Depression has impacted my life in many ways. It has been many things, from feeling like I would shatter if I heard of one more person who was hurt in some way, to feeling so numb I didn’t think I could ever feel again. It has been thoughts of horrifically violent ways to stop the uncontrollable spinning of my brain and end my misery, to softening my heart to empathize and love others in their suffering.
God doesn’t let anything go to waste. And as I yield my experiences to Him, He uses them to help others.
There are times blogging energizes me. I love it. It gives me a place to put some of the words that are constantly crashing around in my head. And feedback feeds the part of me that never feels like enough. When WordPress stats show that people have been visiting my site and looking at posts, it feels good. Comments and messages make me feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile. But on days I can count on one hand the number of visitors to my blog, I feel like what I have to say really isn’t worth putting out there and I doubt this is what I’m supposed to do.
I still suffer from exhausting depression. Crushing at times. And self-doubt? Ugh. Last Wednesday, or was it Thursday? I crashed from the longest “good spell” I’d had in I don’t know how long. It felt good to feel “normal” and remember there are things I like to do simply because I enjoy them, and feel like I actually have a personality.
God has led me to medication that keeps me from crashing into the depths where the only thought that gives me some peace and hope is the thought of just not being. I am grateful that I haven’t been back there in quite a while, but I’m generally depressed. When I read about people who have overcome depression or adversity and live in victorious joy and peace, I can feel like a failure. So, there’s something you need to realize if you’re feeling inadequate because of the victories I write about.
My victory is usually despite, in, and through. My hope and joy are threads I pick up, follow, lose grip on, and then pick up again. Right now, I’m not quite sure where those threads are.
At least that’s how I feel today…
It used to be that when I felt down, I felt like I was generally down. But when I was up, I felt like I was generally a realistically optimistic person, aware that there were stretches of time that I had trouble seeing hope, but that I didn’t live there. But now? I’m generally low. I am a pessimistic realist. I see the trajectory of my life as a slow descent. There are bumps of brightness, and inevitable dark and difficult dips, but, overall, the things I look forward to in life aren’t enough to brighten the prospects of the rest.
So, today I’ll reiterate what I say over and over and over: feelings lie.
In light of that, I can’t allow myself to be merely resigned to the homesickness of knowing there is something better, but it’s not for me here in this life. But today I lack motivation to rise above. Today, #depressionis… bleak.
We all have a story
If you have a story of how mental illness has affected your life, and how you’ve seen God’s faithfulness through it, I’d love to hear from you. You could be a featured #depressionis story, or, if you’d like to tell a longer story, a guest post.
If you’d like to tell your story on Fruit of Brokenness and the #depressionis Pinterest board, comment below, or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org, for more details. I know not everyone is comfortable inviting people into their mess, so if you’d like to share your story to encourage others who struggle, but would also like to remain anonymous, we can do that.
Below are some things depression has been to me. Each image links to its story. You can see more on my #depressionis board. Feel free to follow!