Looking out the large bay windows, the morning mist covered the hills on the far side of the view. The water was glass, smooth and perfectly still. Wisps of mist hovered over it’s surface, cotton candy tufts reflected in the watery mirror. I watched the sun peek over the farthest hill, it’s soft yellow beams stirring the misty phantoms, making them dance away with the last of the morning darkness.
With as much stealth as I could muster, I made my way to the dilapidated building. I paused for a moment, unsure as to how I should proceed. The enemy was somewhere behind me, of this I was certain, and my hesitation gave fear the opening it needed. A feeling of dread swept over me, a certainty of imminent attack making my blood pulse. Spinning around, slashing with my knife, I encountered only empty air. I raised my weapon, mean and black, and perused the area…
I swore at my son the other day. Well, not exactly at him, more at his disability and how much work it puts on me. Even as the words flew from my lips, I knew I should be horrified. Ashamed of myself. Instead, all I felt was a bone-deep weariness.
I’m tired. So, so tired.
I’ve been at this homeschooling gig for over 15 years now. Most of those years have been a struggle with varying degrees of language disabilities. It’s hard. My youngest two, who are not learning disabled, have been given the dregs of my time, attention, and enthusiasm.
Today I am guest posting over at Me Too Moments For Moms.
When I saw these ladies were doing a series on depression, I immediately thought of this post. It is one of the earliest missives on this blog, but I dusted it off and asked Lisa if she could use it. As I polished it up, I was reminded anew that depression need not steal my joy. It is a message I need to revisit from time to time, and I hope it blesses some of you.
You are not alone!
Grace and peace to you–
Follow me over to Me Too Moments For Moms. Leave a comment and let us know you were there!
My husband is a pillow freak. To be fair, I now fall into that category too, but when we were newly married I didn’t get it. I mean, seriously, who needs four pillows to sleep comfortably? He did eventually convert me and, on this particular day, I was grateful for the over abundance of heavenly plushness gracing my bed.
Two days ago, I sank into my lush, soft nest and cried. This wasn’t a hopeless, overwhelmed, or angry crying bout. These were I’m-incredibly-weary-just-want-to-feel-better-not-sure-I-can-stand-it-anymore tears. It’s rare that I get to this point, but after three weeks of what is quite possibly the worst flare up of joint/muscle/nerve pain I’ve ever known, I was done in. I’m so very tired of hurting.
Her breathing was so shallow, I thought she was dead. Relief washed through me. Then her nose twitched and I felt a pang of guilt. She sighed and heaved herself to a standing position. Lurching like a small, furry drunkard across the cage floor, she settled beside the hanging water bottle. It seemed to take enormous energy; poking her tiny, pink tongue at the metal ball to release a drop of water.
We had seen that Xena, my daughter’s beloved pet rat, was declining. But on this day, it was as if some cosmic vitality switch had been flicked. Her life was at an end, she just didn’t know it yet. For two days we watched her lackluster breathing. Her movements were jerky and frightening. Listless, she looked at us with bulging eyes that bled.
Masquerade! Paper faces on parade…Masquerade! Hide your face, so the world will never find you! (Phantom of the Opera)
I glanced in the mirror, then quickly looked away. There was just too much raw reality looking back at me. I grabbed my makeup brush and furiously swept powder over the canvas of my face to hide what was there. Exhaustion. Vulnerability. Self-loathing. Pain.
I do not want to write this post. In fact, for the past two weeks I have been hiding from God. Like Jonah fleeing from his mission to Nineveh, I have been desperately leaping aboard any ship that may distract me from plumbing the depths of this issue. And, also like Jonah, I have been swallowed up. Not by a whale, mind you, but that behemoth called depression. Like the stomach acids of that famed sea mammal, this depression eats into my mind and gives me no rest. Why this is so difficult for me has been a large part of my despondency and I will address that in a bit.
For several months I had felt a sort of darkness creeping into my spiritual life. It began with a slight feeling of depression accompanied by questions like, “Why isn’t the Lord working in my life?” and “What is wrong with me that I don’t feel His presence?” Like a cancer, this stain on my soul silently grew until I began questioning the very fabric of my faith. I knew God existed, but was increasingly unsure whether He knew or cared about me personally. After all, He is pretty busy holding all of our reality together, right?
The subject of depression appears to resonate with the masses this time of year. It seems that every time I turn around there is another article or blog post about the topic. You know the ones: 10 Ways to Beat the Blues, Super Foods to Beat Depression, or the ever popular, Take This Quiz to Find out if You’re Depressed. As if I need a quiz to tell me why I feel as though my brain has been sucked out by aliens, my energy is nonexistent and I feel like bawling ‘til I barf, right? And the only super foods I feel like eating when I’m depressed are Nutter Butters, Snickers and anything made by the Frito-Lay company.