I haven’t written in a couple of weeks, so I decided to tell you why.

  1. I have an illness. You can’t see it. It doesn’t cause me to be in a wheelchair or have a speech impairment. It leaves no physical scars or marks, and it doesn’t qualify me as disabled. But it is a disability. I have diagnosed depression, and for the last couple of weeks, I have been unable to put my thoughts into words. I have been unable to function in most social situations, and I have been living within the walls of my own mind. I feel better today, and tomorrow I know I will feel even better. But for a while, I needed to retreat.
  2. Having depression doesn’t mean that I’m not happy. I’m extremely blessed. I have a wonderful family, great friends, and I am privileged to serve as pastor to some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. Even when I’m struggling with my depression, every moment with them brings joy to my spirit and love to my heart. Depression isn’t about being happy or sad, it’s about how our body copes with anxiety, stress, and sometimes, simply living. Understanding that allows me to continue to meet my obligations, even as I struggle on the inside. I am fortunate; I know others whose depression keeps them from doing that.
  3. Most of the time, my worst seasons of depression are brought on by stress and doubt in myself. Once I begin that spiral into my own mind, my body begins to react with severe exhaustion, migraine headaches, aches and pains, and even illnesses brought on by a lowered immune system. It is almost impossible to describe, but my guess is, many of you know the feeling. There are more of us than you think who struggle in silence. Saying that you are staying home because you are suffering from depression doesn’t sound right, so we make up stomach viruses to keep from having to discuss our true, legitimate illness with the people around us.
  4. If you struggle with┬ádepression, or aren’t sure if you do, see a doctor, any doctor, and get the help you need. There are medications which can help, it won’t just “pass,” but it can get better. I see my counselor every week, and she is the only reason that I understand what happens to me, and am learning coping skills to deal with it in a more healthy way. Send me an email, message me on Facebook, or comment on my page. I would love to pray with you, and I am always here. You are not alone.
  5. Depression Hotline Numbers

 


Melanie Tubbs is a professor, pastor, mother, Mimi, and true Arkansas woman. She lives with nine cats and one dog on a quiet hill in a rural county where she pastors a church and teaches history at the local university. Her slightly addictive personality comes out in shameful Netflix binges and a massive collection of books. Vegetarian cooking, reading mountains of books for her seminary classes, and crocheting for the churches prayer shawl ministry take up most of her free time, and sharing the love of Christ forms the direction of her life. May the Peace of Christ be with You.