Growing Up Sandy (The Depression Era)
There’s that moment when you just know everything in your life has not unfolded according to plan. Liked you missed the boat, the memo, the newsflash completely! Do you know what I mean?
You might be bold enough to admit it and you try to make the necessary changes and adjustments OR if you are anything like I was, you may just keep skating around it and living your status quo life. You may hope no one notices and most importantly, you work really hard to keep yourself from thinking about it too often.
For me, I knew the truth that was hiding in my heart but I never had the courage admit it or do something about it. I was living out of alignment with who I was. I was stuck, ashamed, embarrassed but kept going in the same direction day after day. Looking back it’s all worked out to be a good thing because it got me to where I am now. However, back then, it didn’t feel so great. As a matter of fact, I felt depressed and hopeless.
Depression kicked in when I was in my late 20’s. It was as if I was living this life with a big boulder sitting on my shoulders and it was crushing everything in me. If you’ve been depressed you know what I mean. It just stops you from living and from being you. It keeps you from even dipping your big toe in the waters toward discovering and knowing who God created you to be. Depressed or not, we’re all looking for more of that anyway right?
1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
It can be a catch 22 because you want that boulder off your shoulders but the boulder is no lightweight pebble and can be too heavy to get it off of us without help. You’d happily stand victoriously on top of it IF you only knew how to get out from under it. On good days you’re able to fake it by plastering a smile on your face so no one knows. I was so good at that I even fooled myself a lot of the time. Other times, it just kicked me while I was already spiraling downward.
Depression feels awful. Like, come on God, open the earth and let me be done here. That’s how depressed I had been. What's weird is at the same time, I am full of memories of summer vacations at Lake George in New York or camping in Maine and Vermont with my husband and kids. I suppose, had it not been for medication I may not have been able to savor those memories as well as I have.
I remember being the PTA mom and all the great joyful things we do as mom’s with young kids. Looking back now, I have a feeling I created two lives in order to survive. One life I created on the surface so I could be “okay”. That one was hard to maintain but I managed. Again, we do what we need to do so we can survive our own lives. The irrational thing is that changing would be hard and super scary but living life the way I was probably harder and scarier. It was a lose/lose proposition.
At some point we hopefully get some clarity about the condition of our heart, soul and mind.
We have to see that either way is painful and hard.
We need to draw a deep bold line in the sand and make a decision
to get through the pain in order to have a better life.
However, that's not possible for everyone obviously but, it was for me and I'm not alone.
We need to reach out to a pastor, a friend or a small group so we’re not walking through it alone.
The truth is, everyday we make choices. Everyday you can make a new choice. Everyday you can invite God to help you with that choice. Most likely, your life does not have to be a prison sentence.
Romans 5: 3-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
The choice and timeline to make my life better was a long one for me. God had to get in my face. God did not create us to suffer needlessly OR alone. He is there with us to pull us out of that pit and stand firmly on top of the boulder. Then, from atop that boulder, we have the ability to see who needs help and we have what it takes to lift someone else up because we know the way out is actually possible. We pass on our experience, our God-given strength and our hope.
NOTE: It has been just 3+ years since I have been able to leave all depression meds behind. I know there are many factors involved. I am not suggesting anyone and everyone can just flip a switch and decide to not be depressed anymore. This is not possible for everyone nor was it possible for me until it finally was my time.
I am just sharing MY story for those who want to take steps to feel better and have hope.
THE POINT: It's not impossible to walk away from depression. I am no more loved or special than you so if God can do this for me He can do it for you. Keep inviting Him to do something new and make use of your suffering.
Need help? My 30 minute Discovery Call is a gift from me to you or someone you love. I would love to bring hope and a future to someone struggling with feeling hopeless and sad. Jeremiah 29:10-14