Sunday, January 11, 2015

Letter #88

Dear Fam,
This week has been goood.  It's been super busy because President Brum asked us to prepare some trainings for specific zones in our mission and it turned out really well.  It was cool because we taught with the Zone Leaders specifically according to the needs of that zone and were able to have some super spiritual experiences.  I wanted to share one of them with you.

So one thing that I think a lot of people don't know about me is that I have bouts of depression that I have to deal with sometimes.  I think a lot of people imagine that I'm always the super happy Jack with a smile on my face, which the majority of the time I am.  Smiling always makes the day better, and I'm always sincere with myself, others, and God when it comes to my emotions.  But these last few weeks I've learned some new stuff about depression that I never had realized before.

First of all, it's a lot easier to deal with if we're willing to admit that we are going through it.  There are times when we literally feel a weight of guilty, deep sorrow, and stress that seems to be triggered by something small that doesn't really even matter.  We don't need to feel guilty for being sad, especially if it is depression.

Second of all, there's a difference between being discouraged and being depressed.  A person that's discouraged might be lax about the work or sad because things didn't work out the way planned.  A person that is discouraged is normally discouraged because there's something that he did or didn't do that he or she needs to repent of.  Discouragement could be godly sorrow that is put off too long, not repented of, and can turn into worldly sorrow.  In essence, discouragement can be controlled by our agency.  So then what is depression?  Depression is a feeling of deep sorrow that comes upon us independent of our agency.  We can be born with a tendency towards it, or develop it because of a traumatic experience.  For those who have it may end up becoming sad even at the best of times, just because of our fallen nature.  

So if depression comes upon us independent of our agency, is there no hope of prevent it?

Perhaps depression isn't necessarily something to be prevented, but avoided by healthy living and good habits.  We need to promote good homeostasis to return to a normal state when we are hit by the depression bus.  But from what I have studied and personal experience, the best way to deal with true depression is following the way that our Savior Jesus Christ did.  Christ became extremely sorrowful, even unto death, and what did he do?  If you want to know the answer, I would invite you to grab your Bible and read in Lucas 22:39-46.

Much love,
Elder Jack Vawdrey

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