I'm not writing this for sympathy... in fact, sympathy and coddling are actually not what a depressed person needs. We need calm acceptance, understanding and compassion, hold the guilt trip, please. I am writing this so that others will know that they are not alone in their battle against this brokenness in our broken world. It's taken me a long time to reach this place of acceptance, with no guilt. It's taken longer and is still an on going effort to help the people who love me, who want to "fix" me get to that place. Even my husband, after 15 years, will still ask, "What's wrong? What happened?" before face palming himself and saying, "I'm sorry, I know better. I just want to help you. What can I do ?". Depression and mental illness are largely misunderstood by those with the luxury of looking at it from a comfortable distance, brushed under the rug as a character flaw or spiritual weakness or a figment of an overly creative, bored imagination...sometimes I think that is fear more than true disregard. I have come through some storms that I thought for sure would break me permanently and been a better, stronger woman for it...that strength of character and who I am as a person have nothing to do with the illness that lingers in my mind and body laying in wait. I am not depression, but I do have it. When I feel good and I am "doing all the right things" even I will buy in to the lie that I can talk, exercise and pray my way out of it. Days like today remind me very clearly that is nothing more than a lie. I can't talk, exercise or pray my way out of kidney disease, either, so that I would think for a second I could pray or talk my way out of depression is ridiculous.... but that is what those who don't accept the reality of mental illness, who don't educate themselves believe and those that are too uncomfortable looking at the face of that brokenness have tried to sell me on for as long as I have had it. I can support the healing of my body by making good choices for it but I can't convince my body, no matter how much I want to, that it's not broken. Yesterday I exercised, I made awesome eating choices, took my vitamins, and spent quality time with God. Today I still have depression and today, unlike yesterday, it hurts me. I have kidney disease every day, too and it never hurts me. But someday I am told it will and when that day comes it will not make those that profess to love me look on me in fear, judgement or disregard... it begs the question why one of my diseases is more valid and "respected" than the other. It's baffling. I have read all the research, and the opinions about psychiatry being a quack science (Thanks, Tom Cruise), but the reality, MY reality, is that the answers are not in research because the problem isn't evidence, the problem is people. The problem has always been people, from the the very beginning of time.
I praise God it doesn't hurt like this every day, because I know some of my friends do not have even that reprieve.
His promise in Romans 8:28 states "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Writing this so that other's will not feel like they have to hide in the dark is the best way I feel like I can allow His good works to be done not only for the sufferers, but for their loved ones and, yes, for me. We all want to be understood, we all want to be loved, and we are all broken in some way. I shared before that God is leading me to step out, tear down my walls and I will be obedient. Knees shaking, fingers trembling, but Obedient.
If this makes you uncomfortable feel free to contact me and discuss it, but on a less broken day, please. Today, I am sorry to say, It physically hurts to breath and getting everything done that I need to get done will take every ounce of energy and focus I have.