Fear. How many things do we miss out on because of fear?
For me he is the dark shadow hiding in the corner, ready to pounce. I can’t see him, but just the fact that I know he’s there, I’m afraid. Paralyzed. He doesn’t have to do anything. My anticipation that he could pounce at any moment, striking me down, is enough to keep me shackled to inaction. Imprisoned by what ifs.
Each day, when I wake, I can feel him at the edges of my mind. Things are blurry. Prayer and meditation along with heavy doses of coffee start bringing things into focus. I stop feeling his presence.
Music is a balm to my tormented soul. When I listen to music, I’m drowning out the voice of fear. If I don’t play the music, my mind races, and his voice begins to vocalize. Why try? You failed before. In fact, you are a failure. But with music, I can’t hear him. He’s still trying to be heard. He’ll begin shouting. But I turn the music up. Drowning out his sinister voice. Sometimes the music plays for five minutes, and he gives up easily. Other days, the music may need to play for an hour before he will relent. Some days, he never shuts up. I just have to go about my day, clenching my teeth, putting my hands over my ears, pinching my eyes shut, because the longer I let him talk during the morning, then I begin to see him.
Those days come fewer and fewer. But that’s why I have the music. Because I still have those days.
Depression is a strange thing. I’ve felt like a failure for dealing with it. For not being able to rid myself completely of it. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand how my mind works.
I have a wonderful life. A loving husband, three adoring children. A career (with health insurance) Friends to laugh and cry with. And I believe that God loves me. Most days.
And there’s the rub.
Some days, I just don’t.
When the depression covers me like a dark, heavy blanket, I feel abandoned. I must not matter much to him.
Here we go again. I thought I was done with this. But each year, several times a year, these feelings return.
Some would say I’m just weak. I don’t have enough faith.
Some would say, my problem is that I believe in God in the first place. The only person I can depend on is myself.
And when I let myself get angry at God. I entertain those lies.
But I know better. Even when I get so angry that I want to believe he doesn’t exist, my mind won’t let me.
I know he exists (or she). Isn’t she also a mother figure to me? God’s not an “it” but he’s also not male or female. We just can’t comprehend something not male or female. There’s so much we can’t comprehend. And what we don’t understand we either fear, lie about, or puff ourselves up against.
I know better. I know there is a God. A God who made the universe. A God who can do whatever he wants. A God who could take away my depression.
But he doesn’t. He hasn’t.
So I get angry.
He must not care about me. Why do I want to have anything to do with a God who abandons people?
When I let my mind wander, I think about all the bad things in the world. All the evil. All the things that are allowed to go on.
And how the things or people I see as living for themselves, seem to be doing pretty good.
So, my blind, confused self, concludes that there is a God, but he has given up on me.
What other conclusion could there be?
Somehow, I make it back to faith after these episodes. Before medication it would take me months. With medication, my brain feels filled with a barely there pink sunrise. The sun isn’t always straight up overhead, but I can see it peeking through. And there’s beauty in that pink and purple that the bright gold doesn’t hold.
If I didn’t think about everything so much, analyze everything so much, I would not be me. I’m not perfect. I never will be.
And I’m thankful I don’t have to be.
I really don’t know how I get out of my funks. Many times it’s a husband who knows to just let me ride it out.
There are several people always praying for me.
But somehow, a hand leads me out of the fog. Where I can see clearly again. I used to think that I would never see fog again. Prayed that the fog would stay away.
But I’ve dealt with this thing called depression most of my life. The fog will come back.
It’s okay to not be okay. That is enough.
If I let my thoughts about what other people think or say about my depression bother me, that’s when I lose.
When I embrace who I am. When I face it head on. When I don’t lie about it, I come out of the fog sooner.
If I hide behind lies of, I’m okay and I don’t struggle with anything, I stay shackled.
If you don’t deal with depression, be thankful. I’m smart enough to know you deal with something else. But that’s none of my business.
If you deal with depression, you’re not alone.
Sometimes knowing that, is enough.