Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Depths

It's back.

I freaking hate depression so much.

But there's no denying what's been going on. The unexplained sobbing at random times. The exhaustion even when I'm sleeping and the inability to sleep even when I'm tired. The lethargic "blah" feeling that's keeping me from doing some of the basic stuff that needs to be done around the house.

Have I mentioned that I HATE depression?

This bout is weird because there's not something that I can point to and say, "That's what's causing it." In the past there have been reasons. Pregnancy did a number on me and even though I loved being pregnant, every time I suffered some level of depression. My last go-round was related to an awful, heart-rending church situation. Jason's ridiculous work and school schedule is no doubt a contributing factor this time. We truly have almost no time together right now and that takes a toll on both of us. But really, otherwise things are pretty good around here. I'm feeling more connected at church. I've got some incredibly supportive friends (both on-line and "real"). Things with Under Shelter are going well. The kids are having a pretty good year in school. I'm even happy with my writing most days (MOST days).

And yet...

Last night I tweeted that depression was "clawing at my brain." That probably sounds a bit melodramatic, but honestly, that's about how it feels. Depression is a monster. For me, it sits around, not really doing much a lot of the time. It's quiet. And then something awakens it. And it starts grabbing hold of my brain. Unfortunately, a lot of the time I don't notice it right away. I'll start feeling bad and be a bit more emotionally unstable. But actually understanding that I'm depressed? That usually takes a while. And even when I see it, it can be very difficult to say, out loud, "I'm depressed. I need help."

But I'm telling you, faithful reader, I'm depressed.

And really, even just that admission makes the monster's claws slip a little.

If you've experienced depression before or are going through it now or know someone who is going through depression, one of the very best books I've read is Matt Rogers's book Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression. It is the most honest look at depression that I've ever seen and it can help navigate or understand it better than any book I've read. Also, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact someone who will listen to you. The USA National Suicide Hotline phone number is 1-800-273-8255. For a list of international phone numbers, check this link. And know that you are NOT ALONE.

Have you experienced depression? How would you describe it? How have you addressed it in your life or how have you helped a friend or family member address it?
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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