I am not a doctor, or a psychologist, or a psychiatrist. I am not in any way qualified to diagnose depression or any other mental illness in anyone. I am just me. Just Beth. So what I write is about me and my life and my experience.
I fight depression every single day of my life. When life is particularly stressful-as it has been the last few years, I often end up on the losing end of my battle feeling hopeless and discouraged.
Medication helps some, exercise helps some, diet….nope….God gets me through every dark tunnel. Every single one.
Let me tell you a little bit about it.
Depression for me has a personality. It is a female and she is alternately horribly mean and oh so jealous and at other times comforting as a friend. She is madly jealous of hope and joy and happiness. Sometimes she speaks to me as if I am her poor pet with kindness in her voice, most times she is there to tell me that no matter what, no matter how hard I work, no matter what I do, it will never be good enough. From being a wife, to a mother, to a friend, sister, daughter, or just a human being, she is always there to tell me I fall short of every mark.
She is the voices in my head alternately screaming obscenities to me or whispering sweet nothings. She is a beast.
But, she is not who I am. I am not my depression and I refuse to own her as if she is a part of my dna. The real me is made in the image of Christ, not depression. I feel the real me bubble up and fight back. The real me takes joy in loving on my grandbabies, takes pride in seeing my children do well. The real me knows I am a faulty human being but SO WHAT. The real me finds happiness in small things, like listening to Van Morrison or making a card. The real me feels happiness when my kids call me just to chat. Depression cannot take any of that from me even though she tries pretty hard.
Depression is an illness and I can fight an illness. I fight it by loving my husband and my kids and my friends. I fight it by getting up and cleaning anyway, putting makeup on, getting dressed, serving others. Don’t get me wrong, many days those things are hard to do and with a fatigue issue, daily life is already an issue all it’s own.
The real me, the created being, the one created to be an image bearer of God knows …… She just knows and she won’t stop fighting. Even when the ugliness of depression threatens to overwhelm.
I’ve gone the nutrition route, the deliverance thing, the prayer thing, the bible study thing, the affirmation thing, the medication thing, the exercise thing, the grateful heart thing…..i’ve done it all and depression is still here and going strong.
I think it will be something I fight for the rest of my life. That may seem a little hopeless, but isn’t my hope supposed to be IN CHRIST and not in the cessation of a problem that plagues me?
If my hope is in Christ then whatever depression throws at me doesn’t matter because the end isn’t written here in the physical world anyway. Having done all, STAND. That is what the word tells me. I have done all now I just have to stand and wait and let God be God, pulling me through those dark, horrible places in my head.
I have thrown every appropriate scripture at my depression and she will not leave me…..but neither does Christ and He is bigger, stronger and burns brighter than she does.
Some days I live in the darkness and some days I don’t . Some days I lose a battle, but some days i give depression a good solid whack on the chin and knock her out for a few days. Those days are certainly worth the fight. Those days give me joy. Those days give me the strength to tell her to just SHUT THE FRICK UP when she starts running her mouth. Those days I win and I love it.
So yeah, depression really sucks and it is hard and it makes life feel so much harder. But it is not the only thing in my life and the battle is always to make the joyful things effect the depression more than the the depression effects the joy. Joy doesn’t always make the depression go away, but it makes it easier and lighter to bear.