Think Steps, not Circles
Over the years I have had times of depression, and received various types of help; medication, psychological treatment and prayer. Each time things would eventually improve, and life went on. But then would come another depression, and I would feel a total failure; after so much help and apparent recovery, I was back to square one – again. I seemed to be going in circles, and it was all worse because I was a Christian. How could I say there was no point to anything? Why didn't I just get healed by God?
Alongside this, however, was an awareness that without God I would have been lost by now, and I was stronger than I had been. But how could progress bring me back to darkness that was just like the first time?
One day this picture came into my mind. In part 1 the circles represent my perception of how things were: effort and help from various sources to climb up and stay functioning; but the slide down could come at any time, and the blackness was as dense and despairing as ever.
The second part of the picture gives a different interpretation. Steps show the progress that has been made. The shadows are the episodes of depression, and it is their nature to be equal in intensity. In the darkness it is easy to think you are back at square one. But remembering to think steps, not circles, helps me to hold onto the progress I have made. It is an encouragement to know that I will get through this and into the sunlight on the next step. I must not forget in the darkness what I learned in the light. The darkness might seem as bad as it did originally, but I am not going in circles, I am moving on.
Keeping this picture in mind and telling myself, steps, not circles, has really helped me; I hope it may encourage others too.