Struggling with faith and depression
I scratched up my arms once again. I showed this to my godmother what I had done and she said, "God loves you. And God died for you."

I didn't want to believe this. There's too much hypocrisy, too much cheap grace, it's ruined and killed the faith. I spoke with my godfather. He just kind of listened. Didn't know what to say. I spoke with the Deacon too. He had more to say.

Please pray.
"This guy gets it." Fan mail I've received.
[-] The following 1 user Likes newenglandsun's post:
  • ServusDei
Interesting how you framed your thread; "Struggling with faith and depression". 

Faith and depression are absolute opposites, lack of one fosters the other. My son deals with this often and we talk a lot about the fears, uneasiness and guilt he suffers from, that feed his depression. I must assume you must suffer in like manner and your self-abuse is your only outlet for the negative energy in your spirit to get relieved. That this is how you can 'feel' something.

Depression is a dark, seemingly endless abyss that one can sink into and at some point, there is no light, no way out to be seen. It is a very lonely place and sometimes the despair that sinks in, can become overwhelming. Because of this, it is most plainly a 'gift' of the devil. It is so very the opposite of faith.

The very first thing my son and I discussed, was a way to find a light in this darkness. A way to see faith in all of this. I told him, you have to look in the right direction. That if you focus on all your ills, all your sadnesses, all your 'curses', you will be unable to see any light. One must seek out the smallest of positive things in your life, the graces, the little Blessings we all receive every day. Don't look for major miracles, the big things, because God does not do the big and glorious on a regular basis. I am often reminding my son of the Old Testament Prophets, Isaiah and Elijah (Isa: 30:21 and Kgs 19:12) who were told to go out and find God, but only found Him in the smallest of sounds,  a whisper.

Once you hear Him in the whisper, the gates are opened and your faith will find nourishment. Faith defeats depression and its brother despair. Start looking for those little blessings, those incidents in your life were good things happen,  seemingly serendipitous, yet then, repeating. Look for them and not how bad things are. That is your path.

I also mentioned to my son about the Pagan story of Pandora's Box. Pandora opened the box and all this evil sprang forth, but many don't know the rest of that story; the part where Pandora closed the box, just in time to keep Faith inside.

Faith is not a talisman, it is not a method of a spell, it is an action of belief. To believe that things can be different and that they can happen for the better and that God is in that belief, working with you. Pray with Faith and ask for the Holy Spirit to amplify your belief that your faith and prayer will be answered. You seem deep in a pit and the prayers and faithful belief will take hold as you practice that faith. Look for the bits of light and hold on to that. Don't let the darkness distract you!

One way that has worked for my son, a sort of strategy or structure to support this faith act you need to make, is one you've probably heard of: The Rosary. This prayer has a structure to it. Prayers said in a continuous litany, something that helps you focus on the light and helps you not be distracted by the darkness. Start here, in a quiet place, leave your cell phone in the house, go outside, in the sunlight, amongst the fresh air and nature. Do it daily at first and progress as the Spirit leads you, to more than one Rosary, and so on.

You have to make the first step. When you're at the bottom, any first step may be the way out and up.

You are in my prayers!
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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  • Birdie, Bonaventure, HailGilbert, Mourning Dove, The Fairy
I would suggest that you make a list of things you're grateful for. And grace isn't cheap: it's free.
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  • newenglandsun, Zedta
I can empathize with such exasperation and temptation to self-harm.  Instead of taking it out on yourself in such a destructive way, why not turn this suffering into productivity?  Physical activity like running or resistance training - or find a creative outlet like writing or music.  God gives us challenges to strengthen our character and willpower, although sometimes demonic forces prey on us during these weak moments so that we fail to rise to the challenge. 

I second Zedta in praying the Rosary.  Going to Mass more often and being frank about everything you're feeling before the Lord, may help you find peace and realize you are never alone.  Ask Him for the strength to combat darkness.
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  • HailGilbert, newenglandsun

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