By the time I had my two younger kids tied into their skates I was too tired to take on the challenge of fighting my way into a pair. And the rink, as ice rinks are, was freezing. If I stayed there on the bench I’d be miserably cold.
Warmth was just a few steps and a doorway away. Several other moms and a couple of dads. I could handle that, right? Though I was self-conscious about my too-long-unwashed hair and couldn’t really keep my fuzzy winter hat on in the warmth. The warmth where people would expect me to hear them when they spoke to me. It would be hard enough with my ears uncovered.
It was that strange level of depression that’s like observing the world through some bizarre lens that makes everything seem cloudy and vivid, too close and too far, all at the same time… And sounds are muffled but sharp. It’s exhausting.
I survived my fellow home-school-group parents. Got myself and my kids home. I have no idea what we had for dinner.
The next morning was worse. I just couldn’t make myself get up in time to get dressed and go to my Saturday-morning Bible study. Or just wouldn’t.
I’d settled into the angry why-bother stage. My fingers on my right hand are still a little sore from punching inanimate objects, like the hall door.
That’s not a fun admission.
I worked on a website for a client. Waited for the day to end. Forgot to do the laundry.
Sunday was dark. Too sluggish for rage. Too tired for too many efforts at nice.
But church was survived. And the cloud lifted a little. More than a little. But it’s still far from sunny.
The most frustrating part of Monday was the distortion of time.
Sunday night I’d wondered if I’d feel like I’d lost one or two days on Monday. Which is what can happen when I come back up from lower low.
But I’ve been so much lower. So, so, so much lower.
Sunday, it was true that my this was never going to get better.
Monday, it was possible things could maybe get better… but I was too tired to think much about trying.
And time?!? It slipped sideways and over and around itself. Impossible to keep track of. I’d get lost in a screen or in a thought and minute after minute after minute… vanished… An hour gone. Two. I couldn’t figure out where the day went, just knew it left me behind.
No, depression isn’t just feeling sad. It isn’t just a feeling at all.
And I guess the point of all this is something I need to remember, on bad days and better:
The dragon is subdued but not slain.
For any of you toying with the idea of going off meds, or being lazy with healthy habits – I’ve been flirting with the first and shacking up with the second – here’s what I have to say to US: KNOCK IT OFF!
Why do I make it easier for the darkness? It’s like standing at the door of my mind and saying, Hey! I’ve missed you! Why don’t you come back and make me miserable? Take another try at killing me! Please?
It’s ridiculous. Foolish. Reckless.
But, let’s run down the list…
Am I getting enough sleep? Big, big, big no… but that’s not completely my fault. Part of the time I just can’t.
Am I eating healthy? Mmm… Could definitely do better here lately, but I’ve definitely done worse.
Drinking enough water? Not so much since I started spiraling.
Exercising regularly? No.
Spending consistent time in the Word? In prayer? Nope. And WAY NOPE.
Thinking about what I’m thinking about? If that means focusing on all the negative thoughts and letting them blind and deafen me to the good, well, then, YES, I’m NAILING that!
Wait, what? That’s not what that means?
Well, doesn’t that just…
Tuesday… still mood-swinging. Tired. Fuzzy-headed. But… getting some things done. It doesn’t feel like enough, but…
Good morning, Wednesday…
How are you today?
If you’re struggling, I shared this to remind you you’re not alone. You’re not the only one. We’ll feel better. And we need to take responsibility for what we can.
If you’ve fallen into the pit of severe depression, or struggled with other mental illness, however you’re feeling today, DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. For EVERYONE’S sake.
If you’re someone who has never struggled with depression but wonder how it can feel for someone you love, I hope you found a little insight. Don’t give up. Show up.
Care to share how you’re feeling today, and bless me with the opportunity to pray for you? We’ve got this! Okay, maybe we don’t, but God does!
Would you like some help getting into, or back into, a habit of daily Bible-reading? Check out Listen When He Speaks!
If you appreciated Depression is Rearing Its Ugly Head, check out these other #depressionis posts: