While vacationing recently in Florida, we were walking through the hotel lobby to begin our day when I heard my husband ask, “Are you OK?” Again he asked, “Are you OK?” He had stopped beside a man bent over a chair. The man said he had two herniated disks in his back and was in extreme pain 24 hours a day, with no relief. He said at one point he had unloaded his guns at home. Chronic pain with suicidal thoughts threatened his life, but he showed wisdom in protecting himself when he knew the pain was causing him to not think rationally.
That comment quickly took me back to a time in our lives when my husband was having severe depression. Before he was hospitalized he had sent our 16-year-old daughter to our friend’s house with our guns. My friend still talks about that morning; she still can’t believe it. I can’t out of my mind the look of bewilderment and concern she had as she delivered the firearms back to us later.
It’s good that my husband began a dialogue with the gentleman at the hotel, because with depression one of the helpful treatments is talking about your feelings. Social support is very important. Talking regularly with supportive family and friends is extremely helpful. Healing from depression takes time, and patience is necessary; but making the choice to share your feelings with someone else is so important. You can also talk with others dealing with chronic pain (some hospitals have support groups), plus find hope and help online at www.restministries.org.
With treatment and support, even when experiencing chronic pain with suicidal thoughts when someone says, “Are You OK?” you will be able to boldly say, “Yes, I am!”
A friend loves at all times . . . (Proverbs 17:17)
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