When I first descended into the pit of depression, one of the most striking and alarming changes I noticed was that I no longer had ready access to the Holy Ghost. I felt literally cut off and alone, spiritually. A great many fervent prayers were sent heavenward, pleading for help and comfort, anything, something please Lord give me something to hold onto! Where was the Comforter when I needed Him the most, like all the faith promoting stories I'd heard in church? I felt cast adrift in a black sea, with no compass nor oars nor wind for my sail.
I teetered for a time on the edge of faith. What was the point of going to church, taking the sacrament, praying even, when all was hollow and bleak? I was just going through the motions. The temple brought no relief. Nothing brought relief. It was a black time.
Attending church was excruciating--having to keep a "I'm fine" smile on my face for three whole hours was almost more than I could manage. But every time I considered quitting church, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't do it. And the reason always came back to the same thing: I had four children I had promised -- no, covenanted -- to teach the gospel to. And even though I couldn't currently feel it, I remembered the times when I had felt direction by the Holy Ghost. I knew the gospel was true. It was all true. I didn't know how I knew it, but I. Did. Know. And I knew that if I stopped attending church, if only due to apathy, my children would be more likely to fall away sooner or later. I knew I must not allow that to happen. And so I kept going.
Discovering that I really did have a solid testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the most treasured lessons I gleaned from my experience with depression. Even now, years later, I still don't enjoy the clarity of communication from the Spirit that some people do. I rarely "feel" the Spirit as strongly as the people around me at the usual times, like baptisms, testimony meetings, etc. I've learned that comparing myself to others really doesn't accomplish anything other making me feel like a loser. I've come to accept the fact that this may be one of my "thorns of the flesh", so to speak. It may be that the heavens will remain silent for me for the rest of my life. Perhaps one day I'll experience the miracle of hearing God's voice in my heart again. Perhaps not. But I know that whatever happens, I will stay faithful. When the Lord comes, he will find me waiting. And that's enough for me.