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TOPIC TITLE: Seeking Hashem from the depths
Created On 4/16/12 1:16 AM
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HopefulMommy
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4/16/12 1:16 AM
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I've been struggling with, and growing in, my relationship with Hashem over all those years of dealing with anxiety and depression. I've definitely grown, although I'm still not a at point where I feel Hashem's love all the time. I've been thinking that I should start writing down my thoughts and my struggles and make it into a book, and maybe that would help me clear off whatever's blocking my way. I'm hoping it would also help others. Would anyone be interested in reading and giving me feedback? I'm calling this From the Depths: Seeking Hashem from within clinical depression and anxiety. Here's the tentative introduction. Please let me know if you'd like to see more, and if there is anything you'd like to add, or any specific issues addressed. Thanks!

Introduction

Let me begin with the obvious. Depression and anxiety are excruciatingly painful. They are likely among the darkest sides of human existence. When one wakes up in the morning dreading the day to come it is very difficult to relate to the many books out there on the subject of personal growth, attaining happiness, or developing a positive and loving relationship with Hashem. And that is the void that I would like to fill with this book.

This book will not paint a rosy picture of the world and tell you that you can become blissfully happy if you just appreciate your gifts. It won’t tell you that your pain is your own fault. It won’t offer simplistic cures or segulos. It won’t promise that after you read it your pain will magically disappear. That is not my task. I am not about to cure depression and anxiety. That is up to Hashem, Who can send us the appropriate help, in whatever form is necessary. I hope and pray that very soon Hashem will cure all illnesses and remove all suffering from the world.

While such suffering still exists, however, we have a natural desire to make some sense of it. We yearn to connect to Hashem, but feel overpowered by pain, overcome by anger and resentment, and disconnected from everything we ever learned about Him. We are pained by how far we are from Him and don’t understand how it is even possible to begin working on the constant mitzvah of loving Him. And this is what this book is about. It is about seeking Hashem from within the pain, without denying it or minimizing it in any way. It is about using a difficult situation as an opportunity to grow and to deepen our relationship with Hashem.

This book is not for tzaddikim who never question Hashem’s ways and are able to accept such tremendous suffering with love. It is for ordinary people who experience a range of emotions towards Hashem. Most of us do not glide through this nisayon without feeling angry, betrayed, or abandoned. Most of us are not able to feel Hashem’s love during such a difficult time. That is where this book begins. There is no need to pretend that we are perfect. There is no need to deny our true feelings. Instead, we can accept those feelings and move forward from there, with the belief that the ultimate purpose of these low places is to bring us higher than where we started before this nisayon.

With Hashem’s help, we’ll elaborate on these ideas in the coming chapters. While each journey through the depths is very individual, I hope that by sharing our struggles and what we've learned from them we'll be able to help and support each other and make this experience a bit easier. I hope and pray that this book will help all of us, including myself, attain tangible closeness with Hashem and be able to feel His love.
 
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gad
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4/16/12 2:52 AM
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your writing is from the heart, and your pain is keenly felt.

i am reminded of viktor frankl's description (in his book 'man's search for meaning') about what he did shortly after his liberation from a concentration camp. he kept walking in an open meadow. and then he dropped to his knees, and recited, over and over again, "min hameitzar korosi ko, ononi bamerchav ko." from the narrowness (or, as you write in your title, from the depths) i called to G-d, He answered me in the wideness, G-d. "

his book, which was based on his experiences, and his logo therapy, which taught people to find meaning, illuminated many lives. indeed he turned darkness into light. and it was his belief in G-d that enabled him to bounce back and achieve it.

belief is a strong connection to G-d, especially in the darkness. belief allows us to (in your words) 'bring us higher', and to turn darkness into light.

may you experience only happiness and good news from now on.



Edited: 4/16/12 at 4:33 AM by gad
 
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wishtobehappy
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4/16/12 9:03 PM
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It's awesome! can't wait to read the rest of it.
 
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HopefulMommy
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4/17/12 1:59 AM
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Thank you! I'll be working on it, IY"H.

I'm thinking of the passuk, "mimaamakim kerasicha Hashem." I've never read Victor Frankl's book, but I've been thinking that mental health issues are in some way similar to experiencing the Holocaust. Maybe even worse, because the Holocaust is outside of the person, and whatever is outside can always change, but depression and anxiety are inside and can cause a person to lose hope or desire to get better. I think that's the challenge of our generation, specifically because we're so close to the times of mashiach.
 
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gad
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4/17/12 4:17 AM
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interesting points.

the way things are going (more unity among yidden, growing jewish pride and power etc.) the complete redemption may come sooner than we think.

hope to hear good news.


Edited: 4/17/12 at 5:54 AM by gad
 
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wishtobehappy
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4/18/12 10:04 PM
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I wish!
 
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