It’s real…I get it.
We all experience changes in our moods. We can feel depressed, mostly in response to things that happen in our lives. Depression, that is ongoing, can also interfere with everyday life. Depression can be an “invisible” illness, and most people fail to understand the effect in can have on a person.
For years, I walked beside Chris as he suffered from depression. We were always on the hunt for the cause. Did his physical suffering cause the depression or the other way around? Years of going to doctors and trying to treat one or the other was frustrating at best.
Most people don’t share openly about depression because of the stigma that comes with it. It’s dubbed as a spiritual problem, personality weakness. Having depression makes you feel like you are hiding a terrible secret. You feel ashamed for “getting” depression, like somehow you failed. That’s what depression does…it makes you feel like a failure. Autopilot becomes the norm.
Why am I sharing this in a blog? well, for one, I’m 100 percent positive I’m not the only one who suffers from depression and the other is that this is part of my journey as a widow, and I’m hopeful someday I can look back and see that I’m not in this place anymore.
Other bouts of depression, since Chris died, have come and gone…in a reasonably short amount of time. This last bout, of a couple of months, has crept up on me. Symptoms of sleeplessness, serious lack of motivation, extreme tiredness and wanting to just quit life, have come on slowly.
What I wish? I wish I had been 1000 times more sympathetic to Chris. I wish I would have been more understanding and ditched the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. I wish I would have been more understanding and less judgmental. It doesn’t feel like it right now but I believe depression gives you an insight into suffering that can only help you become a kinder and more compassionate person. How do I know this? Because the few people I’ve shared this with, in my life, have been just that. Because they have been there.
What I’ve realized? I’ve realized that depression is real. I think I finally get it. It’s not a mind over matter thing. It’s not about choosing optimism. It’s more of a ride. When you are depressed the feeling of ‘why bother, what’s the point?’ is ever present. In a way, these feelings demand that you live by faith, not by sight. When a depressed person lives by sight, everything is dark.
I’m not looking for sympathy. Just acknowledging this part of the journey. Not sure I’m to the “thankful for this part of the journey” yet…but maybe someday soon 🙂
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see…..
These were all commended for their faith,
yet none of them received what had been promised,
since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
Hebrews 11:1, 39,40
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