This post is about depression. If you find the topic bothersome or triggering, please close out of this article now.
I don’t talk of this often, and usually only when I see someone else in danger. Or when I’m trying to make sense of the whole thing because I hear of someone who was lost in that desert.
In fact, I believe there will be many family members who will find out about it through this post.
Thing. What a strange word for such a deep and confusing set of chains that envelopes and takes control of your world – and every part of your being.
Such a battle, and yet I referred to this raging, yet silent war… as a thing.
At this moment, my face has become flush and tears are fighting their way down my face. My chest is heavy, and it’s difficult to breathe.
My mind becomes a whirlwind of confusion, sadness – and fear when I broach the topic. Fear because I’m afraid of its return. Sadness for all I went through, what others are experiencing, and what my family may have endured. Confusion, because I’m not sure why I stand here today, but for the Grace of God and His rescuing of me in a new way.
My throat has swelled with a lump that is painful, and I’m hoping that my children aren’t seeing me trying to tap out these words. But I feel a pull to finally stand up, and reach out to others in this desert.
Truthfully, I feel that this is something I was supposed to be very open about years ago – but have run from it. I have no eloquent or beautiful words for this – because there’s simply nothing attractive in it. My words will be short, my sentences choppy.
Several months ago, I was told of a young wife and mother who, tragically, decided to enter Heaven’s gates. Slowly, I heard that she too had been in this desert.
Her desert was a little different than mine, as my entrance into the desert was due to pregnancy. But these dark places are no less similar based on how we arrived there.
In fact, she left this world in a way that I can’t deny had crossed my mind periodically in the darkest days of my depression. Perhaps that is why she is in my mind almost daily. Maybe I’m confused on why she made the final decision or I’m mourning all that she left behind.
Sometimes, I feel guilty that I can’t save those who have been in my desert. But that horrible thing about this desert, is that we can’t always see each other.
I’ve been where she was moments before she left. But I’m here today – having experiences I couldn’t have imagined. Enjoying the sunrise. Feeling the warmth of a summer day. Playing in the snow. Taking my kids hiking. Yet, all the time, worrying that the dark cloud is following closely behind me. Living in fear that it will, at any moment, overtake me.
It has altered my life forever. So much so, that there are certain melodies and songs that I can’t listen to. Something about their drawn out sound or mixed notes reminds me of the emptiness I felt in the desert. I most certainly can’t listen to most anything recorded by Karen Carpenter. How odd is that. Many times, I have to quickly change the song on the radio – or go to some other place in my mind as certain hymns are sung in church. Yes, even some hymns carry these melodies.
Life is different. But it is good. I don’t take for granted that I get to hear the sounds of my children enjoying themselves when I’ve taken them to an amusement park, or the taste of ice cream when we celebrate mailing in our home school packets for the quarter.
The vast emptiness and hopelessness that exists in depression is difficult to explain – and I find that it can’t even be understood unless you have been buried in it. Unless you’ve too been swallowed by this mighty force, you can’t fathom what it is.
All of the love that my husband, and family had for me – weren’t enough to chase away the new world that you live in when depression has become your every moment.
If you’ve stumbled across this post and are experiencing depression, or my specific area in this desert which is Postpartum Depression, please know that there is a light in the darkness. Please reach out to someone – many someones – until someone believes you. If those around you say and do things that make it worse, please know:
Depression is not a sin.
Depression is not sadness.
Depression has no reflection in your walk with God. In fact, we see depression in several people we read of in the Bible.
Depression is not the end.
Depression is a liar.
Depression is not a result of pride in your life.
How depression is thought of can really run the gamut. But until it is experienced, it can not be truly understood. Seek out those who can have compassion even if they don’t have understanding.
Though I have that ever-present thought that my desert is looming in the background, I am living a life that I love and I thank God that I am here. I am no longer so deep in the darkness that the only way out is to leave this world. I will never do that.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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