“It’s like God is a bird and He laid an egg, and that is me, and a snake has come and swallowed me up.”
This was the response given by my 6 year-old son, when I’d asked him what it was like to be him. The words he uttered cut straight to my heart. Even 14 years later, that moment is seared in my memory.
It was tough enough realizing my son was struggling with depression at such a young age. But, what made the road ahead seem even more bleak, was since I had been his age I’d silently battled the same enemy.
My Own Struggle with Childhood Depression
My way of coping with my depression growing up was to mask it, try to fit in, and deal internally with the guilt and shame of always wishing my life would end. Growing up, my family was extremely strict in their religious practices, and although it was never verbalized perfection was idolized.
The fact I didn’t measure up was always before me. No matter how hard I tried, my social inadequacies due to my autistic tendencies, constant anxiety and sensory issues were glaring evidence, in the face of my academic success, I was far from achieving sainthood.
Climbing Out of the Pit
I carried this guilt, shame, and striving for perfection into my young adulthood and early parenting years. My thinking had been off center so long, I didn’t even realize I had begun healing 6 years prior to my son’s admission.
My climb, out of the pit of depression towards recovery, had begun when I had accepted Jesus Christ into my life, allowing Him to start healing my broken past. But, 6 years into this climb, I had only ascended far enough into the light to reveal how deep I still was in the pit.
My view was far from encouraging. And then, without warning, I found my son in the pit at my side. Hopelessness overwhelmed me. I had no idea how I was going to get my own self out. And now, I was tasked with helping my son to make the climb with me.
New Series Highlighting Childhood Depression
There many lessons God taught me and my children as we battled against this silent enemy called depression. Depression is a subject few Christians want to publicly address, especially childhood depression. But, even though we tend to not talk about depression in children, the frequency rates are becoming an ever increasing statistic, one to which the Christian homeschooling community is not immune.
For these reasons, I will be writing a series of posts about childhood depression, regarding the warning LIGHTS to be aware of and the guiding LIGHTS which lead to healing, joy, and the defeat of darkness.
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Links to All the Blogs in this Series
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