To anyone out there currently battling depression in any form or who has in the past struggled with this, I want you to know: I feel for you; I understand. I've fought with depression on and off for the past twenty years.
I've fought the inexpressible and un-explainable. I've been through the "There is absolutely nothing wrong, yet it feels like everything is wrong." I've been through the fog.
I've been through the times where I would make an excellent spy because I could turn everything off -- all the feelings, all moral conscience -- and be hollow inside. Turning everything off became something of an escape from feeling so angry or tired or sad or just the fight within my being; it was scary going there to that hollow place because I didn't know if I would have someone to drag me back and remind me who I am.
I've been through the "Can I not just focus on making it through today, people?" and through the "If I can make it through the next hour, I'm good." I've been through times where I wondered what would happen if I decided to stay in bed all day ignoring all responsibility and days where I didn't really care if anything got done: feeding myself, washing dishes, being friendly to the bank teller. I've fought through the "I feel like such a burden." I know how hard it is to tell people, people you're close to, how you feel because you're not really sure how you feel or why you feel that way, and honestly, there's not much they can do about it to make you feel better.
The worst question in the world during all of these days: "How are you?" Really? I have to lie and say "I'm fine" again because explaining how I am would take too long and would exhaust me when I'm already exhausted and you wouldn't understand anyway so there's nothing you can do about it and do you really care?
Or is all that just me?
I learned how to rely on what I knew and ignore how I felt. This in itself has brought problems. One went something like this: click here. There were the battles within myself to force myself to "do things" and when I didn't, I hated myself. "Why do you feel bad. There's absolutely no reason for you to feel bad, Stephanie. Just stop. Just be happy, for Pete's sake." Back and forth I would argue with myself about what I knew to be true and what I felt to be true. This flows into a second problem that has surfaced in my relationships, in particular my relationship with Jesus. I have so much head knowledge of him, which is what I clung to -- all I had to cling to -- many times to keep from turning away from the light to live in the darkness, but now there is a disconnect between head knowledge and heart knowledge that he and I are working to bridge.
In another post I'll tell you how King Jesus kept my head above the waves so that I wouldn't drown (i.e. if I didn't know and believe in Jesus, I would probably be dead by now -- literally), but for now, I just want you to know -- you are not alone. This is me holding out my hand to you: you are not alone.
Click here for a wonderful depiction of what it's like to go through depression. There is swearing, but it's a humorous and honest look at something some humans struggle through. When I read it for the first time, I thought, "It's nice knowing I'm not the only one."