Well here it is, here I am. I have been struggling with a dark cloud. A very deep, very dark depression – not to the point of suicidal thoughts (well nothing I felt I was going to act on). I’ve been mostly honest with people close to me about where I am and how I’m feeling. But I know myself enough to know that I haven’t been completely honest. So here it is I’m laying it out for you, and I’m going to do this because it’s good for me and hopefully it’ll be good for you too.
This new job that I have is great. I’ve been getting promotions, I get the accolades, I am appreciated. Yet it is difficult, it’s draining, it’s exhausting and it’s disheartening. My schedule is also completely switched around; I work nights now and I sometimes don’t have an exact time that I’m going to get off. For example tonight I’m getting off at 3 o’clock in the morning when I was supposed to get off at 1:30. It’s chaos sometimes. But it can also be very rewarding.
I just got a new apartment, I got a raise, I have a new kitten – life is great and yet I’m sleeping all day, and I have this cloud, this heaviness and darkness coming with me. I’ve been praying, I’m working my steps again, I’m doing these things that are supposed to help me, I’ve even been prescribed medication for depression, and yet it is still here and I don’t know what to do.
It’s been three weeks since I went to the gym. And that has brought up the feelings of the eating disorder where I didn’t want to eat or I would binge and eat a bunch of really bad stuff and then not want to eat for days on end. That’s not healthy either and it doesn’t help the depression, I know that. Yet here I am binging and then not eating, angry at myself, feeling fat, useless, less than, why? I know who I am and more importantly who I belong to. I know I am made in His image and yet those feelings of self-hatred creep back in. How? I’ve worked so hard on myself for so long now to get where I am, or where I was. I’m still there, I know. But I don’t like these dark feelings. What do I do?
Then I realized I can’t wait to ‘feel’ like doing something. So I’ve switched my schedule around, it’s helped a bit, instead of trying to get up earlier because that seems to be a battle I can’t win right now, I’ll stay up later, I’ve been to the gym twice this week now. Once at 2 AM and then today at 3 AM and I feel much better afterwards I noticed a lift in my mood. It’s not ideal however as mom says I need to give myself grace. No one is perfect. It’s progress not perfection. This is what’s working for me right now, and that’s okay. I’m going through a lot of changes, it feels like everything is different. They are all great changes and definitely blessings but some of it is also still really scary, different and new. For a melancholy like me (Check out Personality Plus by Florence Littauer)- that can be difficult, so I have to meet myself where I am at.
I’m going through all of this, driving home and God put a YouTube video on my feed, I love it when he speaks to me through TED talks. The lady was talking about exercise and how it helps depression, and it made me giggle because it made me wonder what came first the chicken or the egg? If I stopped going to the gym, exercising and taking care of myself and then the depression hit or vice versa? Who knows? I’ve battled with depression for a long time now, sometimes it’s better sometimes it’s worse.
The biggest things I have learned on this journey are:
⁃ Never give up! This too shall pass, these feelings won’t last forever, even though it feels like they will. There is a season for everything.
⁃ Make adjustments and give yourself grace. What works for someone else may not work for you. That’s okay! Try things out until you figure out what works.
⁃ Reach out. Depression tries to isolate us – don’t let it. Reach out to the people you can trust and let them know where you are. People want to support you, but we have to let them. They don’t know we are struggling unless we take off the mask and let them see.
⁃ Always remember you are loved, and you are worthy of love. You are not alone.
Do you battle with depression?
What do you do to fight it?
When was a time that you felt supported by people who love you?
Coming out of the darkness,
First photo @alexiby on Unsplash.com
Second photo @schmidy on Unsplash.com