If you find yourself thinking, feeling, or saying – “I just don’t care anymore!” – it’s time to pause. You may have “shut down.” It helps to explore why this might have happened.
People who still care function in these ways:
- Feel things
- Talk about issues
- Get involved
- Have more energy
- Are moved by sorrow in others
- Are moved by sorrow in their own life
- Look for solutions to solve problems
- Find ways to get motivated
- Seek answers
- Seek relationships
- Seek God
Perhaps you’ve been hurt deeply. You may feel you cannot persevere in certain situations. Fatigue may have pushed you over into exhaustion. Regardless, in a shut-down state, you no longer care about things that used to matter to you. Barely coping. Just don’t care anymore.
There is a little switch inside you that flips when life gets too painful or hard. When it flips, you don’t feel pain as much anymore. Don’t have to keep going. Fewer losses to address. Disappointment slips off and can turn into apathy.
This switch is actually a safety mechanism to help you not fall off the edge. Somehow, people instinctively know – in a foggy kind of way – where their edge is. They get really frustrated, scared, desperate, serious, etc. when they “sense” they are close to that edge. Some people get angry. Some finally go for help because they know they don’t have the resources to deal with whatever they might find at their edge.
In your pause as you near your edge, you must do critical things to find your return-to-normal switch:
- Admit where you are. Say the words – “I don’t care anymore, but I want to. I think I’m close to my edge and I’m scared to death because I don’t know what I will do if I ever get to my edge.”
- In this honest, helpless state – turn your heart to God. He loves you deeply. He cares where you are, near your edge. He wants to help.
- Turn to God’s Word. If you ever believed anything, now is the time to believe Scripture. Read it. Memorize it. Claim it over your situation. Apply it carefully. Pray it.
- Speak and write out a prayer. Express what is inside you, but be sure to practice respect toward God. Even if you have negative feelings toward Him – to allow yourself to slip into disrespect for Him is on you, not on Him. It’s a statement about your character, not His.
- You are capable of faith, like all people on earth. Exercise your faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.“ (Heb. 11:6)
- Ask God to help you care again. This might sound too simple. Yet, it’s critical. You might be avoiding faith for several reasons:
- If you start to care again, you also open yourself to pain again. To the things you are trying to avoid. You can no longer run away. You will need to start solving issues and making decisions about relationships again. Etc.
- It is easier to coast through life. “Avoid thinking – take up drinking” kind of approach.
- You will be resolving to work at life again . . . and that didn’t work the first time. So, it’s easier to not care.
- Journal thoughts. Listen with your heart to what the Lord is saying to you through His Word.
- Share your heart with a trustworthy Christian. If you can’t find one, do what many of us have had to do: throw yourself with abandon into the arms of God and say – “If you are not enough, then I’m a gonner.” I can vouch – God is enough! God cares that you just don’t care anymore.
If you trust God with abandon, simply trusting Him against all reasonable doubt, and if you actually DO what He shows you to do through His Word, YOU WILL RECOVER!!!!
“What if I fall? Oh, but darling, what if you fly?”
P.S. You may need medical help in this place. Talk to your Dr. about your state of mind and heart. You may need a chemical replacement therapy to bring balance to your brain chemistry. This is real, not a made-up crutch. Find a good Dr. who has knowledge and good practice with helping people who struggle with discouragement and/or depression.
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