I can feel the darkness sweep in again. Depression is an old friend with whom I have a love hate relationship. Love, because I feel safe there. Hate, because I feel so lost there. I pull off my athletic shorts that make me feel cute and youthful. They show off my tan legs, but today I want to hide. I hunt around for Matt’s sweatpants, and slip into the oversized legs. I feel safe now, hiding.
For years, the darkness sent me into a panic, a tailspin of hopelessness. The voice inside, that I thought was my own, would whisper, “Failure. I am a failure at this life.” I’ve been around this mountain a thousand times. It’s the same story, different
day week. When will things change? Must I always live in this inner darkness? Was I destined to share my life with this demon?
What I never knew was there was nothing to fear when I slipped into the sticky quicksand of depression. What I was feeling was real, and very important, and instead of fighting to get over it or ignore that place. I learned that what I was feeling could be trusted, and that I needed to listen to myself. My heart was wounded and it was telling me that it needed healing, space and care. I never learned to grieve the wounds of my childhood. I didn’t know I needed space to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made. I didn’t feel worthy of goodness, love or trust. I believed the lies of fear, doubt and self-hate. I believed I was a victim in my own life, and Jesus was the only one who could make it all go away. So, I waited for a change, prayed for my deliverance, hoped it would end, but the darkness stayed.
I went on a journey into the darkness of my heart. I discovered my
depression is a manifestation of a wounded heart.
I learned that I’m not a victim in my life. I have control over my life and I am worthy of a good life. Jesus heals, but God also has natural laws in place, like healing and grief. I dared to believe that I am worthy to be here on earth, and that I can have goodness and love, if I want it.
I found out that I can be trusted, including my feelings. My feelings are a gift, because they tell me what’s going on inside. They’re the windows into my heart and mind, and I can trust them. If I listen to them, then I can find out what is wrong, wounded or tired. I can then take the time to grieve, take care of myself or rest.
Here I am again. I’m pretty sure my default response to triggers will be to hide, to slip into the dark ravine. I’ll probably always pull in when something goes wrong, like the finances don’t line up, or life doesn’t go according to plan.
Except, I no longer believe the lie of that it’s all hopeless or that I’m a victim. I diss the lie, and kiss the truth. The truth is, with time, the sun will shine again, and my heart will sing again. Since, I know the truth, I’ve found that I don’t stay here for very long. What used to take weeks or even months, lasts days or sometimes only hours. So happy will come again, but until then, I will hide in my sweats, I’ll be gentle with my heart and I’ll seek to find what needs time to heal in my heart.
Do you spend days sinking into the darkness? Do you live with the constant throb of hopelessness? Listen to your wounded heart. Trust yourself and know, you are worthy of goodness and love. Allow yourself room to grieve the things you’ve lost, never had, and forgive yourself for the things you’ve gotten wrong. Be kind to yourself, begin practicing self-love, and remember the sun will shine again. Until then, wear your sweats.