Saturday, 15 May 2010

Overcoming depression Part 1 ~ Always Winter, Never Christmas

"Why, it is she that has got all Narnia under her thumb. It's she that makes it always winter. Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!" (Lucy in the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe speaking of the White Witch.)

Depression, 1 in 3 women suffer from it. I suffered from it, and chances are, that you or someone you know suffers from it too. As I spiralled into depression, I felt completely overwhelmed with life. It was always winter, never Christmas. 

I was a mother of a 2 year old and 3 month old. I had a husband who loved me very much. I co-ordinated a Mums and toddlers group at my church. But inside something dark began to take over. I started drinking wine every night just to cope, and then every night turned into every afternoon. I spoke to a friend who I knew had suffered form post-natal depression about how I was feeling and she said, "No! I don't think you are depressed." It was always winter, never Christmas.

I cried a lot and felt isolated and that no-one understood me. I also condemned myself for feeling this way. After all, I tried to reason with myself - "what right did I have to feel this way when I had a house, 2 gorgeous boys and  a loving husband?" "Some people were going through worse thing than I was" - "just get over it!" - I told myself. "You are a Christian. How can you feel like this? You are supposed to be victorious." - my internal voice screamed at me words of condemnation. It was always winter, never Christmas.

But no amount of internal self-talk could beat what was growing within me. It was consuming my very core. It would take something much stronger than me - it would take a Saviour. I became a different person. It was like I had a personality transplant. I heard things coming out of my mouth that, while I was saying them I remember thinking, "I don't even believe that. Why am I saying that?" I lost friends, I strained relationships with my family members and even told my husband that this marriage will never work. I felt no bond for my young baby. It was always winter, never Christmas.

When I went to the Doctors and she diagnosed me with post natal depression I felt relieved that there was something wrong with me. There was a reason that I felt this way and she prescribed me with anti-depressants. I rang my friend and said, "Who would have thought I had depression?" She answered me, " We all knew you had depression. We just thought that you would be strong enough to get over it." I was shocked! She knew I had depression and chose to let me suffer? It was always winter, never Christmas.

I had never met anyone that had overcome depression. I desperately wanted to find someone who had suffered from depression and was now living in freedom. But I couldn't find one. This is why I am sharing my story. Beacuse I am living in freedom from my depression . He has saved me from my depression.
Yes - for a while in my life it was always winter, never Christmas. But now, it is Spring time every day. I want you to know that there is hope. I want you to know that He can set you free. I want you to know that when the Doctor says, "You may get bouts of depression all through out your life" that this does not need to be your reality. I want you to know that I have been set free with no fear of the depression returning.
It has been a year since I returned from a women's conference free from my depression. No one laid hands on me. No one prayed for me - but I dared to believe that He could save me from my depression - and He did. I came back home from the conference a changed person. I cannot pinpoint the exact time over the weekend that it happened. But I came home free.
I want to share my journey from Winter to Spring. I liken it to Narnia in the book "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". In my life for a season, it was always winter, never Christmas. But then Aslan (my King) was on the move and I started seeing signs of the winter melting. Until one day, He shook His mane and there was spring again.

Still taking lessons from the King,

To read any of my old blog posts I shared while I was fighting the depression and after I overcame my depresssion, click on the links below:
Learning to Trust in Him June 22nd, 2008
Monkey on my back September 8, 2008
The Battle belongs to the Lord September 14, 2008
Holding my sword up high October 2, 2008
The Battle Begins October 9, 2008
A not so nice princess warrior October 12, 2008
Psalm 30 October 13, 2008
I am angry! October 22, 2008
Dreams can come true October 23, 2008
Practice, practice, practice October 25, 2008
Gifts from afar October 30, 2008
Where I'm at April 3, 2009
I'm OK....really! April 8, 2009
Think about such things July 30, 2009
I am an over comer August 22, 2009
My time to dance September 5, 2009
He saved me from a lion September 15, 2009
What a difference a year makes November 8, 2009
Replevin  November 14, 2009
The root of my depression March 22, 2010


  1. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I for one am very interested to hear more of your story. Steadier ground for me but not yet in a lasting spring.

  2. Congratulations on being depression free for a year! I know a couple of people who struggle with this illness. I have moments of spring but do struggle with times of winter myself. Thanks again for sharing and reminding me that I need to commit to claiming Romans 8:1.

  3. Hi Jo,
    I've been in the winter season before... one that never seemed to end. And whilst it did end, I often feel that the winter season is looming over my head, ready to 'see me frozen'. However I"ve learned things about myself, and through God's grace, don't get completely frozen by it anymore.

    I look forward to your posts... :)


  4. Thank you my dear kindred! As you know, I am out of my winter and journeying through spring, but I am most definitely looking forward to the day when summer arrives. All in His time...all in His time. xoxo

  5. ""But then Aslan (my King) was on the move and I started seeing signs of the winter melting. Until one day, He shook His mane and there was spring again.""

    I loved this thought.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! I too have struggled with depression off and on, and I feel like I can never talk to anyone about it because everyone sees me as so spiritual and they'd never understand! I had a really bad bout for three months earlier this year and it wasn't until I saw where things are going and made an appointment to counsel with my pastor that God blessed and rescued me.

    I'm looking forward to this series!

  7. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story! Another Princess Warrior?!

    Would love to have you visit my blog. I am so excited to have found you!

    Have a blessed weekend!

  8. I love your open honesty about this. We all have had our battles, and with Jesus - WE ARE VICTORIOUS over those battles.
    I'm so glad to see that you sought help, and are now sharing your story to give hope to others fighting the same thing.
    Bless you!
    P.S. You are right... It IS rich for both of us! xo

  9. Great post, Jo.Thank you for being so transparent.

  10. I havebeheld with my own eyes the journey you have been through and I love your tenacity and your transparency. You are going to help set many more on a path to their freedom with you story xx

  11. Hi dear - Thank you for your continued openess. That is a sign of the transformation that God has taken you through, and still does. Thank you for encouraging us, for being that wonderful servant of the Almighty. I love you lots and I look forward to hearing more about your battles and victories. Amen

  12. It is so great that you are sharing your story! I know you will help many people to see the hope there is with Jesus. Depression is something that I have seen in my family's past and it is something I always pray that God will protect me from as I see my vulnerability to it sometimes.

  13. It is in the winter, when the bleak and cold make itself known....that God is very deeply at work on our character. You 'reacted ' first...but then you chose to respond..... You are one awesome strong chick. Love ya xxx
    LISA... ( Your CRAZY friend)

  14. You are offering such a valuable resource by sharing your story of overcoming depression. I hope to one day be able to read all your posts!

  15. WOW Jo, this is powerful.
    Always winter, never Christmas. A powerful analogy, and when you said about Aslan shaking his mane - and spring coming again, well, GOOSEBUMPS that's all I can say.
    I've seen you on Sammy's blogroll for ages (Cherished, NZ) but it was Stacey's guest post that drew me over here.
    Like you I suffered from major depression; for me its an ongoing journey, more with anxiety/panic now than depressive lows; but I have also found that its when God has spoken something deep into my heart, another chain has broken off, never to return.
    I wrote about this on a post called "Broken", and one of my goals is to encourage and share hope with other women battling this awful affliction. The hardest part is still the stigma and shame, especially amongst Christians. Thanks for this wonderful powerful post, and sharing your journey.
    I KNOW it is giving hope to many.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Jo Princess Warrior xo