Boy. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?
It’s definitely been several weeks since I’ve sat down and allowed my fingers to glide along the keyboard in the form of one of these blog posts. We all have those seasons, don’t we?
Truth be told, my absence from writing for the past few weeks had nothing to do with the jam-packed nature of the weeks that have completed (in fact, things have slowed down quite a bit in the past few weeks-IMAGINE THAT). If anything, it was because I was feeling consumed by something I couldn’t quite identify until recently.
These past couple weeks have been difficult. And I mean difficult in a different kind of way than I’m used to handling. I found myself experiencing emotional sensations and behavioral changes that I tend to rarely see in myself. It wasn’t anything super intense-but then again, here I go already with “diminishing” that this could actually be a reality for me. Typing this out signifies that what I’m feeling is real, and while it is not what I’m used to experiencing (almost at the other end of the spectrum for me), it’s still my reality, pure and simple, at this point in time.
If you’ve been following my blog fairly closely, will will know that I’ve identified with experiencing anxiety for many years-dating back even further the more and more I examine it. I was at a place where I was proud of how I was managing this, and even got as far as experiencing little to no anxiety during the wedding planning prep (which is HUGE!). However, I find myself today facing a completely different battle, one that I didn’t think I would be facing at this time in life. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is just mearly not what I expected.
Depression is gripping me right now.
What I’m experiencing right now can be described as this (and maybe it’s not what you’d typically think of when you think of depression):
- Finding it hard to care about…well, anything at all.
- Low motivation for even the most simple of tasks, such as doing the dishes, checking my e-mail, taking a shower (I promise I’m following through with the last one 🙂 )
- Extreme pitfalls in energy. I’m talking waking up feeling like I only slept 10 minutes. Falling asleep on the couch at 8pm sort of exhausted.
- Wanting to just “lay around” or engage in numbing behaviors (mindless TV, eating crappy foods, no conversations, drinking, etc)
- Feelings of powerlessness-like I’m feeling rooted in my circumstances and there is nothing I can do about them (while I know this is not true to reality)
- Low sex drive (and extreme guilt over how this may be affecting my spouse. Especially since we are newlyweds. I feel a lot of shame over that right now.)
- Weight gain (I’ve gained back 25 pounds of my 83 pounds lost. The internal dialogue I’m having with myself over this right now is not pretty)
- Irritability/easily angered (enough for loved ones to notice and wonder what’s happening)
I’ll say one thing’s for sure: I’m not feeling sad. In fact, I’m not really feeling like I’m feeling anything at all. I’m feeling numb.
And honestly, I just want to feel something.
I’m not feeling unsafe. I’m not having unsafe thoughts-it’s not to that degree. But truly, I’m feeling numb. And right now, that’s the reality.
One night a few weeks ago, I told my husband “I really do want to feel better”. And for the first time in months, tears slowly trickled down my cheeks. I nuzzled my head into his chest and just rested with the hope that he knows I’m trying to do the best I can. And that I want to do more. For him. For me. He’s the most understanding man I’ve ever met. It was the most connected I’ve felt to him in weeks due to the depression.
A couple weeks ago I had a thought while I was sitting in my office: “What if I just quit my job? Maybe I should do that.” I found myself wondering where is this coming from? I love my job.
It was at that moment where I felt like someone else. Like someone not me.
I e-mailed my therapist-the one that I have so much gratitude towards for helping me thrive above my anxiety. I described what I was experiencing, and her words confirmed what my heart was believing to be true:
“Hun, this sounds more like depression to me.”
Saying it out-loud makes it real.
And it’s okay. It’s okay to identify. It’s okay to keep coping. It’s okay to recognize that brokenness is part of our common tie to humanity.
I was hesitant to publish this post; in fact, I had written this post several weeks back and kept it in my drafts folder, just sitting there. I think there will always be a part of me that leans away before leaning into vulnerability. Since I have written this, the past few weeks have appeared to look a bit “lighter”. We’ve had some unexpected challenges come our way, financially, medically, and work-wise. However, I still find myself able to stay afloat (some days it sure ain’t pretty), and for that I have to thank my Savior as well as my spouse, loving in-laws, and friends.
Sometimes the heavy weight is a reminder of the only One who can lift that from us. As well as the reminder that we are not meant to shoulder burdens alone.
Don’t allow yourself to feel alone in the pain-that is so far from the truth. It may not seem that way sometimes, but we are tied to something and someone SO much greater than ourselves.
And, people-if we truly let them-can surprise us with how much love and care they pour into us.
Always chugging on,