My Depression Journey-Part 2: Asking for help

{Today Janna Widdifield shares Part 2 of her story with us…how three years ago she began her journey with depression, and experienced God’s faithfulness in the midst of it all.}


Early one evening, Matt came home to me sobbing while typing on my laptop. The kids were watching a movie and I sat typing an email to a few close friends. This is what I wrote:

For some reason, it is VERY hard for me to write this email. I know all of you who love me will graciously agree to pray for me and yet I feel so alone and humbled to even ask. I weep as I write.

The last two weeks my depression has reared it’s ugly, cunning head. It makes me feel a failure. Like I should “just get over it,” but I can’t. Unmotivated. No joy. Emotional. Impatient. Tired. It takes all I have to put the dishes in the dishwasher. I know this is not the true me. The woman God has created me to be. Something in my body is not right.

 As you know, I struggled with post-partum depression (and am still taking a low dose of Zoloft). I think the hard thing about the last couple of weeks is the fear that this was not just for a season of my life. I do not want to be on medication indefinitely.

I’ve been exercising, eating right, spending time outdoors–all those “thing you should do” and yet I still feel hopeless.

One thing the Lord has been clear to me about: I need to ask for help, ask for prayer and receive what others give without guilt or obligation or feeling of weakness.

 So these would be my specific prayer requests:

1. Wisdom and clarity on what step to take for treatment. This is hard when my emotions and mind are not what they should be. That the Lord would give me the perfect plan for ME. I hope to get into the dr. next week.

 2. That he would give me grace and patience and joy to parent and care for my family even though I just want to crawl away and sleep.

 3. That he would give me just enough motivation to do the very basics everyday: 1 load of laundry, make dinner….go on a walk, read to the children.

 Thank you friends. I know it seems kind of weird that I am emailing versus calling…but I am so emotional, this seems an easier way to express this all to you. 

sunset girl
As the days got worse and worse, I had begun to come to terms with the fact that my state was not getting better, but in fact worse. Especially more emotional. I think I felt even more emotion and hopelessness realizing that this was no longer “post-partum” depression. Beth was two and I wasn’t pregnant. What if I would struggle with depression the rest of my life? In the back of mind I always told myself I was only taking medication and experiencing depression because I was in my “child-rearing” years. Now, that was no longer the case. I was in uncharted territory and had to admit that I needed a new kind of help, more help. For some reason, I felt a sense of failure because of this.
Even trying to figure out what type of help to seek was overwhelming to me….vitamins, natural, counseling, psychiatrist prescriptions?
But that afternoon I knew I needed to ask for help. I felt the Lord telling me to ask for help. And he was very clear and very direct with me: “Ask for help and do so with no feeling or guilt or obligation that you have to repay the help others give you.” 
He knew where my mind would go because it had for days, “Everyone has hard stuff going on in their lives and in their families. I don’t want to burden them with my yuck. They have three kids already, I can’t ask them to watch mine too….”
But I obeyed and I asked for help. I’ve seldom “felt” a scripture as much as this one.

Psalm 142

I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”

Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
    because of your goodness to me.

And so I pressed “send” and sent the email above. And somehow in that act of obedience, in that humbled cry for help, not just to God but to my closest confidants, a miracle happened. God sent an army of “his righteous to gather about me” (vs 7) and to help me out of the pit.

{Visit the blog tomorrow for the rest of Janna’s story–My Depression Journey: Part 3.}

JannaWiddJanna Widdifield is a writer by trade, a crafter by choice, and a mother by God’s plan. Creating things has always been a part of her life–whether it was growing zinnias in her dad’s garden or creating her own stationary line as a 5th grader.  She is the creator of a class for girls called Vessels, designed to help young women find their identity, self-worth and purpose according to God. Check out the Vessels blog here. Visit Janna’s blog, MustardSeeds, here.

Depression Series

{Navigating Depression: What Every Woman Needs to Know} is a month-long blog series devoted to the disorder. Read stories of women who have traversed its stormy seas. Receive encouragement and be equipped for your own battle against the darkness. Garner understanding, bleeding empathy for afflicted loved ones.

One thought on “My Depression Journey-Part 2: Asking for help

  1. Precious Janna: Even in your darkest times, God is using you to reach out in love to others. Yours is a beautiful story,so honest and vulnerable, and it touched my heart this morning. God is with you through it all!

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