This week I’m going to share from a vulnerable place because I think there might be others who struggle like I do. I recently came through a challenging season where I felt worn down and discouraged. As I was assessing and trying to identify my feelings at their root, I realized that I was dealing with depression.
I’m no expert on this topic but I understand now that I lived in a state of depression for much of my marriage. I am casting no blame here, in fact I believe it’s because I didn’t have the tools to navigate the relationship I was in. So I internalized my feelings, not knowing what to do with them. And they literally sucked the life out of me.
I fight daily for my healing. I am so blessed to have come so far in my journey but people, I still struggle. I have what I call “residue” from my dysfunctional relationship with my FH (former husband). It’s like deep cleaning a shower but not being able to completely get rid of the hard water stains. I still have that residue.
The inner conflict I have is knowing that I’m a happy, joyful person but struggling at times with downheartedness. Isn’t that the perfect word? Our hearts want to be happy but sometimes they are a little blue. That’s what I was dealing with.
I have a drawer full of journals I wrote during my married years. Honestly, they make me cry. But in some ways they are therapeutic because much like watching a dramatic TV show where the characters are “really messed up,” they remind me that I am in a much better place. 🙂
I opened one of them and this was what I had written on the first page:
“I lost myself over the past few years…searching to find again.”
It’s almost like a message you would find in a bottle in the ocean. Who is this person? What happened to them? Did they ever find themselves?
Here are some other blurbs:
“Seems like years go by between entries, yet the content is eerily similar from one entry to the next,” I wrote. “All three of my sister-in-laws have blogs. They write about life, family, daily occurrences. My mother-in-law recently asked me if I was going to start a blog. The truth is, life, family and the daily routine are a struggle for me. I do want to write, but in happier times.”
“God, some days I long for you. Other days I crave your presence. But today I NEED you. I literally don’t think I will make it through the day without you. I had a tough day yesterday. I cried and cried and cried. I’m in a desperate place. I don’t even know where to begin. I am so discouraged. I cannot find the right balance in my life. I am married to a wonderful person but we do not have a wonderful marriage.”
And then I took a stab at poetry (lol, not my strong suit):
Knock on my door
there’s no one home,
just a shell of a person
that once I had known.
I want to be present,
I want to be here,
but between now and tomorrow
is despair, doubt and fear.
How did I fall in this
dark, isolated abyss?
How did I aim for the mark
with such miss?
I can only hope
that somewhere, somehow
I’ll rediscover who I am
in the midst of the now.
Earlier in my life, I didn’t know what depression was. But it introduced itself to me and then literally swallowed me whole in my marriage. I remember at one point my boss told me to take a week off from work. “Get some rest, get reenergized,” she said. I appreciated the gift so much but didn’t really understand the motive behind it. About mid-week I found myself alone with my thoughts and I realized that I was in a deep depression. That was maybe the first time I acknowledged it. I needed those quiet days for truth to reveal itself. Others could see it but I couldn’t…until then.
Because of my past, I am well aware that depression is waiting outside my heart’s door. I used to think I could run from it, but I know now that I can’t (nor do I want to). What I can do is open the door and confront it head-on. Because, you see, when we acknowledge something like this in our lives, we take away its power over us. It’s like hearing a mouse running around in a cabinet and thinking, “If I keep the cupboard door closed I won’t have to deal with it.” True, to a certain extent. But eventually you’ll open that door and have to address the horrible, disgusting mess.
Here’s my take now. The sun rises and sets like clockwork. It slowly climbs to the sky and fulfills its purpose to illuminate the earth each day. And then at night, it quietly descends into the landscape. It is true to itself and its purpose every single day.
Some days clouds overtake the sky and we know the sun is there, it’s just not as bright as we are used to. Other days rain comes and blurs the light. Sometimes the snow falls and its presence is known but not seen. But it is there. It is the same sun day after day even when it feels and looks different.
That’s me. I feel God’s joy in a powerful way and my heart is genuinely happy. But sometimes circumstances affect me. There are days, sometimes weeks, where I stand behind the clouds and watch them go by. Other times when I sit in the rainstorm while the cold, wet rain beats down on my head. And once the trials are over, the sweet warmth returns.
You see, we don’t get to decide when the storms roll in, but we do get to choose what is exposed once they pass.
If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please share. God carved out a path of intense healing for me and I would like to share it with as many people who need or want to hear.