26 September 2010


I had a dream the other night. In it I was writing a post about broken bones. And depression. What a strange thing to dream about?!

But I couldn't shake the idea. So here I am, writing a post about broken bones and depression. Because the two have more in common than you may imagine.

Broken bones happen for lots of reasons. An accidental slip, a fall, a crash. Climbing too high and falling too far. Going too fast and hitting a wall. Being attacked, smashed and beaten.

There are big breaks and little breaks. Fractures and compound fractures. Even a small fracture is painful. There is swelling and bruising. It must be splinted, braced and supported to heal quickly and in the right way.
A broken bone left unset will heal eventually, but there will remain a deformity, something twisted, residual pain and loss of function.

Some breaks require more than a simple cast. Some breaks need an Orthopedic Surgeon, a specialist in bones. A person skilled at repairing the broken things and setting the crooked straight again.

Nobody ever looks down on a person with a broken leg for wearing a cast. In fact, if a person with a broken bone refused a cast to help their bones heal, we would think them crazy. We would know that their limb would not heal or function properly without support.

Medication does not heal a depressed person's brain any more than a cast heals a broken limb. But anti-depressants work to help the brain function properly so that the body's natural healing can take place. Just like a cast. No shame in wearing a cast, is there??

Now as I said, some breaks are worse than others.
And some people are more broken than others.
Down deep, where we can't see. Deep inside. Sticks and stones didn't break their bones. Sometimes it was names that hurt them.

Rejection, disappointment, abuse, exhaustion have caused such deep damage, such complex breaks that a simple cast is not enough.

We require a skilled Surgeon. Someone who knows how to set the crooked things straight. How to bring healing at the deepest level, where we are smashed to pieces.

There's a saying that goes, "The Truth Shall Make you Free." It's from the Bible, but they quote it in The Matrix too. Only the deepest Truth can bring the kind of freedom we need at the very core of our brokenness.

I once rode an ambulance with my 18-month daughter.
She climbed too high and fell too far and something inside her little baby arm just broke.
I only had to glance at the caved-in limb, and hear the piercing quality of her cry to know, it was broken.
Not a simple break. One that required a Surgeon to set the bones.
So we waited at the hospital hour after hour. She cried for her daddy, some food or a drink.
She was top of the list, they told me. So she had to remain Nil-by-Mouth, waiting for her turn with the Surgeon.
The waiting was painful. And tedious. It felt as if it would go on forever. A day passed and a night. Still no Surgeon. Emergencies would come in and we would be pushed down on the list again.
Didn't they understand that she was a BABY? That my precious was hungry and tired and sad and broken?
How long would we have to wait???
Another day of waiting and pacing and hungry tears, sips of water and empty reassurances.
We were at the top of the list??? Somehow I thought I could do better than waiting here.
10pm on the second night, I took my baby home. They were taking too long. We can sort this ourselves, I told myself. We have Health Insurance.

As the husband began to telephone around, my horror grew. There was no other help.
Nobody else could do it. We would have to go back.
And start all over again.
Because surely by now, we had been taken off The List.
Then a Miracle. A phone call and the blessed words: "If you come now we can do her straight away..."
Somehow, by some miracle our baby was still on the list.
And we returned, and they operated and set her bones straight.

Now where it was broken, snapped in two places, the bone has healed stronger than it was before. The new bone is denser, thicker, harder to break. It is straight. We needed the Surgeon. And there was only One who could do it.

Our inner brokenness can't be fixed by ourselves either.
We need the Expert Healer. We need the True Truth to set us free.
But waiting for that Word, that touch, that Moment when He meets with us can be frustrating and painful and seemingly futile.

How many times did I cry to the ceiling? I can't do this!! I can't fix myself!
"If you're up there," I would shout, sob, whisper, "Help me won't you????"
"Don't you care? Why did you let me get this way? Why did you let this happen to me??"
Silence. Silence from the ceiling. Silence from Heaven.

But one day when I was least expecting it, a thought. A piercing other-worldly thought cut through my gloom, like a laser beam. Cutting to the heart of my brokenness. Truth had found me. And one of the broken places became straight. And the healing began in that part of my heart.

Little by little, over the years this has happened again and again. Penetrating Truth has continued a process of healing.
I cannot and could not heal myself.
Antidepressants could not heal, they could only assist in supporting, like a cast, holding my thoughts in order.

The ground I have taken, the progress I have made has been as a result of staying "on the list" and waiting for The Surgeon. Asking for help. Staying connected with others. Holding on. Not giving up.

I marvel at how far I have come.
Old pain has been surgically removed by Truth. My heart is more free now than ever before. I see myself more clearly. I see my Surgeon more clearly. Truth has been working in me, as I let it.

I have written this with friends in mind. Some beautiful women I know who are broken too. My heart aches for you to be free. I pray you would meet the Surgeon and experience the cutting away of the lies under His gentle scalpel of Truth.

I know there's no magic cure. And it all takes time. But I know know know, that we can never be free or whole without the help of someone Greater. And the more broken we are, the more we need Him. I for one, will always need Him.

I pray and hope my friends that you will let Him in.

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Widge said...

Pure Gold Simoney xo

Catching the Magic said...

Oh my, I've sat here for ten minutes not knowing what to write, but wanting to let you know I've read your amazing post. You have a very powerful way with words and this post speaks volumes.

