Depression absolutely stinks. I hate it. I hate the way I don't make the bed, the way I curl up on the sofa and lose myself in mindless tv programming. The commercial for depression pretty much sums it up. Watching that over and over drove me deeper into the abyss. When I am in depression, I hate the way I don't make an effort to call my friends, or reach out to people in my family. I hate the way I let simple household chores like laundry and dishes pile up, the way I can't get out of bed until the last minute, skating into work just before it was time to sign into my phone. I can fake a good mood during depression. Mask the bad with a fake smile that never reaches my eyes while all the time that black cloud is hovering just over my head. There is usually some relief when I am in a crowd and my focus is on other people. However, the moment I am alone, it comes back full force.
Maybe I didn't really fool my friends. A friend texted me and wanted to know if I was ok. I wound up on the phone with her, bawling. Then there were people who basically told me they were coming over. It forced me up and forced me to clean up a little before they got here. I have experienced this crippling cloud before. There was a time just before my marriage ended, and another time after our separation. This time, I figured it was pretty much the fact that my job was shipped overseas. Intellectually I knew that everything is going to work out. But even with that knowing, came all the emotions that accompany job loss.
I'm lucky. Last Monday, for no apparent reason, something in me snapped. I woke up Tuesday morning early enough to read, pray, and get to work 10 minutes early -- it was the first time since I got back from South Africa. Tonight, a dear, sweet woman told me she had "missed my smile". Well, quite frankly, I did too. I'm back to normal, and normal feels good. I can go shopping, make plans, and be present for the people I love. My future is in God's hands, and I am content with whatever that brings.
As for you, if you are under the cloud, know that you are not alone. Don't hide what you are going through from the people who care about you. Just admitting that you are depressed is a huge step towards healing. Then, be patient with yourself. Know that there is help, there is hope, and there is healing. I choose not to seek professional help, knowing that what I was experiencing was temporary. Whatever your circumstances, there is no shame in admitting that you need help. If you remember nothing else, remember that it is walking through these kinds of issues that gives you the courage to help others.