Depression, Info & Help

Carrying the Burdens of Your Past?Premium Content

We're commanded in Hebrews 12:1 to "lay aside every weight" so we can "run with patience the race that is set before us." Consider that first command: lay aside every weight, every burden that slows us down in our race forward. If we're dwelling on the past, that means we've stopped running, picked up some weights we were commanded to drop, and are giving them (not God or His commandments and His service) all our attention. No wonder we stop running and even start walking backward. For good reason do race horses wear blinders that force them to look forward, blocking out distractions so they can focus on the race.

Even worse, Hebrews 12:1 continues on into the second verse, explaining what we should be looking at when we run the race "set before us" (set in front of us): "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher ofour faith." If we're looking at the past, we're violating this second command of God's: we're not only picking up weights and burdens we were told to lay aside, to drop to the ground and regard as worthless impediments, but we're not looking at Jesus but rather at those forbidden weights instead. We should be rejoicing that Christ tells us to drop all these weights. Satan's worst enemy is a Christian focused on the future and running his race well.

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Depression and the Recovery ProcessPremium Content

The unrelenting sadness and hopelessness that characterized my experience with depression is something I will never forget. In the grips of depression I often felt paralyzed, not possessing the strength to rise from bed or even to open my eyes in the morning. I felt completely alone, unable to make contact with anyone, not even Almighty God. I lost interest in life and the things that make life special. I became reclusive and withdrawn, not wanting to be with friends I alternated between insomnia and exhaustion. I couldn't concentrate. And always, I felt inexplicably sad. Nothing made me happy. Most frightening of all, I made intricate preparations for my death. 1

This year, 17 million Americans will suffer from depressive illness. In 1988 the General Accounting Office estimated that up to half of the homeless suffer from chronic phychiatric disorders. 2 - many also addicted to alcohol and drugs. While severe forms of psychosis are readily recognized, depressive disorders, which are more subtle, can be overlooked as factors that prevent program participants from moving forward in recovery.

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Christmas Prayers & BlessingsPremium Content

Here is a series of Christmas prayers and blessings. Included are prayers for a season of grief, sorrow or loss and for those who struggle at this special time of year.

Christmas Dinner Prayer

In the peace of this season our spirits are joyful:
With the beasts and angels,
the shepherds and stars,
with Mary and Joseph we sing God's praise.
By your coming may the hungry be filled with good things,
and may our table and home be blessed.
Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive from Thy bounty
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Quilter from Texas

Quilter from Texas

Emotions & Recovery: Grief Premium Content

A.Addicts are both victims and victimizers.
Anyone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol leaves behind them a trail of destruction. This could include everything from harm done to loved ones – both physically and emotionally, as well as violence and criminal activity of all sorts in which many become involved. On the other hand, we need to recognize that the majority of addicts have, themselves, grown up in painful, dysfunctional families. In homes where one or both of the adults are out of control because of addiction or other life-consuming problem, they we subjected to a daily diet of physical and emotional trauma.

Effective rescue mission recovery programs recognize the importance of helping addicts to repent of their sin and become responsible the wrong they have done. Steps 4 & 5 used with Steps 8 & 9 are practical guides for helping recovery addicts to gain a clear conscience and to take the extra step of restoring broken relationships and acknowledging to other the hurt they have caused them. This is dealing with the "victimizer."

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Expressing Emotions in Eating Disorder RecoveryPremium Content

In eating disorder recovery, you might discover that you have difficulty identifying and expressing your emotions. Perhaps you stuff your feelings because they make you uncomfortable or you simply have never learned what to do with them. But as you find ways to identify and express your emotions, this can help you in your eating disorder recovery.

You may have grown up in a home where you didn't feel it was safe to express your feelings or perhaps you met people later in life who gave the impression that you should not show your emotions with them. Maybe others have been angry or critical toward you regarding the expression of your feelings. Your parents may have been so uncomfortable with emotions themselves that they never learned healthy ways to express them so they were never able to model this for you. It may be that they were okay with emotions, but for some reason you still got the impression that you should keep your feelings to yourself.

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Resting in His Righteousness

Have you been struggling with feelings of despair, fear, and anxiety? Do you think you let God down so He cannot possibly love you anymore?

I remember when I was so paralyzed by fear that I could not get out of bed in the morning. What seemed like endless nights tormented me as I lay awake through torturous hours filled with anxiety and loneliness. Yet the shafts of early morning light were only painful reminders to me that another long, empty day was ahead of me. I had lost the ability to look at anything through a positive lens, and my incessant negativity had driven away the few friends that I had known. I longed to be near the Lord, but I did not know how to reach Him. For I had given up on the promise of God found in Hebrews 13:5 Amplified Bible:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!].

A Believer Who Struggles with Depression, Anxiety, Alcoholism, Sexual Addiction and Codependency

Hi, I’m Sharon, a believer who struggles with depression, anxiety, alcoholism, sexual addiction, and codependency. It’s taken half a century, and five marriages and divorces, and a near-fatal car accident but here I am. I’m glad to be here to share my story with you . As Romans 8:38 & 39 proclaims:

...I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I believe this whole-heartedly because I’ve been in some situations I should NOT have survived. I spent years of my life trying to separate myself from God. But God, through Jesus, has walked with me every step.

I grew up in a small country town in New Mexico. We weren’t well off, but we weren’t dirt poor. My father worked hard as a welder to support the family and my mom stayed home with the kids. There were four of us. My older brother and sister were from my mom’s first husband and they were 9 and 11 years older than me. Because they were so much older, I really had no relationship with them. My sister married when I was in 2nd grade. My older brother was out of the house shortly after that and I don’t really have many memories of him growing up. My younger brother and I were from Mom’s second marriage to my dad.

What kind of Drinker are You or Your Loved One?Premium Content

According to the British National Health Service, for some people alcohol is embedded in their identity and lifestyle: so much so that challenging this behavior results in high levels of defensiveness, rejection or even outright denial.

Nine Types of Binge Drinkers

De-Stress Drinkers use alcohol to regain control of life and calm down. They include middle-class women and men.

Conformist Drinkers are driven by the need to belong and seek a structure to their lives. They are typically men aged 45 to 59 in clerical or manual jobs.

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Rebuilding Your Old Ruins in Christ JesusPremium Content

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:4, NKJV

This Scripture really spoke to me this morning as I thought of how so many of us come from places of brokenness, of loss, of deep wounding. We can sometimes wonder if wholeness is a real possibility for us again, or is it just a pipe dream?

I do not believe Jesus is the Author of pipe dreams. Nor is He the author of confusion and the chaos that comes from our addictions and sin and life-controlling problems. But He is the Author of Life, the Author of the rich, eternal, abundant Life that flows forth from within His Spirit and up into our hearts and spirits as He pours His Love and Hope into our hearts:

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