It’s not my fault.
Do you know that phrase pretty much goes all the way back to the beginning of humanity? Don’t believe me? Download a Bible app (or just Google) Genesis 3:12.
Let me give you the short version: Adam wasn’t supposed to eat something. He did. He blamed his wife Eve for it. BOOM! It’s the first recorded instance of “not my fault” in history and we have been blaming other people ever since.
Let’s get responsible.
There’s a book out there called Radical Responsibility that I’ve never read. (I’m planning on reading it after I read How to Overcome Procrastinating.) The summary of that book tells me something that I think most of us could use: we need to move past blame and start taking responsibility. When we do that, we can start fixing problems and not get stuck in just looking for someone to blame.
I need to hear that. I BELIEVE that. There’s just one problem.
Sometimes it really isn’t my fault.
I have clinical depression. This is more than being sad that your team lost or you didn’t get a pony for Christmas. This is a chemical issue that I have been fighting with for decades and it’s not my fault.
One more time for the people in the back:
I’m depressed and its not my fault.
Feeling like it was my “fault” is the thing that kept me from getting help for a long time. If I had more faith, I wouldn’t be depressed. If I got more exercise, I wouldn’t be depressed. If I spent more time praying, I wouldn’t be depressed. If I worked harder, I wouldn’t be depressed. Seriously, I had a really long list of things and I tackled that list HARD.
I spent more time reading my Bible. I spent more time praying. I spent more time at the gym. I was determined to work my way out of being depressed. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. What I needed was help. I needed a therapist. I needed medication. I couldn’t do it on my own.
Shame is a real enemy.
One of the greatest barriers I had to overcome in getting help for my medical condition was the shame I felt in not being able to handle it on my own. I continually thought that I should have been stronger or I should have been better. I felt like my “failure” was a black eye on God and all Christians everywhere. I was better off suffering in silence than doing anything to “hurt my testimony”. As someone’s grandma would say: “hogwash”.
Shame is a big problem.
Whether it’s dealing with depression, recovering from abuse, or ______________________ (go ahead and insert your issue there), we have absolutely no reason to be ashamed. None. It’s not my fault I’m sick. It’s not your fault you were abused. Through years of dealing with depression, I have begun to recognize shame as a symptom that my depression is “flaring up”. The shame is just the disease trying to establish a foot hold again. I have nothing to be ashamed of and neither do you.
Don’t do this alone.
Since we now know it isn’t our fault and we have nothing to be ashamed of, it’s time for us to get some help. For me, it started in my relationship with Jesus. He gave me the strength to reach out to a friend. They helped me find a counselor. I talked to my doctor. I got help.
I’m not cured. I still struggle. There are still hard days. All that said: things are way better than they were.
I’m not doing this alone. I refuse to be ashamed. I’m getting help. You do the same.
Obadiah is the real deal. I appreciate your insight & encouragement. You’re a blessing to many.
Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been struggling with anxiety, starting in my childhood and major depressive disorder for the past 13 years. I’ve ridden the meds roller coaster, trying to find one that would help, but not cause side effects. I’ve been in therapy for 12 years, had TMS therapy, which wasn’t as helpful as hoped for. I do admit, at 59, it can be overwhelming, working on healing the trauma from my childhood and I’ve experienced some suicide ideation. But, God carries me when I can’t crawl, and He’s blessed me with a beautiful family, all of which I’m grateful for.
Sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. Life is worth the effort but sometimes I wish it took a little less effort to get to the good stuff. Glad to hear that you have found God in the midst of it all and He’s helping.
These are great! They can give some comedy the Obadiah way and also teach a life lesson the Obadiah way!
Thanks for taking the time to read, John!