Friday, March 11, 2005


One of the most disturbing things I've heard in my life is that depression is a sin. Maybe I misunderstood that idea the first time I heard it, and probably whoever propagated the idea misunderstood what true depression is. Or maybe they meant just getting discouraged and down on yourself. But it was a depressing idea. Catch-22.

I guess I can see the point from a certain perspective. When you're wrapped up in self-pity, you have neither self-control nor self-esteem, nor do you see anyone else's suffering-- and consequently you can't relieve any of that suffering nor do anything productive. And not fulfilling your purpose in life is certainly a sin.

Plus, of course, that lack of self-control is just an open invitation for temptation to stroll through the door and make itself at home. You may think that a woman who's bedbound and sedated doesn't have many temptations, but I do. First, there's the drugs themselves. Vicodin and percocet at my fingertips make all the pain (mental and physical) go away. The pain might not be very bad, but maybe I need just a little more codeine to help me sleep. (How many can I take?)

And of course the drugs bring more temptations with them, along with that warm, floaty feeling that just makes all the troubles go away... for now. I'm tempted to say what I think all the time, and some of the things I think when drugged should really remain unsaid. OK, all of them.

I'm tempted to spend the day reading in bed instead of doing anything useful like writing my novel.

I'm tempted to just stay up reading all night instead of doing anything useful. Like sleeping.

I'm tempted to just pack up to leave this state and say, "Whoever wants to come with me, get in the car." (This was one of those things that should have remained unsaid.)

I had more temptations, but the drugs stopped working and I'm not due for any more quite yet. I'll just lie here and whimper quietly. That's not a temptation; it's just something I've gotta do.


Kory O said...

Ah, yes, the ever-popular "sin by means of thought". A lovely way to make even the most gentle feel horrible and unworthy, and give some really vile people a feeling of superiority.
The only people who could possibly think that a biochemical imbalance could be a sin are those who have never been in a depressed state, or have seen someone they love in that condition.
Nobody blames diabetics for their condition, so why do they blame victims of depression or other mental problems?
Sorry, I want to strangle whoever came up with the idea of depression being a sin. Or the idea that "you're not given more than you can handle". I stopped believing that after joining the police department. It just ain't true. If believing that is a sin, fine...I'll apologize to God for saying it, but not to anyone else.
I guess I'm rambling here. Just be a bit more forgiving of yourself, Snooze. You're tougher than you know, and braver than you give yourself credit for.

Jessica said...

I have never heard that depression was a sin...but my grandmother use to always tell me to worry was a sin because you weren't placing your trust in God.

Hope you get to feeling better. I wish good things for you.