As long as I can remember, I've struggled with depression. I knew I was depressed, but I was in denial about the severity of it until a few years ago. I don't like taking medicine. For any reason. So, when a doctor asked if I wanted to go on anti-depressants to help, I told him, "Absolutely not." I wanted to try counseling at the church to see if maybe the depression was spiritual.
After two years of meeting with someone at the church, depression is still something that I struggle with. I think part of me was hoping that being free from some of the strongholds in my life would cure it. But, it didn't. It's still there. Sigh.
Some people may be reading this and thinking, "Everyone gets depressed sometimes. Just push through it." You are right. Part of surviving depression is learning how to do life anyways. Going to work when you don't feel like getting out of bed. Showering when your thoughts are telling you that there is no point. Feeding your cat even though that small and simple task seems to take a toll on you.
See? It's not just "the blues." Who gets more depressed from having the task of feeding a cat? When that does affect me, it only makes me more depressed. I can chuckle about it now, since that's not how I'm feeling it, but in the middle of it, it feels like my world is imploding. Literally. Like a whirlpool that I can't get out of.
So, what do I do? Well, I don't have it all figured out. So, instead of giving you a "Ten Things to Do to Overcome Depression" list, I will just tell you about my recent encounter with it.
It started when I was in Ohio for my dear friends' wedding a few weeks ago. I was spending time with my friends and family and trying to enjoy it, but part of me knew that I was just going to leave in a few days. That made me a little sad.
Then, there was the wedding. I used to hate weddings. I felt awkward and very, very single.
Now, I love weddings. I love the idea the two people found each other and have decided to commit their lives to one another, living as one unit, and some day possibly having tiny little children. I love it.
Sometimes, though, the thought of, "How are you 30 and still single? How are all your friends finding someone and getting married? You are not a grown up. Grown ups settle down. You're still a single hippy!"
These thoughts don't happen every time. They just happened to be there on my way back to Virginia this time.
That's not what caused the depression, though. It just laid a foundation for it.
What set the depression off will probably seem stupid to many people. But, it's not about the thing. It's about where my mind went because of it.
I got home about 1 am and found that my carefully matched, accessorized and hung curtain had been ripped off the wall. More than likely from my cat, since he likes to mess with it. Usually, someone would just hang the curtain back up. Instead, it sat there for a a day. Two days. Three days. A week. Every time I saw it, it just made me feel like even if I hung the stupid curtain up, my cat would just try to knock it down again. And that made me feel hopeless about the curtain.
And then it bled into other areas of my life.
I didn't want to run anymore. I didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to unpack from the trip or do laundry or clean my cat's litter box (well, if I'm honest, I never want to do that). The list goes on and on. And it started with the curtain.
But, like I said, it was never about the curtain. It was the thoughts that came after. The ones that said, "Wow, you're not a real grown up. Your curtain won't even stay on the wall!" It seems silly now, and I'm even laughing at myself a little bit. But, then.... gosh... it hurt. I was being my own bully.
I thought maybe I was just being lazy and needed to press in to be more disciplined. But, the more I was praying, the more God was showing me what was really going on and the lies that I was believing.
Over the years, for various reasons, my self image has gotten a little beat up. I have healed from a lot, and am continually healing. but, there are still some sensitive areas. One of them is that, "I don't deserve to be treated with respect."
God began showing me this past week that this lie that I don't deserve to be respected bleeds over into the things that I own. It looks like this: "Your clothes don't deserve to be treated nicely. You don't deserve to have nice things. You don't deserve to have a neat and tidy room."
I may sound crazy, and I'm okay with that, because everyone has a little crazy in them. But, that's what my crazy looks like. It looks like a messy room with dirty clothes and a curtain that is ripped off the wall and laying on the floor.
So, what do I do in the middle of that? Gosh. I have no idea.
But, this time around, I prayed through it. I pressed in. I talked about it and was honest with some friends.
And I hung that friggin' curtain up. And secured it tighter to the wall. And I did laundry. And then put it away.
It took a week and a half, but I did it.
Cause I'm a survivor.
And depression can kiss my booty.