Yesterday, I thought depression was my friend. I thought that it was the easiest way to live through a moment where I was struggling mentally, physically, and emotionally. The more that I gave into the feeling, the more it felt normal and necessary. It had gotten to the place where I felt like not being alive was easier and better than trying; and that is a scary place to be. I sat in my bathtub and let the water beat down on my skin. I slumped down into a ball and felt myself nodding away. Within minutes, I heard my husbands voice asking me what I was doing before gently lifting me up. He said, “no, you can’t stay here. You have to get up.” Slowly, I got ready for the day and put on clothes that would disguise how I felt. I even took a picture of my new hair with a slight smile on my face. It was the best that I could do in that moment. In the middle of the day, I was able to have an impromptu conversation with my Pastor (after being provoked by my husband). I did the best that I could to describe how I felt and to my surprise, our conversation uplifted me. His words began to restore my hope. He related to me. He was transparent. He was encouraging and I began to feel better. After our conversation, I realized that my physical state was hindering my ability to be productive at work. My assistant, Cassandra, encouraged me to go home and rest and ensured me that she would finish the day for me.
After a little rest and medication, I felt better. I felt like my sanity was returning to me as I realized that depression is deceitful. There is nothing necessary or friendly about depression. We should never get to a place where dying seems easier than being who we were created to be. Depression is never anything to confide in yet i clung to it as if it was my life source. God used those three people [My husband, my pastor and my assistant] to restore me yesterday. They were my community in a moment when I felt alone.
During my conversation with my pastor, he was trying to explain that he felt as if I was one moment away from exactly where I wanted to be. Almost like Thomas Edison on his final try with the light bulb or like Einstein when he finally got that final equation right. I am that one epiphanic moment away from being exactly where I want to be. But depression will set me back each time I choose to put my energy into it as opposed to finding that moment. If I could be honest with myself, often times I’m feeling low because I want attention and because pity is a form of attention, it’s easier to give in to depression than it is to strive for a victory. Of course, admiration and encouragement are better than pity but pity has been my backup plan in the moments when admiration seems untouchable. [ugh. so hard to admit that].
Now, 24 hours later, I keep telling myself that I am strong even in the moments when I feel myself begin to slip back into a depressive state. I keep telling myself that I am able and I am worthy. There is a future for me. It’s not as hard as it seems. It will happen. I am loved. I am successful. I can do it. I have to continuously think about the times where I’ve conquered while leaning on the people in my life that are strategically placed and able to help me. I’m not 100% today, but I am hopeful. I am fighting myself further and further away from depression. The closer I am to depression, the easier I am deceived that is is my friend.
I know, my life seems perfect right? Great husband…great friends…car, home, church, love…blah blah blah. Well, I’ve already addressed that in My Grass is Purple. Truth is, my thoughts can lead me down a very dangerous path when I am not careful, praying or alert. I can admit that I’m not always as encouraging to myself as I am to others; but I’m grateful for the community that lifts me up when I’m too down to get off the bathroom floor. During our conversation, Pastor Kennedy didn’t just encourage me, he helped me face my fear and issues head one while suggesting some action steps that will move me forward. Instead of being weighed down by my life, i’m learning to take it a step at a time. Making a to-do list and following through with it will help me get to a place where depression is the last thing on my mind. I don’t want to fight my way through forever, I want to be living a life so abundant that I’m swimming in joy; not drowning in fear.
If ever you feel yourself leaning on depression for comfort, remember that it is deceitful and will only drown you. Run to your community, your strength and your God that will carry you to victory and push you far, far away from depression’s deceit. Take the steps necessary to living a full and joyful life; if it’s possible for me, it’s definitely possible for you!