Oh hey. What's that? Sunshine? Thank God.
So jeez. It's May. In with a few snowstorms, out with 90 degree weather, that's what I always say.
Oh man, I need a vacation.
Life. It's happening.
I have all these things I have wanted to blog about, but haven't. Why not? Exhibit A: my ridiculous schedule. (I keep thinking I can do everything. And I. Just. Can't.) Exhibit B: this. (Read it).
Depression is a sneaky little devil. I found myself blindsided with hopelessness this spring. Genuinely doubting that God was/is good. Truly believing that life was/is nothing but a struggle. Fearing God. And then slipping into a weird zone of self-preservation that hurt me more in the end. Like the aforementioned blog post says:
At first, though, the invulnerability that accompanied the detachment was exhilarating. At least as exhilarating as something can be without involving real emotions.
The beginning of my depression had been nothing but feelings, so the emotional deadening that followed was a welcome relief. I had always wanted to not give a f*ck about anything. I viewed feelings as a weakness — annoying obstacles on my quest for total power over myself. And I finally didn't have to feel them anymore.
But my experiences slowly flattened and blended together until it became obvious that there's a huge difference between not giving a f*ck and not being able to give a f*ck. Cognitively, you might know that different things are happening to you, but they don't feel very different.
Well, yes. I couldn't have said it better myself. So I found myself trying to climb out of this deep dark hole, and I couldn't. I just simply couldn't. I couldn't muster up the desire, the willpower, the energy, the optimism... nada. I'm slowly starting to see daylight, but I've needed an emergency airlift to get there.
See, while I think this author has eloquently yet humorously described depression to a t, I do respectfully disagree with her on one major point. She says, "And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope." I would beg to differ. Indeed, hope is the only thing that can combat depression.
I mean yes, by all means, eat more vegetables. Start exercising: endorphins really do make you happier. Rekindle a beloved hobby or creative outlet. Yet one day, in the throes of it all, you may realize not even those things help. And in that terrible moment of realization, you also realize it doesn't hurt anymore. Nothing makes you happy, but nothing makes you want to cry your eyes out anymore, either. You're apathetic. Detached. Distancing yourself and putting up walls has removed you so far from the pain that you feel nothing. It's safer that way. Also, even more depressing.
If you get to that point, see a doctor who can evaluate your need for medication. But even then, medications can be a big band-aid if you don't address the root of the problem. (Please know I'm not bashing antidepressants. Been on them. Loved them. Currently loving life without them.)
Ummm my point is... hope. Hope placed in Jesus never disappoints. (I know, I know, you saw that coming. But hear me out.) Everything else will fail you. Has failed me. Everything else disappoints. Jesus it the only one who can keep every promise. The only one who can dry every tear from every eye. The only one who can give us the grace in which we stand and remind us of the hope of the glory of God.
Since Jesus suffered separation from God-- a true agony I never have to know since he bore it for me-- he can rightly encourage us to glory in our sufferings, because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame. (Romans 5:5). I don't have to hate or fear God every time I suffer, because God is actually good.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
I'm not sure how to say that without sounding like a naive goody-two shoes. I just know in my heart of hearts that it's true. And if you've ever been paralyzed at the bottom looking up, maybe you feel it too. You need something bigger than yourself.
I don't have much to say besides that.
Hope does not disappoint.
I'm re-learning who God is the good old fashioned-way: by reading my Bible.
And, you know, I guess I'm back to over-sharing on the world wide web :o)