I am so sorry you had to go through that horrible experience of waiting so long for your daughter to get help and, as you know, I can relate to the pain of depression - though of course for each of us, like no break is the same, the way we experience it is different.

Thank you for writing this amazing post. It has touched me deeply. With very best wishes to you and your amazing family, Sarah

Anonymous said...

An astonishing post.


Weza said...

This is brilliant, truly. xxx

Anonymous said...

Your prayers are being whispered in my ear, Simoney. He is never far away.

Unknown said...

Very moving post. Well written :o) Thanks for the button exchange also!

Anonymous said...

Amen Sister...amen
truer words have never been written..well somewhere I am sure...but in this moment these are the truest of words.
i like the analogy of broken bones...because just as bones need time to repair, so does the brokenness of our hearts. There is a process, a divine process, and every step matters, none can be skipped.
I truly believe that it is in our brokenness that we are the most beautiful...so you my dear friend dear GORGEOUS.
I love your call out to all your sisters in pain, a beautiful thing!
love and light

Melissa said...

God led me to this post today. I clicked on it randomly from the SITS comments and it was *everything* I needed. Every word came straight from God, speaking through you. Bless you for this testimony! Thank you!!!


jacksta said...

thanks for your honesty, your testimony will help many.

Losing Brownies said...

This post speaks more than just words. I've never thought of depression being similar to a broken bone, but it really does make a lot of sense.

Jess said...

Such a beautiful post. One that reminds me to daily look to my Healer and thank Him for how far I have come and remember that He is here for how far I still have left.
I cried reading this, but not because of the pain that you have felt but the testimony you now have to help set others free. It was tears of joy that some day, my day too, will come. We have so many answers and tools right at our hands. The power and strength of the Word and prayer are more than I sometime feel I deserve. But then I look at my children and what I would give for them and some how I understand just a little of our Father's unconditional love for us. How broken we all are but the reassurance of knowing we are in good hands.

Sophie said...

Beautiful Simoney.

And just to add to that, sometimes we think we have received our healing but its not quite finished, we want the cast to come off early, we want to 'get back to our old selves' but we don't wait for the full healing to take place and we end up aching in those places again.

God is amazing. His timing is perfect, even if its not our timing eh?


PaisleyJade said...

This is sooooo good Simone! I am always surprised over my years in ministry at how ashamed many people are at looking at medication to assist them through to the other side. Beautifully written and one I will refer on to many who need encouragement. xK

Tammy said...

This brought tears to my eyes...I think about depression every day! How not to be depressed and I pray...lots! I went off my AD this summer. It feels good to be off, but I find that I am much more emotional about the little things. I am frightened about winter but knowing I can make it through without the meds...thanks for writing this. I needed it today!

Cyrene said...

Truly uplifting! Your words are being used to connect people to God in ways unimaginable! I pray alongside you for your friends to let Him in so that the healing can begin.

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Beautiful. You have such a wonderful way with words, and your analogy of the broken bones and depression so apt. I am sure these words will be an encouragement to so many :-)

Anonymous said...

thank you sooo much for posting this.
you remind me of listening to my inner voice...and of course to something greater, out of my reach and understanding. I can't say that I truly believe in God, but I definitely found some sort of spirituality along my way through depression. I learned that you sometimes have to just 'trust' in whatever surrounds you to show you the right direction so that you won't get lost.
I have not met the surgeon yet and without the help of medication it will probably take me even longer and the way up the mountain will be even harder.
But as much as I want to give up, as much as my healing process stagnates at the moment, I'm on my way...one step at a time.



Brigitte said...

So beautifully written Simoney - as 'Widge' said "This is pure gold!". The relationship of depression to a broken bone and it's healing is so apt. I will be bookmarking this post I think! Thank you XX

alicia said...

Well said, my friend. Love that you speak words from the heart.

Fiona said...

You have a wonderful gift Simone - extending grace and pointing the Way in a way that is non-threatening, relates to many AND is clear and encouraging. Keep it up! xx

Tiffany said...

Thank you for writing this. I say that God leads me to where I need to be or what I need to see. This post speaks to my heart more than you know. I hope that I too can be set free and let God be my healer.

Renegades said...

I randomly click and read other's post and I'm so thankful I read yours today. Being lead ou of the darkness takes an entire team. Not going back takes that team too.

Depression is so much like broken bone. However broken bones nobody thinks to much about but someone with depression now that's a topic. I continue to hope our society sees mental illnesses more and more for what they are illnesses just like the flu, broken bones, and other regular stuff.

Buffee said...

Amazing post! I have no other words really.

I wish everyone would read this!

Thanks for posting!

Tylaine said...

Wow! what a beautiful, inspiring post Simone.
Just beautiful.

Shell said...

What a powerful analogy!

Dee said...

This is an AMAZING post. Inspired.

Leonie said...

Wow - Fantastic post and a wonderful comparison. So encouraging to see so many people in the same boat all supporting each other. Unless you've been in this position you cannot really understand what it is to be there...which is exactly whey we need to seek Him who knows and gain support from those around us who truly understand too. I am so happy to have discovered this bloggy community - it has truly been a God-send. Thanks heaps, big hugs : )

Unknown said...

awesome thanks

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