Saturday, January 4, 2014

Depression- To Hell and Back

slipping, falling, crashing...
grasping at air
struggling, flopping, gasping
searching for what's not there.

     Even as a follower of Christ I certainly have my moments. I despise that others think Christians are immune to depression or that depression is simply a matter of spiritual ills. I don't mean I am having an oh-how-the-skies-are-gray kind of day, but the clinical depression variety, the kind where the cloud just doesn't lift, the all-consuming-"I need help" type.
     Here's the thing, if I were to completely remove Christ from the equation I doubt I would be here now. It would be so easy to succumb to my suicidal fantasies. Given, it is scary to say that out loud. But, truth be told, depression is more than a black cloud hanging around and millions of others silently suffer. It can become a soul-consuming, heart-wrenching, life-paralyzing hell. There I said it, it is hell. Sometimes the eternal escape route is very tempting. I scare myself.
     It is difficult to motivate myself to do anything when the depression is severe. At times, I despise myself. I have great intentions. Every day I have a plan. I have a to-do list. Yet, when intentions are paralyzed by a wanting sense of purpose life itself becomes a chore. Feeding my children and washing laundry seem to be monumental feats for the day. Those seem so minor, but at times those are the small victories for someone suffering through depression. 
     When in reality, it is the difficult circumstances I truly despise. I am envious of those that have never been in the pit, grasping for hope and gasping in despair. I worship the days that were clearly illuminated before me, when His joy was tangible and peace a calming strength in the midst of life.  I can give myself pep talk after pep talk, knowing a new day will dawn if only I can get through today and still feel as if I am drowning in life.
     Sure it may seem like nonsense if you have never dealt with these health issues, but please acknowledge my feelings. Acknowledge the feelings of others as you never know what is going on in the inside. Clinical depression warps my thinking. It is tunnel vision of sorts. The other day I was with my family at the park watching the kids play. I often enjoy watching children explore and play, but with depression it is hard to even process what I am seeing because the focus is on my feelings. I am numb to the world.
     It wasn't long ago when my vision was powerful enough to enliven my sense of being. The days flew by with activity and love. When clinical depression arises, my path is clouded by a fog that eventually settles into a blinding thickness and light is lost. The days crawl by and I wonder if I have fulfilled any purpose. I long for the glimpses of my God through the day, be it from the laughter of my children to a sunset only possibly painted by the Creator to a moment that hope filters in through the night. Of course, my entire day is filled with Him, it is simply easy for me to miss.
     I want so desperately to enjoy life. I have nothing to complain about in general. My family is healthy, we have a home and food and a Father that loves us. So why is it this demon can steal my joy like a thief in the night? Depression is a battle- a battle I choose to fight. I hope and pray that someday I will be able to encourage others again. I always say that our pain is never in vain.
     Here I sit, embarrassed by my mental health. Yet, my desire to share with others, to bring an awareness to the cause and dream to inspire lead me, oblige me to open my soul up.  I have been through these grounds before and I implore any of you reading this to get help if you can relate. I pray that there will be a day where the Light shines again in your life. I pray it for mine. Christ will never leave nor forsake us. I rest in His promise. Today was a particularly hard day to rest. My soul seems to scream for rest even though the offer is staring me in the face. Twenty years of battling and again the battle rages on. Victory will be mine (and if need be, yours too).

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