I can’t breath as reality smothers me: it’s back. A silent and slow death no one sees, but many feel. The inability to move, speak, eat, or listen. As I wait for tears to form, and become increasingly aware of the sorrow in my peers’ lives, I know all I can do is pray this feeling goes away.
Last week I finished finals and worked, just like the week before, but my schedule began to wind down as the week drew closer to an end. With every task I checked off my to do list, I could feel the weight pushing harder and harder down on me, until Friday night I found myself sitting outside a party trying to make myself go in. I never talk to people about my depression, I always refer to it has “a really dark place I found myself in spring semester last year”. No one really asks for an explanation, and I never change my answer. With that being said, these past few days I have been very open about everything going on, and feel it is appropriate and necessary to talk about this struggle that didn’t begin or end last spring.
When I tell people I have depression, I often get comments like:
“you are such a happy person, no way can you have depression.”
“what kind of idiot doctor would prescribe you an anti-depressant.”
“it’s a sin issue, not a medical issue.”
“you just aren’t praying enough.”
I would like to reassure everyone that I have prayed enough about my depression. I began seeing a councilor by my own decision, a did so for a year before seeking medical assistance a month ago. I am in a place in my life where I can distinguish the difference between when my depression is brought on by sleep/eating patterns, spiritual warfare, and the actual brain imbalance of depression. I appreciate the concern of those who want the best for my spiritual life, but a lack of understanding in regard to mental illness inadvertently hurts.
I started taking an anti-depressant a month ago tomorrow, so Wednesday was the first time since I started feeling the effects of an “episode” begin. By Thursday I went to my amazing job, but found myself trying to escape the office as soon as possible. Friday morning I grabbed coffee with friends and thought I was okay, but after being left alone at my apartment I knew I wasn’t. Friday night, like I mentioned earlier, I found myself outside a house mustering up all my energy to get out of my car and go into a party. I drank some soda at the party which ended up being a horrible idea, as it later helped initiate my insomnia. Upon leaving the party I drove to Lauren’s house, because being alone would have been a huge mistake. That night I got two hours of sleep. Saturday I woke up thinking I would be okay, but as the day progressed, my ability to function dwindled. I went to Walmart and fought back tears, upon leaving I made unsafe turns, and ran yellow lights. Lauren stayed with me Saturday night, and left before me Sunday to volunteer at the church. I was able to get myself to service, but found myself wanting to leave with every song sung, person I spoke to, and verse read. It was an off Sunday, as I sat by myself, of course I was invited to sit with many I just wanted to sit in “my spot”. I just wanted to make it to the closing song so I could go to the rail and pray, and Jamie joined me which helped as we prayed aloud for the protection and growth of our congregation and in our life, but I just wanted to be alone.
Depression sucks the joy out of blessings, and robs me of hope that things will continue to grow. I find myself in bed now, after a life group last night and errands this morning, and all I want is to be okay again. I don’t want to dread coming into contact with people. I want to glorify and praise God for the amazing environment He has lead me to, yet here I find myself in bed waiting for the day to end.