Turning to Him

The new therapist I'm seeing has encouraged me to seek a spiritual path. Something I've resisted doing for quite some time for various reasons. She gave me contact information for a local rabbi. I've contacted him and met with him several times. He's very supportive, very kind, very understanding. I'm trying to attend weekly services. I'm praying daily. I'm trying to do good for others.

I've always had little faith in faith itself as well as religion, prayer, God, etc. I bristle when I hear of people who claim God saved them or God performed a miracle in their life. It's never been something that I've been able to "buy" into. So far it's been a very difficult process. I'm riddled with so much immense self doubt and guilt that I often feel I'm not doing things correctly which is just a silly stumbling block. I dwell on what I'm NOT doing instead of what I AM doing.

So far I've experienced mostly self inflicted discouragement. No miraculous answered prayers. No positive changes. No improvement in the least. It's so emotional. I'm supposed to pray to God with joy in my heart but there is none. I don't even feel worthy to address Him. The rabbi tells me it's a process and I need to focus on the positive. It's so unnatural for me though. I'm discouraged quickly and easily but I'm continuing to stick with it.

So here I am turning to God.
What a tired cliché. I don't know what else to do.


  1. Glad to see you back! You do have readers even when we don't post a comment. I believe God is there for us when we reach out to Him. I think we leave Him and not the other way around...I'm a Christian, but we worship the same God. I don't want to offer a bunch of platitudes, but if we don't have God to get us up out of the pit then who? Best wishes...

  2. Though I appreciate your comment, I must mention that we do not worship the same God. I don't want to get into a religious debate so we'll leave it at that. Thank you again for your support and input.

  3. This is not an advise..this is only a comment that someone is reading your blog so keep going never give up. I'll keep you on my blog list.

  4. I can understand your dilemma. I no longer believe nor do I disbelieve. There was a time that I believed, but never put the burden on God to deliver anything. I believed that he was hands-off until I died. It was my job to live a charitable life and work to strengthen my faith and belief in Him. My belief started to crack when I began to wonder if I believed in Jesus Christ because I truly believed or because that's what the family I was born into believed. Maybe that was one of the ways that God was testing me. Then, I watched a PBS special on Rwanda and could not understand how a caring God could sit by while women and children were slaughtered with machete's. Again, maybe that was God's way of testing my faith. I guess I came to believe that if I couldn't sit idly by, then an all-knowing and an all-powerful God couldn't either. But, what do I know. I'm just a speck on the planet.

    That said, the best thing I tell you is to get rid of anything in your life that feeds the demon inside and grab onto anything that doesn't cause it to awaken. I'm not using the term in any religious context. It's just the metaphor that I prefer.

    I find myself at the same place which caused me to find your blog in the first place. Severely depressed and alone. I have friends and family who care about me, but I can't talk to them. That is partly due to the fact that they do not understand and partly due to the burden that my unloading would cause. If I talk to a therapist and were completely honest, I might be committed. I just want to talk to someone else who feels as lost as I feel. As I have said before, I cycle up and down. I have been going through a mixed episode (I am bipolar) for about a week with moderate to severe depression for the week prior to that. That was preceded by probably the best month in several years. So, I'm fortunate to have recorded that because I know that I have not been suffering for long, but the demon in my mind is really messing with me at the moment and wants me to believe that there is just too much suffering to come. There are times when I feel just so disconnected and alone. Fortunately, they don't happen often. I haven't prayed in a long time. Maybe I will tonight when I go to sleep. Not because I expect anything to change as a result, but I have always felt at peace when I pray. I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Thanks for being here. For all I know, God made me this depressed to write this to speak to you. Nah, but it probably made you smile?

  5. Thank you. I truly appreciate the support.

  6. Rob, I always look forward to your comments and wonder how you're doing. We do seem to be comrades in some bizarre way. As far as prayer goes, I've been deeply questioning its purpose lately. In my "faith," we're taught that God does not benefit from our prayers as He is perfect, never changes, and doesn't need our prayers. Prayer is for the benefit of the person praying so they commune and feel closer to Him. I can honestly say, thus far, that I've never felt at peace after praying. I've never felt any benefit or improvement on my outlook or faith. On the contrary, I almost always feel more sad after praying. Not sure why this would be. I'm too hard on myself I suppose. I want to think that the act of prayer itself is pleasing to Him and I'm doing the right thing but there's no validity to the act. No reward. No answered prayer. The therapist I'm seeing says I fixate too much on emotions and feelings and need to focus on behavior and deeds. The emotions will take care of themselves as a result. I've only been delving into this for a few months so to expect a miracle is ludicrous. I give thanks for all that I have and I ask Him to help me help myself. I know the burden's on me. He's not going to do anything for me. He already gave me life.

    Regarding suffering in the world, like you, it forever eats away at me that God ALLOWS such unthinkable things to happen to the innocent every single day. He may not cause it but He certainly allows it and it's a giant stumbling block for me. It's not for us to understand otherwise we would. The rabbi told me that everything's from God. God is good. So everything from God is good. Even when it's evil, there's a good reason for it that we're just not equipped to understand with our tiny minds. It's all way too much to wrap my head around.

