I had been depressed for…months I think. This was not like me. I kept thinking I’d snap out of it, but I never did. Day in and day out I felt depressed. My husband one day asked me what my goals are. I have always been a goal oriented person with all kinds of goals that I’m working toward so it caught him by surprise when I said, “Just getting through the day, everyday.” He was shocked. “Hey, I’m just being completely honest. That’s where I am. Every night I’m just glad I got through the day.” How horrible is that! Life feels so tedious right now with homeschooling the kids and just getting through the basics of keeping up a home. I’ve been drowning in it.
I have been what I would consider clinically depressed twice in my life. Incidentally, both of those times I can say I was closer to the Lord than I ever have been in my entire life. I knew where my help comes from, and I ran to Him. The first time was through a trauma in my life, and the second time I wrote about in The Hardest Year of My Life post.
Besides those two times I have been depressed in pregnancy and postpartum at times, but nothing like the above two times, and I knew that what I was going through was physical. For me just knowing that really helps. I knew it would get better when my body went back to normal.
I would not characterize myself as someone who is easily depressed. I am too much of a “look on the bright side” kind of person to usually let myself dwell there. There are those hormonal times that come around that do lend themselves to feelings of depression, but I can usually realize that’s what’s going on and just knowing that I will feel better in a couple of days I can logically get through those times (usually) without much trouble.
So it was really quite a shock for me to realize that I had been depressed for so long without “getting over it.” To define what I mean by depressed here. I felt down, a lot. I cried easily–not usual for me. I didn’t want to go anywhere or see anyone though when I pushed myself to do so I would have a good time. I felt stuck in life and without hope of anything changing. But I was still functioning unlike the two times I mentioned at the beginning when functioning normally was impossible.
I actually stopped short one day and just began analyzing. “So what is wrong with me?” I asked myself. I like to counsel myself. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my Biblical Counseling degree even if it’s just on me–ha! I ran through a mental list. I haven’t been through any trauma. I am not pregnant. I am not postpartum. I’m not hormonal. Yes, there has been a lot hard things going on. In a recent post I shared a little about what has been going on with my family. There have been real struggles in my marriage. And there have been struggles in parenting. As I thought through these things, yes they were on my mind and heart, but I knew I wasn’t wallowing in them. I wasn’t sitting around having pity parties. Wallowing in our struggles can easily lend itself to depression, but I could honestly say I wasn’t wallowing. What then?
And then it was as if God opened my eyes. This has happened to me a few times in my life. It was like I mentally saw a scroll roll out in my mind of my problem. I may not have been doing anything “wrong.” But I wasn’t doing what I knew to be right either. I wasn’t running to the Lord and putting Him first. It’s not that I haven’t read my Bible or prayed, but studying and growing haven’t been a priority in my life lately like I know they should be. Instead, I have been living as if life was just hopelessly up to me. “Christian, what is wrong with you?” I actually said out loud as I pondered my life. “God is not dead!” I know most will think of the recent movie with that title, and I did like the movie. But what I think about is the story of Martin Luther’s wife dressing in black to demonstrate to her husband that he was living as if God was dead. Going through the motions to make it through each day is NOT how He wants me to live.
I am making a plan of action that includes Bible reading as well as good books that encourage and grow my walk with the Lord. I am excited to see how God will use this in my life.
Sharing this with you has been on my heart for a while now. There are different types of depression, but maybe you have found yourself like I did, just going through the motions feeling crushed under the weight of life. Join me in giving that burden to God and let’s live joyfully for Him!