One of my best friends just posted this morning about creating a list of topics that scare her to even consider writing about (www.shelimassie.blogspot.com/). That thought took my breath away and seeing as she and I are humbly part of a group that believes in “fearlessly expanding the feminine voice”, I took up the challenge and wrote my own list.
At the top: my undiagnosed, low-grade depression. I thought it fitting to write about it on a day when I’m feeling its effects. Though the colors on the trees across my pond are bursting, it is a gloomy day, inside and out for me. I took a nap, longer than I had planned. I want to take another one, truth be told. I feel as if I’ve gotten next to nothing done of any value today. I have so far skipped my time with Jesus, and my smoothie (that combo almost never happens). My daughter will be home in an hour. I have no idea what we’re doing for dinner tonight, and I don’t really care. I’m still in my pajamas and I’m trying to come up with an excuse not to go to my DivorceCare meeting tonight just because I don’t want to leave the house.
Not all of my days are like this, by any means. But some of them, more than I want to tell you, are. I hover between beating myself up that I’m wasting my life, this good life that I’ve been given, and trying to gently remind myself, as I would a dear friend, that sadness comes with my territory these days.
The reason this is on my list of things I am scared to write about is I still care too, too much what people think about me. I used to be very busy. I worked part-time at my church and carried a fairly full speaking schedule all while trying to be a good wife, mom, friend and homemaker. And that busyness validated my existence and value, especially with people who don’t hold my worldview (that my times are in my Father’s hands and our busyness means little to him compared to the state of our heart).
So, now I’m not only not busy, but I’m sad and frumpy part of the time.
However, I continue to forget that not only does everyone else have a thing that they’re carrying and possibly ashamed of, but for the most part, everyone else is so self-focused that they don’t really think about me as much as I think they do.
So, today, on this wet fall day, with almost nothing crossed off my day’s to-do list, I say to you with trepidation, “I’m Beth and I’m ever-so-slightly depressed…and I might be like this for a while. And it’s okay.”
You don’t have to try to cheer me up. Not only is it not your job, it’s not even mine. Jesus is the keeper of my soul and holds the tenor of my emotions. There is a purpose to this slowness and melancholia. I don’t see it yet, but I don’t feel as if I need to.
If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.
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Waiting with you. Praying for you.
I think you are being very brave to write about it. Mental health struggles can be a hard topic to talk about. Many times I have avoided talking about such things, to my own detriment.
I pray that God would comfort and help you through these challenges.
I agree with people who say that Mental health struggles is something that we have to take into account, because I have a son who has mental issues and I consider it’s not funny.