Okay. So I’ve not written for awhile. Because of that you might be tempted to think that all is well in my world. Not exactly true! In fact, quite the opposite. You see, though I pride myself on being proactive, I’ve been very passive in life these last couple weeks.
Feeling very overwhelmed, I’ve just chosen to run from troubles, avoid them. I thought I was doing really good at this until I started waking up in the mornings later and later, and really just wanted to stay there. I didn’t want to have fun, go anywhere, do anything at all. Depression’s kind of like that. People think you can just snap out of it, but it’s like you become paralyzed mentally and just aren’t able to connect the needing to do things with actually moving your body.
During the last few years, Natasha’s EDU treatment program, and Todd’s surgery, life became very overwhelming for me. Even deciding what to cereal to have in the morning became a monumental task! I’ve collected some thoughts about what was helpful to our family. Here are a few things that I wish people knew when I’m really struggling emotionally (depressed or overwhelmed by life’s circumstances) and I think other people who have or are suffering from struggles that aren’t visible, would say the same things. Of course, these are assuming that people know you are in the midst of darkness, if that makes sense! And these are meant as no offense to anyone. Just a way to give my readers ideas of how they can help other people in these circumstances when they might not know what they can do.
1. Please don’t ask me to tell you if I need anything, I appreciate you just offering and taking it from there. When in the midst of these trials I don’t always have enough brain power or clarity to think clear enough to know what I need. For instance, a friend said “I’m going to drive Natasha one day this week. What day works for you?” Another said, “I’m going to cook some meals for this week.” It lightens my load and actually makes me feel less awkward about needing help.
2. Pray for me!
3. Give me a hug when you see me. Don’t act like I’m invisible and avoid eye contact with me. I’m not thrilled about my life being a mess either, but I also didn’t cause the mess by committing some unspeakable sin. Life just gets crappy sometimes.
4. Don’t judge me. As with anyone you see out in public, you don’t know the whole story. I’m doing my best with what God has given me.
5. Give me Bible verses that you know can be encouraging. On the same note, please don’t make it seem that if I’d just believe these verses, life would be all sunny. Character is built through trials:)
6. Remember that depression is a medical condition. If someone had cancer you wouldn’t tell them to get over it. I can help myself by taking care of myself, taking medication, exercising, etc. I can even ask for God to heal me, but I can’t just get over it. Also, perhaps God chooses not to take it away completely. Because of it, I am able to empathize with others who have mental health issues and/or chronic illnesses.
7. Accept my twisted sense of humor. Yes, perhaps my ideas on an all you can eat buffet at an eating disorder clinic is strange, but laughter keeps me sane. And it is kind of funny!
So, just some thoughts. These aren’t meant to enrage anyone nor are they meant to provide my family with meals for the next two years! I mentioned in one of my first posts that I was going to be transparent so I am. My purpose is to help people better understand these taboo topics that no one wants to discuss.
I’ve had friends tell me that God won’t give me more than I can handle and that I am really strong. Friends, it is partly because of you uplifting me and my family in prayer and being the body of Christ that I am able to be strong. So thank you! And keep reading!