Depression. How many of us have made the statement at one time or another, “I’m so depressed”? I think it is fair to say that the majority of us have used the phrase at some point. But what is it like to live inside the body and mind of someone who actually experiences clinical depression? What is a day like in the shoes of a depressed girl? It might surprise you.
You may expect that someone with depression would spend her days in isolation, shutting out the world, unmotivated to escape the prison of her home. That is a valid expectation, but a very narrow one. Some who have depression continue to work, and study, and put one foot in front of the other to get through the day. Those who don’t “look” depressed are often fighting a vicious battle on the inside. That is me. That is what my battle with depression typically looks like; it looks like normal, everyday life.
Most days, if you were to see me in the store, you would think that I am okay. I have worked for years to attain the ability to look happy on the outside, when I am dying on the inside. Sometimes the inside is so dark and twisty, I am not sure if I will ever find my way out. Sometimes, I will sit in my car and weep; overwhelmed by the feelings, and then I will wipe the tears, put on the smile and open the car door.
My world was very dark, for a very long time. The darkness was my constant companion. The darkness became familiar and confortable, but eventually, the darkness threatened to take my life. There had to be light in the darkness or I was not going to survive the battle. I couldn’t imagine what was going to overcome the dark, for the dark was a formidable enemy.
Yes. The dark is powerful, but there is a Light that beat the dark. The Light of the world, Jesus, sacrificed His life, to conquer my dark.
Matthew 4:16 says, “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned”.
It was this Light that broke through the darkness in my head.
I still take medication daily. I still see my psychiatrist and therapist on a regular basis. Depression is an illness and sometimes illnesses require medication. I still have dark days. I still do battle with the thoughts in my head, but I have changed. I no longer see the dark as a formidable enemy; rather I see it as a defeated enemy. Dark defeated by Light. Death conquered by Life.
Depression is real. Depression is hard, but depression is not who I am.
“You will feel better than this, maybe not yet, but you will. You just keep living until you are alive again.” Call the Midwife