where ya at?

i haven't written about depression in a very long time.
there is just so much to write and express.
there are so many things that have happened since this past December,
~when in a crumpled mess i desperately hailed the white "i surrender" flag.
~when i admitted it to myself, and those closest to me, that i just couldn't "do it" anymore.
~when i let go of caring too much, and slept for about a month.
There have been so many highs and lows since that time.... I've pretty much avoided the subject all together. 

In brief, what have the past 10 months looked like?
I've been without work,
I've talked to a few professionals,
I've said "no" to many commitments.
We've moved.
and I've taken a nap (if not 2), pretty much every single day.

In brief, what have I to show for it?
Am I better now?
{That is one of the frustrations around a disease like depression, it is invisible....a brain or mental disease. There are no large tumors to take away (for which I am grateful), no x-rays to refer to...no concrete tests to show that my body is better or that things are improving. Instead they look for signs in my: level of fatigue, appetite, weepiness, thought patterns, motivation, and the all encompassing ability to handle "stress" ..... large crowds/ fighting children/ grocery shopping/ getting out of bed/ getting dressed/ having a shower/ using the phone/ leaving the house/ church/ school functions/ hosting company/ cleaning/ driving the car/ making appointments/ advocating for my children.....}
Yes, stress in depression is mainly formed through the basic day-to-day stuff that just isn't easy anymore.
And yes, I can honestly say that I AM feeling better.

I see that demonstrated in my ability be involved in SOME activities again without feeling overwhelmed. I am not as tired all the time...and my appetite is back. Hooray! (I guess I was never meant to keep off those 10 lbs).Ha!
Interestingly enough, the greatest observation I have made within the realm of depression, is how I am not alone. Not alone in the experience. In the on-going battle. Other people are out there that can relate.

Until I began sharing on the blog, I wasn't aware of all the people around me, who have or are currently coping with, this disease. It has both surprised and saddened me. I welcome every single window or glimpse into someones soul, into another's vulnerability. I not only welcome, but I cherish and feel honoured. Talking about depression is incredibly difficult, especially to someone who "doesn't understand". So to commune with someone who has "been there" is like a balm to a very fragile, painful wound. It is a blessing from the Lord. He gives us people to feel safe with. He gives us comfort through people who understand.

I am so very thankful for all the comfort, compassion and love I have received in these last 10 months. I don't feel the same shame that I used to around this topic, and I don't feel alone anymore. (Thank you to those who have had courage to share your vulnerabilities, and your struggles with me...God bless you. I hope we can continue to find safety in each other.)

Two quotes I've found incredibly inspiring from Brene Brown's book "The gifts of Imperfection: Let go of who you think you're supposed to be, and embrace who you are."

"Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others." p. 16
"Courage is telling our story, not being immune to criticism. Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection." p. 53.


Carolyn said...

thank you, again, Christine - for sharing. Your courage to face and share the hard facts of this disease is so reassuring for those of us who struggle with illness. You have gifted me with courage and compassion - thank you. It is so hard to "measure" healing and the wording of your progress was helpful for me. I feel like they're so many similarities!!
Isn't Brene Brown's stuff great?!

Joy said...

Christine, thanks for your authenticity and your vulnerability as you write here in your blog, sharing your heart - your feelings. I appreciate it and can relate in many many ways. Take care dear one!

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