I’m writing a book. There, I said it.
To tell you the truth, I debated on whether or not to share this publicly. It can sound so presumptuous, as if writing a book is what one does after they’ve risen far above everyone else with their cute little assumptions and misunderstandings.
“Excuse me, people. Author coming through.”
But that’s not me and that’s not why I’m writing this book.
I’ve always considered myself to be a person who handles stress pretty well. I like to be busy. I enjoy taking risks. I tend to have my hands in numerous endeavors at any given time. I never thought anxiety was my problem.
Then a little less than a year ago I hit a wall.
The previous several years of starting and growing the church I now pastor had caught up with me. I could never seem to get enough sleep. Small tasks became very difficult. Things I had normally done with little thought or stress were suddenly accompanied with an almost crippling anxiety.
It all came to a head one day as I was driving between meetings when all of a sudden it felt as though my heart was malfunctioning. I pulled the car over to the side of the road convinced I was having a heart attack. I remember thinking this might be the way I go out and I began praying for my family. That was my first panic attack. It was that moment that I realized I could no longer ignore the stress and anxiety that was slowly taking over my life.
Something had to change.
I am a pastor and I struggle with depression.
I know you’re not really supposed to say that as a Christian, and certainly not as a pastor, but the truth is I have struggled on and off with depression for as long as I can remember.
The problem is I grew up in a church where we didn’t talk about mental health issues like depression. The result was a lot of confusion about what depression is and what it is not.