Fortress1My first book — working title, The Long Night — is for those who are struggling with depression, or who love someone who is. It will be published in 2019 by Fortress Press

“A friend to sit next to you in the night, till the morning comes”

You’ve done what you can: You’ve seen your doctor, made an appointment with a therapist, picked up the prescription for the antidepressant and swallowed that first strange pill. But it can take four to eight weeks for the meds to start to work, and it might take two or more tries before you and your doctor find the ones that work best for you. When you’re in the midst of terrible depression, those weeks can feel like an eternity. You just want to feel better NOW. This book is for those who are in the long night of waiting. It does not promise healing or deliverance, it is not a guide to praying away the depression. It is just an attempt to sit next to you while you wait, to let you know that you are not alone, that this time will not last forever.

I’ve been where you are”

Several years ago the depression and migraines I’d struggled with my whole life became suddenly worse. I would eventually get the diagnosis of dysthymia (a form of chronic depression), with major depressive episodes, in addition to chronic migraines. Always in the past I’d pushed through, maybe switched jobs, taken time off of school, or moved to a different city, always trying to pretend that my health issues weren’t that serious. By 2008 I couldn’t push anymore. My ministry job fell apart, my migraines became debilitating, and the depression became overwhelming. For ten months I could do nothing but lie in bed most of the day, limping every month or so to the neurologist and psychiatrist to report that the newest med wasn’t working, then crawling back in bed to deal with the side effects of the next one they prescribed. Worst of all, I had lost all felt-connection with God, and felt lost and abandoned by the One I loved the most.

It took over two years to find medications that worked, and several more to rebuild my health and my career. Most of my friends and family could not fully understand what I was going through, and I felt very alone during this time. But I had one friend who himself struggled with depression and other health issues, who walked alongside me and offered me passages from writers who had been through similar struggles. I clung to pieces of hope from authors such as Henri Nouwen, Madeleine L’Engle, George MacDonald, Bunmi Laditan, John of the Cross, and Thomas Merton.

My vision for Long Night is to in turn walk alongside others who are going through depression, by sharing some of my own experience as well as excerpts from the authors who helped me. I want my readers to find in this book a friend who understands, supports, and advocates for them.

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I can’t give away much about my second book yet, but I’m very excited about it!! Here are a couple of pictures as a hint.

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The Schines at Silver Beach. My grandmother Beatrice is at the bottom right.