These are not easy topics to speak about. Well they are if one is being generic and has no actual experience with it, but when it is personal, the first reaction is that others will think one is weak. But now I know how many human beings feel and struggle the same way. Back then I did not. What good is an experience if you don't share the insights? In religion and in the Church of God, you "lack faith" or need to get closer to God in some way if you suffer depression or anxiety. Nonsense of course, but it is effective in promoting the guilt (I did a bad thing) and shame (I am a bad person) that often goes with the turf of religious practice. Coping with change and events can be challenging with all the things that are at stake in this world. It's ok to need help. It is a wise person in this day and age who has a personal counselor who actually knows how it all works.
My first conscious experience with this dual demon of depression and anxiety came in the late 70's when the WCG went into Receivership. I knew in my soul when the Receivership hit that the Church and the Armstrongs were to blame and deserved it. I didn't want to believe it but in my gut, I knew it was true. It was not an attack against religion. It was not government persecuting a church for its beliefs. It was no angry Satan attacking Herbert W Armstrong for preaching truth. It was a legitimate concern government and those affected by the WCG and HWA had about the organization and what was going on with it. It's when I went into my leave me alone shell and simple tried to be the best local pastor I could be. I still believed the message. It was the messengers I was having problems taking seriously
At any rate, quietly and insidiously it ate away at me. It was the first time I wished I had made other choices but the die seemed to have been cast. One thing lead to another and the many things I knew or heard behind the scenes began to take their toll. Once transferred for the last time , it broke through and I ended up having to address the depression, which in hindsight was really my internalized and repressed anger with no place to go safely or effectively, had to be addressed.
n the course of "treatment" I was asked to take a simple 18 question test. No problem. here is how it went.
1. 1, 2, 3 __________
2. 1a, 2b, 3c 4______
Question 18 looked something like this.
We/I had to do another little experiment in the program. A standard wooden pallet was in the middle of the room. There were about 10 of us and given the simple task of all getting on the pallet with no feet touching the floor. Great! Now I'm a complete idiot (You have to recall I grew up visiting a State Hospital every week where my brother, blind, deaf and speechless lived). Now I was going to prove I was handicapped! We did as instructed and the counselor said, "Ok , let's go back and talk about this." Sure, fine. I was not in a good mood.
In some ways, I feel sorry for the man. The excuse making, rewriting, editing and blame placing where it does not actually belong is a common approach those given to hyperbole and theological nonsense end up perfecting when the excrement hits the rotating device. In religion you always get to say "God is revealing more," "Rejoice! We have more time," or in Dave's case, "The Prophecy stands true. It is the timing that "we" i.e. "he" did not understand. In my world we call that "Weinlanding." You actually crash but you survive saying, "any landing you survive is a good landing."