Guest editorial: “I have depression”

(Image: Vincent van Gogh's 1890 painting “Sorrowing old man 'At Eternity's Gate’”)

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I have depression. I do. There’s no point pretending I don’t. I could pretend, but the truth will make itself known eventually. So I might as well just tell you. I have depression.

eric black130Eric BlackI’ve had depression for a long time. In fact, I’m sure I’ve had depression since I was a child. I know I’ve had depression since middle school. All the symptoms were there. All the symptoms were always there.

I’ve thought about ending my life. Not recently. But once upon a time, I did. Once upon a time is enough.

I thought I was weak. I thought I was weak if I told anyone I was depressed.

I’ve tried to have enough faith to make it go away. I tried ignoring it. I tried calling it something else. I tried hiding it. I tried not telling anyone about it. I tried telling the wrong people about it. After I tried that, I went back to hiding it. Thankfully, not everyone is the wrong person to tell.

For a while, I tried numbing it. Numbing depression has a way of aggravating depression. Numbing depression gives depression control. Depression must not have control.

For far too long, I raged. Depression had me, and I let it out to hurt too many around me. I let it out, and I hurt too many around me.

I thought I was weak, but not anymore. I have depression.

If you have depression, I do, too. If you think about ending your life, if you numb your pain, stuff your pain, hide your pain, carry your pain alone, rage your pain, I have done that, too.

There is something we must do. We must acknowledge the truth. We have depression.

Eric Black is pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington, Texas

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