Thursday, December 23, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel...

Writing is therapeutic for me.  As in... I can write down a problem or issue I'm having, then walk away and forget about it.  Two years later, when I see the blog/journal entry, I think "oh yeah, I'd forgot about that." 

For a few days now I've been thinking of writing about a recent battle I've been through... mostly because I want to move on and get on with my life.  At the same time, opening up about it makes me feel weak and vulnerable.

About the same time I made my last blog entry, I began a battle with depression. Looking back, I can't believe it was back in September that this started happening!  Had I really been dealing with it this long?  When it first started, I thought I was PMS-ing and didn't give it a thought.  Who knows?  Maybe it started with PMS-ing?  One day I woke up and realized I'd been PMS-ing for three weeks.  Not normal.

I've heard of others fighting depression and although I didn't judge or criticize them, I always wondered "how can you stay depressed? Don't you know tomorrow is a new day?  Can't you just get up and move on?"  Now I know the answers to all those questions.  Experience is the best teacher.  Sure, I've had small battles with depression, but nothing of this magnitude.  And I know, there are others who've suffered much longer and much worse than I have.

I had been taking a prescription that lists depression as a side effect.  I quit taking the meds and within days started feeling much better. But I know, God is my healer.  I cried out to Him when I could barely put one foot in front of the other.  Each day was survival mode: just get through the day one minute at a time.

My work suffered.  My family suffered.  Perhaps not physically, but I know they suffered because I can see the difference in my relationships with them now.  Depression is a thief.  It steals your joy, your peace, your happiness, and days that could have been precious memories are now gone.  There's no way to get those days/weeks/months back.  Sure, I had good days.  I had days when I could get up, get out of the house, have a good day... maybe even have two good days in a row.  But somehow the darkness would always come back.

The only way I know how to describe what I was feeling is this: my heart - you know, right there in the upper left hand corner of your chest?  Right there, I had this pull.  A feeling that something had a grip on the bottom of my heart and was pulling as hard as it could.  It literally felt like I could be pulled into a dark abyss.  If I didn't fight, I would be sucked in and suddenly be falling into a bottomless pit.  Falling, falling, falling... Not a pleasant feeling in the least.  In the meantime, I was not a nice person.  I had two or three situations where I completely withdrew my emotions.  At one time I told my DH that I'd become what some people would call a female dog.  I felt I deserved to be called that.  I knew my actions were inexcusable but I didn't know how to change.  Oh, I wanted to change, but didn't have a clue how.  How can you show compassion when you have no emotions left?  How can you give forgiveness when there is none in your heart? 

But here's the deal... between my Maker and the lack of meds, I am feeling so much better.  Sometimes I can't believe the difference in myself.  Then, when I look back and see where I was, I realize how healed I am.  To my knowledge, there are only 3-4 people on the face of this earth that have a clue as to how badly I was suffering.  Until now.

If you're suffering from depression, please know there is hope.  Maybe yours isn't as simple as changing a medication.  But that doesn't matter.  Your Maker knows you.  He knows your heart.  He knows exactly what you're going through and how to help you climb out of that bottomless pit.  Don't give up hope.  You're not alone.

Here is song that spoke to me and encouraged my heart greatly during this time.  It gave me hope that He does know me.  He does care.  And I'm not alone because He is there with me at all times.  Holding my heart.
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