AN INEXPLICABLE THING: Depression

Depression is real, very physically here and enigmatic.  After all this time it remains a mystery to me exactly why it returns.

Granted, there are a few things that I realize I do know, I actually have learned about the illness.  And so for the most part yesterday, I decided to fight because I know I must, even while still disbelieving that it matters if I do battle against it.

It hangs on me —  dead weight.  I go through the motions of my day because if I stopped … well, I fear stopping, getting off this track of ‘life’ would be worse.  I know that too.  It is good that I can cook, show up on time, think (sort of) and write these words. I can do homework-time, do rides here and there (they are almost a relief for they fill up the endless stretches of life being like this.)

I am microscopic fragment adrift in the vast universe, even while the phone is ringing. The irony is in feeling so alone while the phone is mocking me by ringing.   I cannot even will myself to pick up it up.  My mother is calling but I cannot face her.  I don’t have the energy to say what needs to be said.  Years of what is misunderstood smolders around me.  Facebook depresses me.  Why do I need to know who is friends with whom?  It only reminds me how alone I feel.  Grateful, shiny happy people depress (and inspire) me.  Why do some people never seem to struggle?

I hate myself in this moment.  Somehow I thought I was past this.  Past the sinking hole of depression but now I see that I am depression.

A friend says in an email:

“He [Christ] knows how we feel, having been rejected by the ones he loved most.  He would die again if only just for me (or for you).  I’ve also realized that “homesick” feeling is just a symptom of the spiritual divide between us and God.  Those feelings can be put to use to draw us closer to him, but we’ll never quite be home until he returns or calls us there.”

There is something crucial in her last few sentences, an insight that I must try to tease out with my tired foggy brain.  All my life I have felt alone – when I am totally honest.  It is not that I have been literally rejected.  People love me.  I do know that, when I am not so disheartened.

“Have you ever experienced the kind of friendship you speak of when you cry out (in your depression) that you feel alone and so unimportant?” my husband asked me the other day.

I think perhaps this longing is something I need to sit with – too often I am looking to others and to things to fill something that only Jesus can.

I have tried many things to fill that ache over the years from over work, to compulsive shopping, to excessive drinking, and at times a relationship. I know that I so fear that vast ache, that I preemptively withdraw before anyone can hurt, reject or let me down.  I defensively withdraw because I fear that this deep, cavernous place down inside me cannot be filled.    And then I am forced to face my terrible loneliness that only God can fill.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. — Philippians 4:8,9

In moments like this I know, that I know, absolutely nothing.   But a tiny part of my brain or heart understands what this means – to hold on to this Hope for that is the peace that trancends all understanding.

He is with us and wants to fill us.

But, “we’ll never quite be home until He returns or calls us there.”

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. beccat says:

    I have some things I could say but best not. We all have to work out our lives and I, too, walk in a different kind of depression. I don’t like to hear you low, but I do understand. Love to you, on my birthday.

    Like

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