It’s not happened overnight.
It’s taken about a week.
But I can tell that I have been slipping. A downward slope. I’ve tried to fight it off, but honestly, I’ve not fought hard enough. There are plenty of things I could have and should have done to fight it. But instead, here I am.
My old enemy of depression is back, in full force.
I can “blame” circumstances easily; any number of things, all piled together–the weather, a spring break cooped up in the house with my poor recovering girl, sickness of my own, intense and stressful work week with many hours spent on teleconferences, an increase in short nights; two very difficult ones, very limited contact with the outside world (something that usually I like, but this week has bothered me)–and I could go on.
But the circumstances are just that, circumstances. It’s my responsibility to fight them, an I’ve not done that this week. I’ve skipped morning disciplines at least 3 times this week–enough to goof my soul up on a good day. I’ve not fought through exercise. I’ve not eaten correctly, and I’ve let selfish pity slowly color my world blue. I deserve a huge kick. A HUGE kick.
I’m stuck. I’ve dug a hole for myself and I’m stuck.
And I’ve got to get unstuck.
Depression is a strange entity. I have gone without my medication before, and it’s not a good thing. The thing is, I am struggling with why I am plagued by real depression when before becoming a believer it was never an issue for me. Ever. Upon contemplating that, I think it is because before I became a believer, I had a hard heart of stone. I was C.S. Lewis’ classic man made of snow. Cold. Hard. Sure, I could work a room. I had a sign on my forward that said “Talk to me”. But I didn’t feel. I had so wrapped myself up like a fossilized mummy, that I might as well be dead. And, again honestly, I was almost there.
Would I change this new challenge for not being a believer. No, Not Never. I don’t believe becoming a believer caused my depression. I think being a believer has brought out a heart of flesh in me, and the truth of my life, and now I vacillate between I feel and experiencing deeply and mind numbing shutting out of the world around me. I fight hard for a balance. I fight hard to be balanced. I fight hard to be well.
And it is a fight. PTSD is a fight. A fight I fight every day.
I have a good therapist. A great therapist. And I have a good psychiatrist. I have a church that is a safe refuge. And I have learned how to fight. And most of the time, I succeed. But then I get tired of fighting, or I have a rough night, and then I don’t fight.
And that’s where I am, tonight.
I know what I need to do. I need to wake up tomorrow morning and fight. I have an 8:00 AM two hour teleconference. After that, I must fight to stay engaged in this world. Grab my crew an go to a movie. Serve someone in need by surprising them by ordering pizza for them (I don’t cook). Prepare my heart for worship Sunday. And then make myself attend worship. Force myself to attend worship.
I also need to dig deep into scripture work. And maybe more than just an hour. I need to do scripture work and prayer until I feel the tide start to turn. Until the words begin to sink into the fabric of my soul. And I need to read–biographies usually are good for my soul, to inspire me to get moving, to get unstuck.
This is a hard place to be tonight. Depression does not mean I’m a weepy mess. Far from it. It means that apathy has shrouded me behind a gauzy layer that prevents me from seeing the world clearly. My eyes are veiled. It means that I sink further down into fear and despair and battle hopelessness and fear of the future.
So tonight I’ll take my medicine. I’ll read a biography. I’ll pray for uninterrupted sleep. And then I’ll get up early tomorrow morning to study and pray, then fully engage in work, and then start through my list of things to get me living again. And until God tells me it’s time to come home, (please Lord, come quickly), I’ll continue to fight this battle here on this earth—to raise my children to hopefully be godly and well-adjusted adults, and to somehow make a difference in this world.