On Depression

bleakApparently I don’t write much when I’m sad.

Which is probably good; too much froth and saltiness, too much visceral angst.  No one need join me in that emotional whirlpool.  Now and then, though, I can peer just above it all and string some words together.

My prayers are so pared down and simple:

“Lord, give me hope.”

Being with friends when you’re depressed is awkward; sort of like sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast while you’re nauseous…everyone is enjoying and exclaiming and you are there trying not to vomit on the china.

The landscape blurs past on another Sunday; Dustin drives and drives.  We go window-shopping for farmettes.  We look them up online and drive past them wistfully.  We look for a new dream to turn it’s sunny face to us.  The motion is cathartic; it makes us feel like we have a destination and are moving toward it.  Maybe just around the corner our dream will be waiting.

bleak2If you’ve got a solution on the tip of your advising tongue for this sorrow, please listen carefully:

1. I do know how blessed I am; with family, friends, beautiful healthy children, and food on the table.  Depression doesn’t mean you forget your blessings, nor that you are inherently ungrateful.  It means that you are in sorrow, even when blessed.

2.  “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” isn’t a helpful thing to say.

3.  Though I love you, I may not be able to spend time with you right now.  Some flock to others when they’re hurting, I withdraw.  I’m not a good faker, so wearing a smile when I’m not happy feels perfectly wretched.

4.  I’m sorry.  I hope soon to be able to raise my eyes from my own pain to again care intentionally for yours.  Right now I’m a bit swamped, but I won’t always be.

5.  Depression isn’t a problem to be fixed, it is a journey of the soul.  It has to be walked-out.  It’s a dark valley, but where there are high sunny peaks, there will always be the shadows they leave.  My life has had it’s share of sunny peaks, it will have it’s share of dark valleys.  I am not confused by this; the Bible tells us to expect as much.  And, astoundingly, I still know deep within that this is for my good in some soul-strengthening, refining way.  Character is costly.

So, dear ones who read these words, I wave to you from my dark valley.  Know that I have not lost my faith nor my mind.  I walk in good company with my God.  He knows these valleys well.

 

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6 thoughts on “On Depression

  1. Thanks, Sarah. There’s much truth in your comments…pictures, as it were, of the landscape along this journey of the soul. There is beauty even there, treasures to be discovered and shared at the right time with the right persons. Treasures gained with a price that makes the subsequent sharing all the more filled with meaning.

  2. I also am with you in darkness these days. I too am not able to “fake” it. I too am taking one day at a time and searching for God’s hand and special touches. I continue to pray for you and your family in these darker days. Miss seeing you!

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