Archive for April, 2014

Apr 28 2014

I Know What Depression Is Like

Published by under Life

I know what it’s like to live life with depression.

I know what it’s like to cry yourself to sleep every night of the week. And to wake up crying in the morning.

I know what it’s like to have a cloak of darkness surround your soul.

I know what it’s like to whisper words from your heart when you’re by yourself – to say “Oh, Jesus!” out loud dozens of times each day appealing to him, hoping Jesus understands all the unspoken grief in those two words.

I know what it’s like to constantly plead with God, “Lord, please help me!” when you feel like you’re losing your mind.

I know what it’s like to sometimes feel you’ve been abandoned by everyone you know – including God.

I know what it’s like to comfort eat and gain 60 pounds in six months.

I know what it’s like to take Prozac and then get anxiety so bad that it triggers panic attacks.

I know what it’s like to be ashamed and embarrassed at admitting to other people you take Prozac.

I know what it’s like to almost completely lose interest in everything life has to offer.

I know what it’s like to have romantic relationships crumble apart because you can’t even take care of yourself much less someone else.

I know what it’s like to be forced to quit a job because your depression has rendered you almost useless.

I know what it’s like to weep uncontrollably, thinking you’ve screwed up your life and that it’s over.

I know what it’s like to be exhausted, tired, and worn out from battling against depression for so long.

I know what it’s like to try and hide everything that’s wrong with smiles and busy-ness.

I know what it’s like when that doesn’t work and people you know ask, “Are you doing ok?” with the knowing tone that you’re not.

I know what it’s like when your sense of humor dries up and even speaking seems like an effort.

I know what it’s like to look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and see, through tears, a mere shadow and shell of the person you once knew.

I know what it’s like to wish you’d never been born.

I know what it’s like to think about death and dying every day.

I know what it’s like to cause pain to people close to you because you can’t be anything close to yourself.

And I know what it’s like to walk this road for 20 years.

I know what it’s like to be at a wedding and hear a voice in your head that says, “This isn’t going to happen for you. You won’t get married. You can’t even DATE someone properly. Forget about marriage.”

I know what it’s like to feel there’s a bus parked somewhere over your heart – to have the weight of heaviness in your spirit all day and all night long.

I know what it’s like when simple tasks – like emptying the dishwasher – feel like an ordeal akin to climbing a small mountain.

I know what it’s like to be crushed in the company of other people and desire only to be alone…. And then feel crushed when you’re all alone.

I know what it’s like to beg God for strength to make it through the day while walking from your car into work and then seriously doubt his existence a mere three minutes later.

This isn’t a post telling you things will be ok or offering suggestions on how to fix your life.

I only want you to know… That I know. I know a little bit about where you are and what you’re going through. There are other people who know. You’re not completely alone. You may feel alone but there are other people out here like you.

I know what it’s like to have words like these – words addressed to God – cause your desperate heart to ache…
“Could I talk to you?
Are you listening?
Will you see me through the valley?
Will you hold my outstretched hands?
(Starfield – Outstretched Hands)

I know what it’s like to give all the effort you have and still not have it be anywhere close to enough.

I know what it’s like to feel buried under unending shame with thoughts that you’ve ruined and wasted your life.

I know what it’s like to look at social media and see everyone else having fun, going places, doing things, and living “normal” lives – and being unable to join them because you’re so low and have no energy.

I know what it’s like to believe life and the lives of those around you have passed you by.

I know what it’s like to wish for cloudy days because the sun feels like a lie to your heart.

I know what it’s like to become unhinged when reading the words of David…
“My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, O Lord, how long?”
(Psalm 6:3)

I know what it’s like to think you’ll always be this way – that life may never get better and this may be God’s will for your life until you die.

I know what it’s like for none of these things I’ve written to be literary hyperbole but day-to-day reality.

Here’s what I also know… I know what it’s like to have hope that maybe something good will come out of all the pain in your depression and to say to God…
“Make my messes matter
Make this chaos count
Let every little fracture in me shatter out loud.”
(Sleeping at Last – Jupiter)

I know what it’s like to hope that the pain will transform your heart and soul into something more beautiful than before – something more like Jesus – more like we’re supposed to be.

I know what it’s like to think the next step isn’t possible. But it is. Because the last one didn’t feel possible. But you took that step. You’re here.

I know the next step feels brutal. I know you feel like a pile because something so simple shouldn’t be so hard. But you know what? It IS hard.

And I just wanted you to know… that I know some of what your struggle is like. I know the tears. I know the aching heart. I know the crushed spirit. I know the loss of strength. I know the foggy mind.

I know what it’s like to live life with depression.

You’re not alone. And I wanted you to know, dear brother and dear sister.

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