I had the privilege of interviewing Anne Jackson back in January 2009 on the topic of depression and burnout, especially as it relates to ministry and the church. Since I have been writing about depression over the last week I wanted to link again to her interview. Here is a piece of the interview below, but check out the full post here.
One of the reasons I wanted to interview you as you know, is that not many Christians are forthright on the topic of depression, anxiety and what I would describe as adjustment disorders….so why did you decide to be more vulnerable about this issue in such a public forum such as your blog and book?
I remember feeling so alone as I struggled with anxiety and depression…especially in the church world. I would go to services at my church or even as I would hang out with other staff members, it seemed like everyone was so happy and put together.
Those issues became so bad, I had to take a three week leave of absence from work where I started some medication and went to see a counselor. Talking about it with her made me feel so free. Go figure…the truth will set you free…that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
As I began to share what was really going on with my friends and coworkers, many times those same people would share with me their own struggles with anxiety, depression or other issues.
I realize when other people share their struggles with me, it builds an instant bridge of trust. I know I can talk with them because they’ve walked in my shoes. It also makes a “me too” moment. I think it was Rob Bell who said the words “me too” are the two most comforting words in the English language.
Again, just starting that conversation and allowing others the permission to share knowing they will be welcomed with grace and trust and love – unconditionally, is why I am so passionate about talking about these things.