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What Depression Is Like When the Whole World Is Sick

You could say that I’ve been diagnosed, but the whole process is asinine. I was born with a broken heart, literally. When the professionals want to figure it out or fix it to the best of their abilities, they use the latest and greatest technologies—cameras you can’t hardly believe are cameras, equipped with lasers capable of “burning the bad spots” off of the inside of my heart in an attempt to make it beat like yours does. That may sound impressive, but it didn’t work.

I spent twenty-three years of my life faithfully knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that doctors were going to fix me, and I was going to be able to be “normal”. They can’t, and I won’t be. 

That leads to the asinine part. What is depression? Does it mean you’re crazy? Is there a certain level of it that qualifies you as “one of those who needs the pill”? Is there something actually wrong with my brain or does life just suck? I have no clue. After enough people have noticed, and you’ve had enough of the thoughts you can’t seem to escape, you walk into a doctor’s office where they hand you a laminated sheet of paper and a dry erase marker for your mental health pop quiz. According to it, my depression is definitely there, but my anxiety is even worse. Forgive me, medical community, but that isn’t good enough. So I found a second opinion. 

Have you ever noticed how you hit a drive thru and the salad is like eight bucks, but you could buy eight cheeseburgers for the same price? With my health insurance, a month’s worth of anxiety pills is under three dollars—an hour with a therapist is $79.99, and it’s recommended that I see her weekly. I can’t afford it, and it doesn’t matter anyway. It turns out therapists are booked beyond belief as entire generations are trying to figure out what to do with this turd of a reality these baby boomers so proudly handed us.

I was stuck, lost, confused and extremely lonely. There are people around me who love me but it doesn’t hardly matter when you hate yourself, particularly when you feel that way because you always feel like you’re letting them down. Do you see the vicious cycle yet?

There is no pill for it. That’s my opinion, do with it what you will. They’ll help numb it, but they will never fix it. And so goes the story of my life.

I half-heartedly believe in therapy, specifically if it’s biblical, but they tell me I have to change the way I think. Which seems utterly impossible. I’m not kidding, I actually believe that I will walk into my therapist’s office and eventually convince her that I’m right, and just like a Coronavirus, she’ll catch my now contagious depression.

Speaking of Coronavirus, just know that some of us have been self-isolating for decades. And so now I want to specifically speak into the hearts of those who share this burden with me. Perhaps many of you recently had a night like I did. I’ve had a lot of dark nights, some I would say were worse than this one, but who’s keeping score. This one was different, though.

My world has always been sick, but now the whole world is actually sick. A black cloud of depression rolled in as a confirmation that I am indeed correct—this life on this rock isn’t worth living. And when you’ve been raised in a culture that constantly trains you to look for quick fixes, well, use your imagination on what the quick fix for that is. 

Dear believer, please understand that I was right—that particular life isn’t worth living. My hope was lost. But what hope was it? 

Perhaps you’ve never heard this before, but you are not a coward if you didn’t pull the trigger, tie the noose, cut your wrist, or swallow those pills. Your hope stopped you and it’s begging you to put it where it belongs.

In the days since the world caught the flu, I have watched countless people scramble for hope. A disturbingly overwhelming percentage have put that hope into either banks or the government. This is the Bible Belt demographic. The same ones that call themselves patriots and good godly stewards of their money, who have also looked down their noses for years upon anyone who has ever taken a handout from the government, are now lining up for them even if they don’t need them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know this is turning the American dollar back into a worthless tree shaving with green ink on it. It already was that, and we just hammered the nail into the coffin. As the saying goes, the kids don’t stand a chance.

I lost hope in money a long time ago. It’s the kind of thing that happens when you know good and well you might as well write a check for your health insurance deductible every January 1st. My problem is that my hope has still been worldly.

I’ll be honest, I think it would be a beautiful leap of faith for me to never take a pill again. And the same people who have told me that sometimes faith looks crazy to those around you are the ones who tell me to just take the pill. This is what I’m praying over.

I can’t keep doing this dance with you, America. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect that leap of faith to lead to a miracle that finally gives me the normal life I’ve hoped for at times. I’m done wanting to be normal and I just want the people in my life influencing me in that direction to let go. Do you not know who I serve? Do you not know who you claim to serve? My God drops manna from Heaven and gives water from rocks. He calls doctors, bankers, and politicians just as pathetic as you and I. He says none of it is essential. So you can’t threaten me with money. I’m saying goodbye to your twisted discipleship. 

Fake hope be damned. This world’s been sick and only God is good.

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About Nathan Mathis

Nathan Mathis is affectionately known as Beardo, the bearded weirdo. He is a follower of Christ, a self-made thousandaire, and a lover of Hip-Hop. He currently owns and operates and runs an accounting firm with his father.

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