Thursday, June 23, 2016

Step into my mind...a few thoughts about my depression

What do you do when you wake up feeling your life has lost all meaning?

Some people may face this after losing a loved one, a job, a divorce, facing an illness. And we tell them it takes time. Time heals all wounds, right? 

What if it doesn’t? 

What if you didn’t lose a loved one, or a job, your spouse is your best friend, and medical tests show you’re healthy? What can time do then?

Nothing. In fact, if you’re trying to find the meaning in your life when you’ve seemingly got everything going for you, time is your greatest enemy. Let me clarify that a little further: If you decide to do nothing and hope that nagging feeling of hopelessness will just go away on its own, it won't. Each morning you’ll wake up feeling worse. And too soon, you’ll not only feel your life has no meaning, but that it’s not worth living anymore. 

This is one part of what depression is—one part of my depression.

Sometimes it’s situational, but sometimes it has nothing to do with your outside world and everything to do with what’s inside your mind. Feelings you face that make no sense. 

I have a wonderful, devoted, spoiling husband who I know loves me. He’s a hard-working, successful man, devoted to making me happy. I have five healthy children with a great spunk for life. They are talented, stubborn, messy, loving, and lovable. I have a beautiful home, people I consider friends, I come from a large, wonderful family who are always willing to pitch in and do whatever they can to be there for each other through good and bad. 

And yet I woke up this morning feeling as though my life has no meaning.

Why? Yes, I’ve shouted this question to the heavens. I’ve prayed, I’ve begged, I’ve even taken silly advice. I’ve tried medication, I’ve tried exercise, I’ve even tried pretending—the old “fake it ’til you make it” adage. They all worked for a time. Some longer than others. But none have lasted. None of them cured me. 

There are triggers I have to watch for. Some I can avoid: too much junk food, crowded places, forcing myself to do something I’m not ready for. And there are things I can’t control: getting sick, PMS, uncontrollable situations. Sometimes I'll be down for a few days and then come back up, other times I go so deep I think there's no way out. 

I hate that I get angry for no reason. I hate that my sense of humor gets lost for awhile. I hate that everything makes me cry. I hate that I can’t leave my comfort zone without panicking. I hate that I can’t be a good mother to my children, or wife to my husband.

I hate that I can’t just shake off this feeling and wake up. 

For whatever reason, this is my trial in this life. I’ve accepted it, but I’m not okay with it. I will never sit back and say, “this is the hand I’ve been dealt, so I’m just going to ride it out” because riding it out means doing nothing and hoping it will go away on it's own. It won't. There are days, even weeks, when I think I’ve had enough and I’m ready to be done once and for all. I hate those days, but they’ve given me perspective to understand and empathize with those who’ve acted on those feelings. I will not judge them. I will love them. 

God wants me to be happy. He wants me to keep fighting for those precious times when I wake up with the understanding of how beautiful my life is.

I will fight for me.

I will fight for what’s mine both in this life and in the life to come. 

I will fight for my husband and for my children.

I will fight.