Sunday, August 17, 2014

On Depression

This one is hard for me to write, hard for me to admit in a public forum. Not because of any stigma, but because I still believe it is a weakness on my part.
Sometimes I suffer from depression. Most days I fight with depression.
I thank God that even in the midst of it I am able to cling to hope. I may not believe in the moment that things will get better, but I am able to remember that I didn't always feel this way.
So I fight.
And my life is good, don't get me wrong. There is much joy in my life, but sometimes I forget. Sometimes I even wallow in the feelings of loneliness and the overall greyness that is life with depression.

And then I remember, and begin to fight anew. It's a bit like in CS Lewis' The Silver Chair when the evil queen throws the sweet smelling perfume on the fire and it makes the prince, the children, and Puddleglum drowsy. She begins to lull them into thinking that there is no outside world, this is all there ever is or will be. It's so easy to fall into that grey slumber. It takes an act of fierce will, and pain to break that spell and fight to remember the Truth. 

So I fight, and I remember
Don't tell me that it's not my fault, not a weakness. If that's true then I have no control over it, and no hope. Let me continue my fight, and just understand that even on good days in my fighting to get there I may have very little energy. Be patient with me and just BE with me. If I need help, I will ask, but I do best when I can just concentrate on the moment and NOT always be thinking about it. That's what was so hard about the Robin Williams suicide. It was nonstop coverage about depression, and giving in (I'm NOT judging him on that!) and that just made my struggle all the more...real. But his struggle is not my struggle, and I will continue to believe in the Truth and fight to remain in this world, the real world, the one worth fighting for.

I'm glad I belong to a Church that believes in the efficacy of prayer, and that our prayers are not limited by time and space. Our prayers now reach the ear of God before Robin Williams' death. There is power in that prayer.It cannot change what happened (a fixed point in time and space), but it can affect what were his final moments. I need to remember that, especially when I'm praying for the souls of those who I have lost.

Prayer, it's also a powerful took against the encroaching greyness. Especially when I am tempted to give in. THAT I know is from the evil one. How can I be so sure? Because ANYTHING that would separate me from the Sacraments is from Satan. Giving in to despair certainly does that.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

So, I fight, and I remember, and I pray.

And I thank God for my friends and family that 'get it' and stand with me and help me to create moments of joy in my life. As The Doctor so wisely said- 

The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things or make them unimportant. 

I think I need to get that printed and posted somewhere close.

So, I fight, I remember, I pray, and I look for joy.

Thank you for adding to my joy, and for understanding that even though it doesn't take away the pain, it doesn't make it unimportant.

1 comment:

  1. The particular image in "Silver Chair" is one of my favorite in the whole book (the only reason "one of" my favorites is because there are so many lovely images in that book, it's my favorite of the series). The way I always interpreted it is that the lie is not only that things will never change, but *this is all things will ever mean.* The lie might be that the still, dark lonely moment is actually alone and accomplishes nothing, and the corresponding reality might be that the moment is part of this great, world-spanning motion that God has orchestrated (maybe only a tiny part), and that actually the saints and angels are assembled in the room. Sometimes I think the greatest lie of all is that what we perceive with our senses is all there is. Thank you for posting this. For what it's worth, I don't think you're weak -- I think you're strong for finding a sword and continuing to pick it up. There's something Roommate and I are going through with this course on boundaries -- how the things "in your yard" are your responsibility, but sometimes things get in your yard because you put them there (making them your fault), and then sometimes things are put in by other people or blown in by the wind, making them still your responsibility and under your control, but not your fault morally. I don't know --use that if it's helpful, not if it isn't, I really do appreciate being told what NOT to tell you as well as what to tell you. I get that attacking the grayness head-on simply doesn't work for you, and I wonder sometimes when people are posting things (no matter what those things are) if they've thought about the possible effects on people who might react differently. What you're saying about all the posts about Robin Williams makes sense to me -- I'm just sorry it all hurt you, and I like the way you put it, you are not him and your battle is winnable. I've handled it pretty much the same way as you have, stayed out of the back and forth, prayed for his soul, and tried not to think about the rest. I don't know, this feels to me like it's all over the map. I love you and miss you, and I had your intentions in my prayers the whole time we were praying the Rosary on Sunday. Thanks again.