Thursday, June 14, 2012

Here's the Other Thing About Depression

Three weeks ago, I wrote a very honest, revealing post about depression. I felt like it was important to continue in the honesty, as depression is very much part of my life these days.

A few important things to know:

1. Depression is not the same as suicidal. Just because you're depressed, it doesn't mean that you don't want to live anymore. Depression can sometimes be equated with hopelessness, which is this icky feeling that whatever is happening isn't going to get better. It can be circumstances, or can be brought on by a trigger. If you're asking what a "trigger" is, see #3.

2. Depression doesn't look the same for everyone. Depression in my life looks like a tape of thoughts running through my head. It's not as simple as people said mean things to me and now I'm sad. Maybe that's where it started, but that is certainly not the cause. So, if you're reading this and you were once mean to me, you're off the hook ;) It's more like, "This isn't going to get better." "You're always going to be _______." "You're never going to achieve _________." "You suck at adulthood." "You should have your crap together by now." Kinda like that. And then those thoughts take over and I don't want to do anything, or see anyone, because what's the point? For other people, it can look different.

2. Depression is not there all the time. As I said in #1, depression can be brought on by circumstances (death of a loved one, injury, loss of a job, moving, relationship conflict, divorce, etc) or a trigger. A trigger is something that can be big or small that kinda sneaks up on you and helps your brain think icky, unhelpful thoughts. An example of this is in the post I referred to in the beginning. I came home and my cat had knocked my curtain down, again. I knew that even if I secured it to the wall again, it was probable that he would knock it down again. And again.

Sharing those things is important information, because not everyone has dealt with long-term depression. So, if you read the other depression post, and had no idea what I was talking about and was thinking judgy thoughts like, "Gosh! Just go hang the curtain and clean the cat's litter box you lazy bum!", now you know. This is like a legit thing.

I may be a lot of things, including lazy sometimes, but I don't want to have a messy room, or laundry to not be done, or bed to never be made, or a yucky looking Jeep. It's just that there's this battle that goes on inside my head. And I'm just now figuring out that such a battle even takes place. I used to just think that I liked chaos and mess and I was "artistic." Now, I'm recognizing that I can keep up with certain things, but others seem hopeless and unmanageable.

So, what now? Have I just been in this depression-funk for weeks? Yeah, kinda. It's gotten kinda pretty really bad at times. But, I'm surviving. I shower and brush my teeth and laugh and tell jokes and still do my nannying-a-one-year-old thing. I do those things because I need to. If I don't shower and brush my teeth, people will probably start not inviting me places, and that will suck because on top of being depressed, then I will be lonely too. I go to work because I care about the little girl and her parents, and me not showing up affects more than just me. I laugh and tell jokes because.... well.... I can't not. I try. I'm 95% joke, so the crazy thing is that in the middle of my depression, I'm still telling jokes and trying to make people laugh. Being hilarious is a burden sometimes.

One thing I have been doing, other than crying and wiping my snotty nose a lot, is praying. Like, a lot. Like, as if my life depended on it. Because, sometimes, it does. And I hear God talking. He hears me. He really does. And, because of recent devastations, I know that in the middle of crappy things, God is still who He has always been: Good. Yes, I said it. I'm depressed and feel like nothing could ever get better, but in the middle of it, I can assuredly proclaim that God is just as good as He has always been.

How do I know this?

Psalm 25:8 "Good and upright is the Lord therefore he instructs sinners in his ways."

God is good. This verse doesn't say, "God is good and perfect when things are going well, but when the going get's tough it's all God's fault....and He never liked you anyways..."

God is good when your house burns down and you have another acne break-out and your car get's stolen and someone is murdered and you are raped. God is good through all that. He never changes, never fails. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God is God. He is the bees knees. He is everything. 

The honest truth is that life is sucky. Like sometimes makes you want to jump off a cliff or move across the world to escape your problems or punch someone in the throat for hurting you. But, God is still God. 

Read Job if you doubt me. God didn't do all that stuff to Job. Yeah, He allowed it, but He had purpose in it. I mean, look at the faith of Job! And how many people are encouraged by reading that story? If you finish it and don't stop when he loses everything... then, so many people are encouraged by it! 

What we go through sometimes has absolutely nothing to do with us. Sometimes it's about the person we can help later. We can hold their hand and tell them..."It feel like the worst thing ever... and it is... but you will get through this. Take my hand and let's walk through it."

God didn't give me depression. But, He allowed it. And I feel like in the middle of this crappiness, He's asking/telling/urging me to press into it. To navigate this sad, sorry sea of stuff with Him. To figure out how to do life anyways. Because, medicine may be able to help me perk up, but they're not going to make me stronger. They're not going to teach me how to help someone. They're not going to draw me closer to holiness.

If you're reading this and you're depressed, stop and ask Him what His purpose in it is. Because there is one. 

Depressed and Unmedicated... but doing it with Jesus

What is your experience with depression? Have you ever had it? Have you watched someone walk through it? What are some practical things people can do to push through it? 

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