Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Disappearing Act

In my second post, I have shared about how I was so severely depressed that I had to stop work despite being on anti-depressant. As the Doctor started the anti-depressant on a very low dosage, I didn’t get well. My employer also providentially decided to scale down her business and was not able to keep me due to financial limitations.

In order not to be a financial strain on my employer who has been very kind to me over my 4 years plus of part-time work with her, I decided to leave my job in end August 2007 to look for a new job. I have been working between 5 to 6 hours for her daily.

I was rather discouraged when I first left my job. I was still severely depressed and could not think properly. I was not sure what I can handle as I was very slowed down. I have difficulty getting up every morning and to do anything require lots of effort on me. I couldn’t concentrate much and have great difficulties making decision. I didn’t know how to carry on…

But God is with me always and continue to uphold and preserve me. I could not really sense His presence at times as depression has a terrible effect of numbing a person’s senses. But I called upon God daily in prayers. I have no one else to turn to………

In July when I had the relapse of depression, I started to disappear from church immediately after the morning worship. I could not bring myself to talk to people. I couldn’t smile or try to pretend that nothing has happened. But it was also very difficult for me to try and explain what I was going through. I had no choice but to leave before anyone can catch hold of me. I know they care… so all the more it’s hard for me to show them how terrible I really feel, how much I am hurting or how terrible I look when depressed.

A friend ever commented once when he saw me at a bus-stop just after my work when I was going through a relapse of depression. He was in a bus that happened to pass by then. He said “You are not joyful anymore” :-(

How to explain to others why I am not joyful anymore? Very hard to expect others to understand. Most people have experienced time of down or discouragement or disappointment and they said they are depressed for a few days but they got out of it. Clinical depression is very different. The down and almost hopeless misery and pain is day in, day out, night in, night out, almost every hour, sometimes minutes even and definitely every day for at least a few months if without medical or other interventions.

I know I may appear unfriendly to some people or indifferent to others. But I had no other choice. That was how much I could handle. Sometimes I am so exhausted, or so slowed down, or so depressed that I could not get up from my bed, or so sick because of the stress and fear of meeting people, that I could not even go to church. I trust that when I am better and able to explain to my friends, they will understand and forgive me……

When I left my job, I wrote to my church’s Pastor to inform him. As always, Pastor JJ is very encouraging and supportive. Below are my correspondences with him (with minimal editings).


My email to my Pastor on 5th September 2007:

Dear Pastor,

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragements. Thank God for His mercies.

Do covet your prayers as I continue to look for a new job. Last week was my last week at work as my employer needs to cut down cost and we decided that it is better for me to look for a new job. She has been very kind to me and I am grateful for all her kindness.

I have applied for some jobs but have yet to hear from them. Do covet your prayers for God’s direction and provision as finding a new job seems more difficult now as I am above 40 years old and with mental illness (have to declare this in application forms).

Trust that our good Lord will provide in His time.

Thanks for your prayers support. May our Lord continue to bless you and your family as you serve Him together.

In His grace,


Pastor JJ’s kind reply to me:

Dear sister,

Thank you very much for sharing. I did not realise that last week was your last week at work.

I’ll be remembering you in prayer; and will also look out for you.

The Lord has promised to add unto such as seek first His Kingdom and righteousness (Mt 6:33). I believe He will hear our cries on the basis of His promise.

Take care, dear sister. Take the time to rest your body and mind. Do not be too anxious about tomorrow (Mt 6:34).

Kind regards in the Lord,

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