{My Silence, Depression’s Lies, and Faith}

me eye

I LIVE

depression is a liar wailing. it hates you as much as

you

hate

it.  and
you know, you fear
eventually
the battle will be won.
you may not be

the victor.
still you will fight 

the raging storm inside your brain.
to stop would be suicide.

life goes on, you cannot stop
for Love remains. those that depend.

it’s on you
to hold on.

now it’s not always

that bad, and why people get confused. i thought
you were depressed? you look so good. 
i thought you were depressed? you’re joking around.
i thought you were depressed? then

you pull back the curtain,
to give them a glance at the snarling beast and they’re quiet, momentarily.

to hold on means to be misunderstood.

flat doesn’t mean you’ve stopped loving.

though you’re so weak most days you cannot pull your leaden limbs out of bed this doesn’t mean you’re lazy.

afraid of people, sometimes terrified yes but this doesn’t mean you want them to go away.

depression is a snarling threatening beast.
weakening,
lying,
pestering,
oppressing.
today and every day

still i want you to know i welcome life even with depression.
I want to Live.

It has been a while since I wrote. Over the summer I was working on an essay for inclusion in a book. I’m really excited about it and do hope for its acceptance. I was studying like crazy, learning about PRAYER, which is something that I have been decidedly agnostic about. Full admission I’m not sure I really believed in the idea of changing God’s mind. This thought has eaten at me over the decades that I have believed and the years that I have attempted to live this life of following Jesus. That is a bit of what my submission is about and what I learned.  Prayer for me is this leaning, keening toward a loving waiting God. If it isn’t published I’ll show it here.

I realized recently that I’ve slipped. Depression, something that I’ve wrestled with for the twelve years I’ve been not working outside the home. There were moments and even years when I was free of it. And after a full year depression free I went off my medication, feeling strongly that this might be what had caused my inability to cry.  Thinking I was ready.

Imagine, nearly two decades of no tears.

I was a crybaby once, super sensitive to the nuances of other’s emotions (still am that to be honest) But I hated about myself the falling to pieces at a stern look especially from my father. I’ve always perceived crying as weak. This became something that I learned to control. And I got so good at it that when I went on Effexor many years ago tears completely stopped. I became incapable of them. It was a different kind of flat, and eventually I longed to cry.

I’ve written about that dam opening up, sometimes embarrassing me in public but I relished it.

My heart changed shape, from a stone to something more resembling human.

Recently, I realized that I must start again on medication because I’ve slipped down into a pit, a quagmire of dark that I’m unable to pull out of on my own. Not exercise, not diet, not prayer of others, not encouragement and support of my husband, not a new amazing therapist nor a kind loving community of friends could convince my psyche to shake this off.

It felt like failure, it felt like defeat, it felt like a huge lack of faith in my life, but I knew it was bad, and I feared what might happen if I didn’t do something and quickly. God only knows where things would evolve to and considering that this has been the most challenging two years in our twenty years of life together, Tom and I, as parents and for Tom as a business owner, I just knew.

So here I am. The black dog is nipping again at my feet, I’ve got helium in my brain and sand in my veins, which is a trip. I’m hoping that I’m gonna be okay.

Stigma with mental illness is one of the main reasons I believe that most depressed people don’t get help. I’ve experienced it even as many people affirm my courage to speak out about my experience. What will it mean for future employment? If I’m honest how does this stigma change people’s willingness to have me serve at church?  What are people really thinking?  These are just some of my fears. But that voice is a part of the lie and I cannot worry about what people think of me.

I know that God made me a truth teller, made me a writer, and made me the way I am for a reason though I cannot perceive it at this time. And I live every day believing, hoping and praying that I will one day be healthy – er.

But, my true admission is that if this never changes, if I struggle with this Achilles heel to my death, God loves me. This acceptance of myself is important and I’m longing to receive it fully.

Thanks for being a reader, for following this path with me if vicariously through the written word. And in my “real life”, those that have told me they read, I thank you for loving me, anyway.

Melody

I’ve written tons about this topic.  See the tab at the top of this page for more of my story.

Advertisements

8 Comments Add yours

  1. “What are people really thinking?” I can’t speak for everyone. But, I can speak for me. I think you are brave and real and true and honest and beautiful and loved. The darkness is (or has been) real for many of us and you are being real for all of us, thank you.

    Like

    1. thanks whitney. it is important to not feel alone.

      Like

  2. Ginni Freshour says:

    I have not (recently) experienced the never-ending darkness you seem to live, but I did experience a devastating job and job loss — devastating probably because I went off my meds which I had been taking since before my mother died 18 years ago. It’s easy to be tempted that you don’t need them anymore. I wanted not to need them. I wanted God to meet that need. I thought that was what my priest wanted But I crashed — came tumbling down. Two different meds and at least six months later I finally felt like myself again.

    My depression is as much anxiety as depression. And it has also been with me all my life. When I was young, no one was diagnosing these kinds of things in kids and there certainly were not the medications to alleviate the suffering.

    I so appreciate your openness and brutal honesty.

    By the way, the priest didn’t mean I should go off medication. It was a misunderstanding on my part.
    One of my friends really got on him because of what he said to me that made me think that. I think it taught us both — my near breakdown, for that is what it was.

    Like

    1. I so glad to hear of your healing Ginni. I’m sorry the road had been so painful.

      Like

  3. I don’t even know how to tell you what I’m thinking because I could have written that. I have felt those things. Thought those thoughts. Struggled with those issues, challenges, and temptations. Believed those lies. I feel weak and empty and poor and lonely and alone. Yet you say similar things but about you I think brave, accomplished, loved, strong, truthful, honest, knowing, amazing, and resilient. How can I think of myself one way and you another when the very things you write about in your struggles are the things sitting in my heart and my head? I know I am hardest on myself and less willing to offer grace to me when others have offered it so freely. You are in my thoughts.

    Like

    1. Amazing and true. I do the same for others. It’s a good reminder of how important it is to share our stories. Thanks for telling me.

      Like

  4. The imagery in the poetry is too real, too much like the experience… I don’t need to imagine. Peeling back the veneer on this struggle and the misconceptions is powerful for me. Thank you for speaking the truth about depression.

    Like

Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s