    Enough rambling. Thank you again for writing and letting me know you're still out there. At the risk of sounding like a religious freak, I'll say a prayer for you for what it's worth. Maybe He answers prayers more readily for people on another's behalf.

    Take good care and please hang in.

  7. A friend of mine believes that life is about choices. In the case of Rwanda, those who did evil had a choice not to and those who stood by while the evil was happening had a choice to do something or not. That made sense to me for a while since I always thought God was hands-off. Anyway, enough religion for now. By the way, I liked what you said about your faith.

    Thank you for the prayer. If it helps you feel less sad by praying for me, then you have my permission to pray for me all you want. I have to ask ... why do you pray if it makes you sad? By the way, I forgot to pray last night. I'll try to remember tonight. If I do, I'll say a prayer for you in return.

    I read a book (fiction) yesterday and there was a sentence that stuck with me. It was advice given to an inconsolable man who had lost his wife and children in a fire. It said, "find someone else who's hurting as bad as you are and try to give them a hand."

    I do hope that some day you find the kind of peace and happiness that you seek. All good souls deserve that and I believe that you have a good soul.

  8. Rob,
    I follow your Rwanda example. Where I get held up is when the innocent who had NO choice in the matter are the ones that suffer the most. Collateral damage per se. Where's the justice? Where was their choice?

    To answer your question about praying making me sad, I guess I just keep hoping that it will eventually make me happy somehow if I diligently stick to it. I'm trying not to expect instant gratification though it's what we're accustomed to these days. I really don't have a good answer. I envy those who are invigorated and soothed by prayer. I hope to attain that some day but it seems improbable from deep in this hole.

    I'm not going to be preachy or sappy but I do want to address your example of the man who lost his family. In Judaism, much emphasis is placed on works, good deeds, "mitzvot" as it's called in Hebrew. Imagine if every single person in the world did at least one random act of kindness for another person every single day. Maybe there wouldn't be such thing as depression. Just a pipe dream to ponder.

    I have many "first-world problems" that make me feel foolish. I'm locked into an 8-5 job and then a slave to maintaining a home on the weekends. Poor me. So I often use that as an excuse for not being more charitable. Don't seem to have the time....but I really do. Choices like you said. There's so much work to do but so little energy to do it. Again, more excuses.

    Ironically I forgot to say a prayer for you last night too but I will surely remember tonight. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. Maybe good souls like us won't realize the rewards we deserve until after we've met our maker. I'm hoping I'm wrong and we can achieve some form of relief soon but who really knows. When I pray I tell God I want to taste joy at least once before I die. Doesn't seem like I'm asking for much.

    Take good care my friend.

  9. Hi 4-Lorn
    Firstly, I am so sorry that you have felt as you do for so long. I too have been living with depression for a long time (I suspect longer than when 1st diagnosed - 1998).

    I have only recently (I say recently but in fact it was almost a year ago) been seining a psychiatrist: previously it was GP's, Counsellors or Psychologists. About a month ago he told me about "California Rocket Fuel". By this time I was so ready to try anything. The combination, for me, is Effexor and Avanza. Don't know if Avanza is the same as the one you had. I have been on Effexor, off and on, since 1998, but this time it just wasn't working. More than a year later I turned up at his office and cried as I told him how tired I was.
    I have also been working on my spiritual self for about 15 years. Each time I thought I understood, I would lose that "understanding". After accepting that I had to sell my home (which I loved) because I had overcommitted myself financially, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was pretty pissed off. When I spoke to the Universe it was, "Really? I haven't been through enough yet?"
    A year later, post treatment and my home sold, I moved from Victoria to Queensland (Australia.
    That was 2 years ago. In that time I tried to "connect" with others without success until last October I joined a Dragon Boat Club. It felt like coming home :)yet still I was blue. Ready to cry at the drop of a hat.
    Anyway, about a month ago I started the "California Rocket Fuel" and I don't know if it's the drugs or a combination of drugs and the things now occurring my life, but, I am happy. Each day I have so many things for which I thank the Universe, Spirit, God if you prefer. Like you, I have always had an issue with man made/defined "God".
    I have learned that Universal time is not like human time. It takes time, as a tree takes time to grow and mature. Some trees have a lifespan of centuries, even thousand or more years. I have learned to trust and be patient, to think in "tree time".
    Please forgive my long post, I felt I had to contact you.
    I truly hope life has improved for you and joy is beginning to poke its smiley face in.
    Lynne Brown

  10. Hello Lynne,
    Very nice to hear from you. I enjoy knowing I'm somehow commiserating with people. I have a post in June 2010 called California Rocket Fuel. I nearly went with that cocktail but Remeron was one of the meds and I couldn't tolerate it so I stopped abruptly. Antideppresants are depressing to me. They always fall short, and cost money and time.

    I'm sorry to hear about your many misfortunes. I've been lucky in that regard so I often feel I have no right to be depressed. It's all relative I suppose. We all have our private hells. I'm really glad that you've found your way out of it. It's good to hear stories like that. Thank you for contacting me. It means a lot to hear from others. I hope my writings help you in some way though most of my posts are pretty dismal. Please keep in touch and all the best to you.