When you struggle with depression like I do, sometimes you want to give up the fight. I found this out recently as now I'm scrambling to get out of a deep-ish hole I've dug for myself. It really sucks to get to this place and I want to avoid it with all my heart and soul...but sometimes I get tired: tired of fighting, tired of stretching myself beyond what I feel I can do, and tired of focusing so much on myself and all my seemingly endless needs.
When I get really sad for no apparent reason I have this mental check-list I have to go over to help myself feel better.
I say in my head, "Hi depressed Sally, you are depressed for no apparent reason...have you forgotten to:
Eat wholesome meals?
Take your medication?
Do something social?
Get adequate sunshine/Vitamin D?
Read your scriptures or other uplifting materials?
Do something nice for yourself?
Make sure the house is de-cluttered and clean?
Get out in nature?
Sometimes I don't want to go over my check-list one bit. Sometimes I don't feel like anything will help me, anyways, nor do I want to put in the effort. Sometimes I just want to sleep in, ignore my children, stay in my pajamas all day and dwell on all the negative and horrible thoughts going on in my head. Sometimes all I want to do is cry all day. Sometimes I want to let my depression consume me and see if Heavenly father will really rescue me in my sorrows. Sometimes I want to be destructive and dishonest and let darkness overpower me. Sometimes I want to give up trying because nobody cares what happens to me anyways....
This is what giving up the fight looks like and I've been doing a lot of that lately. Except for that it's really hard on my husband and children and of course my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. How can I just stop and go over my (seemingly) needy, selfish, and annoying mental checklists when I'm too busy running around taking care of everyone else? So instead of fighting the good fight, I stay busy taking care of everyone else while I slowly let my depression consume me. Good plan, Sally. Good plan.
Time to dig myself out of the hole. Again.
It's really hard, this depression stuff. I try not to beat myself up about it. When I start to judge myself and wish I was better at handling it, I try to compare myself to someone who might be struggling with diabetes or Lupus or any other physically debilitating disease. I'm sure they have good days and bad days and days when they don't want to try. I'm sure they have days where they feel inadequate beyond reason, not by anything they've done to themselves, but because the disease has a voice of it's own! That voice is always there to remind you that you are completely dependent on various treatments, check-lists, and medications to keep you put together.
I don't want to feel like I'm bound to my illness, but I don't want to deny that it's part of me.
I don't want to give up fighting, but sometimes I do.
In Relief Society yesterday a sister made an inspired comment (our lesson was on faith) that I needed to hear. She said that when she was struggling with post-partum depression she would get on her knees and beg and plead with God to help her. Her prayers became so desperate and needy that she felt almost angry that they weren't getting answered quick enough. (I could relate immediately) Then she realized something. She realized that she didn't need to beg or plead or feel desperate because Heavenly Father was already invested in her happiness.
I know this. I know He is with us even when we don't realize it. I know He is continually shedding light on us even when we are enveloped in darkness.
I know He stays with me, answering my prayers every single day, even when I've given up for awhile.
Happy New Year! Here's to being okay even when you're not okay but you really are. xoxox sally