My tears are welcome.
I see them splattered, dried on my glasses as I peer out the window into the wintry, cold, gray, foggy morning;
tiny specks on the panes of my eyeglasses.
I wipe hard at these dried salty witnesses.
They are a record of my sodden heart.
Ten thousand tears come raining down.
The soil of my soul is softened.
Broken apart by tears, which took forever to reappear. Though I fear
that I cannot stop them, deep down I know that they are what keeps my heart growing.
Soil ready for love, open
to the community of believers,
to healing, forgiveness and new life,
My tears, such an old and forgotten notion
When I was a child I pinched my eyes closed to reject my weakness, my torment as I was hollered at by a daddy that
I closed down my heart;
it hurt too much to feel bad all the time. So I told them, you aren’t welcome here.
And my heart and soul slowly turned
hard as stone.
Today my tears rain down though I fear them, they make no sense
their intensity, they make me vulnerable,
they make me feel weak, even when I know this
wrong thinking. But it is true now, I cannot protect my soft heart, sodden and murky, saturated
My tears, they are here to stay I hope, welcome.
I’ve lived with depression, at some points melancholy as a part of my “personality” for much of my life, but it only became clinical major depression about ten years ago. A variety of things came into play and I fell into a dark, frightening place. (I tell a little of my story in Not Alone. I tell parts and pieces here on the blog — under My Story.)
But I have worked hard to face my mistakes and demons,as I did I began to heal and then had the strength to do the personal care that one must do who lives with this sort of mental illness.
Though I am in a similar place today, depressed I know that I am a different person. I am different “Spiritual Soil.” I thank God for that picture that came recently from a friend’s teaching in Luke 8. I know God as I never knew God then. I sense the Holy Spirit’s whispered truth of healing and hope. I have enough hope to believe the truth that I will heal, I will heal again even as ten thousand tears rain down.
Much of my blog has been about my depression, beginning in 2001 which worsened through a series of personal and family adversities over the next several years (including the death of my father from brain cancer, during which time my sister and I cared for him in our homes). In 2005, when I became even more severely depressed, I was nearly non-functional, attempted suicide, and I was hospitalized for a while.
In later years, I became a quiet, desperate drunk attempting to self-medicate and forget.. My drinking addiction grew worse and worse over the period of my depression, becoming debilitating by 2006 or so. This was very difficult for my husband and the children at a quite impressionable age saw me frequently out of control. They are now to the age when these things do impact them, though I got sober in July, four and a half years ago.
These are not easy things to admit. They make me feel damaged, weak, and if ever there was a stigma related to being broken I feel it like never before. But it came to me recently, that I have to write my story. I have to tell it, and let it go. So that’s where I will go, to that place of heartache, depression, my experience with being a hard-core fallen down drunken mother and my cavernous personal grief about that, and interlaced in-between is Hope that I have found.
So as much as I fear my own tears, I fear more the depth of my sorrow and grief when it I shove it back inside. That’s what makes one depressed. That’s what made me drink.
I know this is the next step for me, to sort it out and live hard days, weeks and months of therapy, sleeplessness, and depression ahead.
I am thankful for the everyday, tangible and incredible voices of love and encouragement I find foremost from my husband, but also from friends and family.
Thanks for all those that read and live this story alongside. I know there are fellow sufferers. I know there are others who have family or friends who descend into this murky, sinkhole of a hell and you cannot imagine how to help. I hope that whatever I find in my story that’s redemptive will one day help others understand, find help, and live through it as you walk beside a fellow sufferer.
This isn’t over for me, my story isn’t written.
Grace & Peace,
Melody Harrison Hanson
January 29, 2013