There’s so much brokenness around me, I felt I needed to write again about depression and the drunkenness that can come with it. I know not everyone can relate to it, but I believe there’s someone out there who needs to hear this. It’s also about how God reached down and changed it all by turning a life filled with hopelessness and emptiness into a life filled with everlasting joy that only He can give. A life filled with hope and purpose. I pray that it gives someone out there needing God’s hand to move in their life much encouragement. His power is real.
It was 2010, around 2:00 one February morning when she was suddenly awakened by her heart going haywire inside of her chest. The symptoms were very familiar as she had lived with them for about 17 years of her adult life. It began sometime after she started drinking heavily. It was never actually said or proven that drinking was the cause of the symptoms. They told her it was a possibility, but she never knew for sure. She figures the drinking definitely didn’t help, but that didn’t stop her. There were several things that should have stopped her from drinking, but she was too deep into the pit. Only God would be able to pull her out…when she was ready.
It took the doctors a long time, but they finally diagnosed her with a minor heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). It’s not life threatening, but it can cause wear and tear on the heart. The symptoms would wipe her out for a day or so. It was more a huge inconvenience than anything to her. In 2005, the SVT had finally been corrected by an ablation—a procedure where they took a catheter, went in through the groin, into a vein, took it up into the heart, and basically burned off extra nerves that were in there causing the crazy heart rhythms (at least that’s how the doctor at that time had explained it to her). After the procedure, she had been symptom free for five years…until that one dark morning after what turned out to be the morning after her final evening of binge drinking.
The symptoms returned and they were extremely severe. Because she had lived with it for so long, she knew how to stay calm and knew the different things to try that usually made the irregular heart beat jump back into normal rhythm. However, this time it was different. Nothing she tried worked. She had been told in the past not to wait too long before seeking medical attention, but she’s very stubborn. She tried for an hour to handle it herself, but she started getting too weak and the nurse she had been speaking to on the phone convinced her to get to the emergency room. To slow the heart rate, usually all that was needed was an IV with some meds. Eventually, it would get back to normal and she would be released.
But once again, this time it was different. The medical staff in the ER couldn’t get it to slow down at all. She couldn’t believe what was happening. She kept wondering why nothing was working this time. She never had to stay overnight in the hospital for this condition before, except when they did the procedure to fix it. It was difficult for her to have to share with the doctor that she had done some binge drinking the night before. She didn’t say anything about the severe depression because she didn’t remember feeling depressed at that time. The alcohol did its job and she was numb. After several hours of no progress, they finally admitted her into the cardiac care unit.
This is when she thinks that God was really giving her a major wake up call to wise up and change her destructive lifestyle. She thinks she was running out of chances and started to see that there were some significant warning signs, maybe slightly smaller wake up calls that were leading up to that last episode, but she had been ignoring them. This warning sign however, it seems God finally broke through and made sure she couldn’t ignore it. She was finally ready to listen. She knew in her troubled heart that if she didn’t do something to change her ways soon, she’d either end up in jail or dead. Soon, she would be alone in a hospital room where she would find herself crying out to God for help. Rock bottom finally came…
As I laid there in the hospital room all alone and not so drunk anymore, I started to think about why I was there. I had nobody but myself to blame. I had been depressed and a drinker for so long, I was very tired. I mentioned in an earlier post that I used to pray many nights crying out to a God I didn’t know, asking Him to take my life (thank God for unanswered prayers). So there I was in the hospital room seeking God sincerely with my whole heart for the first time. I realized that I really didn’t want to die. I just didn’t want to hurt anymore. I didn’t think I was going to die there in that room, but I felt that if I didn’t stop drinking and change my ways that I’d be dead before 50—I had just turned 44 the night before. I had sure made a big mess of my life, but the Lord reached down when I cried out to Him. He helped me to clean up my mess and He delivered me from the depression and drinking…He set the captive free just like He promises to.
These are amazing miracles in my life that I try sharing with all who will listen. God is the God of miracles and breakthroughs and He’s using my life to show what He can do with a willing heart. Looking back, I now consider my old life a blessed mess because of what He’s doing with it now. Today, I’m grateful I can say it’s no longer a mess, it’s just extremely blessed. I’ll be honest and say it hasn’t been an easy life, but it is definitely a blessed one. I will spend the rest of my days trying to reach out to others hoping I can help them reach out to God like I did. I pray I can help them find hope in Him. I also pray that more people will open their hearts to Him because what He has done for me, He will do for anyone who seeks Him with their whole heart. I truly believe that.
Friends, for anyone struggling out there, you are not alone. Never give up on God. I am so glad that I didn’t. May God speak to you and bless you through this story…after all, it’s His story! ♥