I have to laugh as I sit here right now... I have been meaning to sit down and write a bit about having patience in the midst of trials, and as I thought about a title for the post, I thought "Give It Time." Then, I went and looked at the comment on my last post, and what do I see? Give it time...
Clearly, I am on the right path!
I have never been one for waiting. I am quick to point out that patience is not my strong suit. I like to dive in to things head first, and when it comes to the endurance portion of any project I often lose interest. So, it shouldn't be any surprise that when it comes to finding my way out of hard times I want immediate results.
The pat six months have felt like both an eternity and the blink of an eye. There were times when I thought I wouldn't make it through another day, but I also look back now and am shocked that a whole half a year has passed. I feel like there should be some tragedy or significant event that I can point to as the cause of this long, long struggle. But there isn't. It seems as if I can't possibly have let things drag on for so long without "fixing" them. And yet, here I am. Here I sit, staring at a blinking cursor and wondering how I can possibly work through this mess in my head.
I want to be able to wrap things up neatly and move on. I feel the fog lifting, but it drives me crazy that I can't just sit down and explain things, or even understand them myself. I want it to be like the flip of a switch where I can proclaim that I am once again "good" and then charge forward from there. Part of the reason I have this inner conflict is that I can sense that something has indeed clicked inside, but I can't explain it and it is only a feeling. I know that right now I am in a place where I will continue to emerge from this... well, this depression. I don't like saying that. It is easier to call it other things. Less threatening to call it a "funk" or something. That isn't accurate, though.
I guess it is the realization that I can't make light of things that is giving me pause. I have had periods of depression before. After Aiden was born, the postpartum depression was intense. I guess part of me felt like once those days were behind me the depression would never return. How naive. Or rather, what a lie I told myself. There are so many lies surrounding mental illness... and so little truth. I am feeling challenged to stop feeding the lies. I have this sense that I need to stop hiding and share truth that others may need to hear. Truth like...
- Just because I struggle with depression, that doesn't mean I don't trust God.
- Being a mother who battles depression doesn't mean my child is neglected or burdened.
- Taking medication for depression is not something to be ashamed of. We live in a broken world, and our bodies are not perfect.
- Depression isn't just being sad. It isn't something you can shake off. It doesn't always make sense or have a super obvious trigger. It isn't something that is easy to understand.
- Depression won't just "go away" and it will take effort to fight it. While I believe God can do all things, I don't expect miraculous healing. I may often cry out for God to take this burden from me, and He hears me when I do. However, when His answer isn't immediately what I want it doesn't mean He doesn't care. God provides direction, and strength to walk the hard road where it leads... but I have to take the steps or nothing will change.
These are all scary things to type. Uncomfortable things to admit. I know I blogged a lot about depression in the postpartum days, but in the time between these periods of depression I think I found a false pride that now keeps me from sharing as easily. I want to have it all together. I want to share about "happy" things. That is so much easier. And yet, there is such a sense of deep joy in knowing that my Heavenly Father has walked with me through a dark and stormy season. There is a peace in knowing that I am once again learning and growing after some serious time in the refining fire. I don't know... in some ways I am thankful for the battles I have faced in my life. Not that I want to repeat them. Seriously... no thank you! I can, however, appreciate the opportunities for growth that have come from being someone who battles depression.
So, today I continue to move forward through a time of recovery. There are things that I know from experience that I need during times like this. One is a solid routine, which explains in part my decision to start homeschool now instead of waiting until Fall. Another is physical activity... hello, FitBit! 19,000 steps this weekend was a great start! And, of course, the most powerful tool I have at my disposal is the Word of God. How often to we say that, but fail to really embrace it? I know my time with God has suffered during the last few months, although I feel like He has taught me a lot about prayer in that time as well. Any serious battle requires discipline, and (like patience) that has never been my thing. I am learning, though. So, for now I will continue to give it time. It isn't easy for me, but it is what I am being asked to do.