Friday 24 June 2011

Dealing with depression

In my book, I talk about the problem of 'burn out', and talk about the importance of prayer, time out and solidarity (circles of support and friendship). I've really struggled to make use of these tools over the last week or so, as I have had  to deal with a sudden wave of depression.

It's been hard to blog, or do much really, though superficially one has to keep on going whatever, even when feeling down. I rarely suffer from 'being down', and am normally fairly bouncy, but after a series of knocks, even I got worn out.

Firstly, the Treehouse Cafe, the world's first fairtrade cafe, situated in 'Desmond Tutu House' is really struggling. Much worse, when our church offered to help out, some members of the Treehouse refused as their militant atheism overcame the desire to keep the cafe open. It was hugely frustrating, and a realisation that as progressive as our church is, atheists can often reject working with us simply out of dogma. Ironic really.

The reason it really bothered me, was because in the same week I learnt more about the 'review' Desmond Tutu house is to go through to see if it is 'viable'. The review was partly triggered by the debts that the Treehouse Cafe had run up in utility bills. The thought that the project I have developed over the last 6 years might be under threat really knocked me back.

Then I learnt that my wife had not had her contract renewed at the University. Losing her job after 8 years was a terrible blow, and is part of the terrible dismantling of the world renowned peace studies department. The European wave of cutbacks finally came home to our family.

Friends have rallied around my wife and I, and I'm sure all will be well eventually. The  Desmond Tutu House project will survive, even if some in the Diocese cannot see it's value - but its been a tough week or so. If you pray - hold us in your heart. If you're suffering from depression - hang on in there; 'This too shall pass'.


  1. Genuinely sorry to hear all that. Nothing quite hurts like seeing something you've given your heart & soul too pulled down - especially when it's by those who you've considered friends and allies.

    Don't want to offer platitudes, but often things that bring us to our knees (literally & spiritually) turn out for the best in the end. I've always found this helpful in those times.


  2. Will hold you all in our payers. x