Sunday, February 9, 2014

Still talking about depression...

It seems this winter will never end.


The birds fight for seed outside my window, and I like watching them.  I point out the “daddy cardinal” and the chickadee to my son, like my parents once did for me.  

The birds have conflicts: we laugh. They do not make me solve their spats. I’m not responsible for enforcing fairness and teaching kindness in the bird world.  Birds are so light.


Children are.. heavy.

And the snow lays heavy, and cold.

And I haven’t written much about depression lately, because I feel like I will merely repeat the same things. And yet, that mom inspired me to write this post. Because even when there’s nothing new to say, I ought not be silent. Because we need each other to keep talking.

My friends who understand ask, “How are you feeling?” and I tell them “meh,” and they understand.  Some days are light, some are oppressive, unbearably heavy.

I spoke to a local mom’s group on the “Five Love Languages” recently, and I couldn’t give a talk like that without a special word on depression. Because I know what wonderful parenting advice sounds like to depressed ears.  And I could imagine a mom listening feeling like I have felt-- someone who loves her children, truly, but whose body or mind refuses to act out, or even feel that love.

It might look like this: You know your child needs a little quality time, so you gather the supplies and (you hope) the patience to do a craft.  By the time the craft is finished, you are near tears.

And you think your child can only conclude this: Mommy hates crafts, and probably me, too.

Depression can twist those good intentions and make them angry, sad, ugly.  And parenting advice just sounds like more evidence of failure, more things to add to the list of “Hard Facts that Prove I am a Terrible Human Being.”

So I spoke to that mom, and I said what others have said to me:

Depression is awful.
I understand.
Say it out loud.
Lean on others.
See your doctor.
God is stable even when we are not.

It is good to remind myself and others of these simple things.  Yes, I am still struggling, some days more than others. I wish I was writing a victory post, one that contained the secret I finally discovered for ending this struggle.  But instead, I am what I am. Still weak, still loved.

It feels like this winter will never end.
But I see no reason to trust those feelings, not when there is so much evidence to the contrary.  

Spring will come, and Christ is Risen.  

Lord, help us to remember that this life is not about being perfectly happy, nor it is about being well.  It is about waiting in hope for You to fulfill all things.

It may be very cold here, while we wait.  It may be too dark to get much done, at least, for a season.  It may be time to curl up in a nest of blankets, drink tea, and simply... wait.

Wait for the warmth of spring to dawn.
While you wait, make your nest in His strong promises.

I’ve been curling up in the book of Peter again lately.  

Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Did you cause your birth? Or Jesus’ resurrection? Or your rebirth? No. These are not flimsy human works, but works of God Himself, and THIS is our hope.

to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Read that part again, and notice all the firm words, the strong, unshakable words. These things are solid and stable, by the grace of God, even when you are not.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now, for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials…
(1 Peter 1:3-6)

In this we rejoice, even when joy seems impossible. 


We rejoice in the hope, the certain hope, of spring, of the lifting of our burdens, of freedom from depression and sin and grief everything that weighs us down.

Until then, we wait.

I am waiting with you, friend.
This winter will not last forever.

----------------------------------------

For more: 

Nest comic
Everyone should see this- especially those of you who love someone who wrestles with depression. 

*that* mom
A kindred spirit on depression

Depression (more of my posts)
click here for the archive

If you are struggling and have never said it out loud, please say it to someone today.

And if you are somebody's someone, remember that there is great comfort in your loving presence, and soft blankets.

3 comments:

  1. Oh, bless you, sister. Hang in there. I *kind of* know how you feel...I had postnatal-anxiety which had me in some deep holes of horrible, horrible worry and fear...I look now at women who are wives and mothers and who battle depression and I know how courageous you are. I could totally relate to the woman who might be listening to parenting advice and who, though totally loves their child, cannot even find that feeling of love. I felt that way when my son was born and it frightened me so much. Of course, I loved him the moment he was born...but that anxiety got in the way and because I wasn't feeling joyous and I was struggling with the enormity of becoming a mother...those lack of love feelings just added to my spiral of going down. And it made me feel terrible that none of my mum-peers struggled with it - they're all pretty together with it. Sigh. You are doing so well. Praying...

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  2. It must be the long winter because posts and discussions about depression are coming out of the woodwork. And all I can say is thanks be to God. We are more than our depression makes us out to be. I like to think that the Lord has brought us together to find truly empathetic souls, and to reach out to those who think they suffer alone. Prayers for you, my friend.

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  3. Ugh- I hear you! The snow and cold weather keep coming. As you said, I know spring will come eventually and I should be grateful for each new day, but ugh, wouldn't it be nice to get up and see the sun and then still see the sun at dinner time?!

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