I’m depressed. I say that as a way to help someone understand that depression is hard, it’s debilitating. Depression has made me not want to accept what’s ahead for my life; it’s caused me to halt. I’m unable to do things I did because fear has crippled me. Thankfully, this has started to change, and I’ve started to settle into a new normal. The roots of depression entangle me on more occasions than I care to admit.
Someone close to me became ill in the last few years, and I’ve had to adjust to a new normal of the routine they need and caring for them while still trying to take care of myself. Since this began, I have struggled with purpose, not my intention but Gods’. I have often wondered, what is the point of all this sickness? It seemed as conditions worsened; all I heard were painful stories from others. I started to question the Lord, is your plan perfect? If your plan is perfect, how could this be happening? How can I feel this way? But even in my questioning, I never stopped believing in God; He saved me, and I can’t forget that.
I began to cry out, asking God to lift the sickness and the depression. I pray these things with the understanding that He may not, and that’s scary. Sometimes, I think, maybe I’m praying the wrong thing. I want to pray Gods’ will be done, and at the same time, that prayer is terrifying for my current reality. I know I should trust the Lord, but this depression over me has started to overtake what I feel, everything I think becomes corrupted by this. It makes me question trusting our Sovereign Lord, and that scares me! When I sit and think about these things, I get lost in how I feel. I know how blessed I am, and I feel so guilty for feeling my feelings. When the Lord first saved my life, all I wanted was to be with Him! When the sickness began, my attitude and relationships changed. I desperately wanted normal again. But God has changed my routine, and I’m reluctantly learning to accept that.
I thought it would help me to adjust if I developed a better understanding of His purpose. To do so, I turned to trusted friends and some family. If I’m honest, reaching out to them made me feel as if I were a burden. I repeated the same mantra of caretaker and depression. I irritated myself by discussing it too much or not enough. Every time I shared my struggle, I became reassured that I wasn’t a burden, and I wasn’t sharing too much or not enough; it was what I needed. These people made me feel as if sharing was okay. I needed that reassurance each time to keep going, and I’m thankful for people who don’t write you off when you’re not over your circumstance. These trusted friends gave useful and encouraging advice on caring for that person and walking with Jesus. The advice didn’t lift the depression, but it made everything a little lighter, the burden a little less, and forced me to think about what those encouragers said. I often thought about, how I could serve the ill person in my life more, what is something I could make myself do for a sense of normalcy, and what is something positive I can be doing? Of course, these weren’t end-all solutions; the depression still entangles me.
The depression may still have a hold on me, but God lovingly calls me out on my motives. Are my reasons for serving this person to make myself feel better, or are they indeed with love? He continually reminds me to do these things with trust and love for Him. Sometimes, doing these things with the right motivations is all the energy I have, it’s hard and scary. It’s been hard to adjust to life with depression and becoming a caretaker to someone so close to me. My depression has a root cause so that I can pinpoint the source. Knowing the source doesn’t make it easier. As someone who believes in Jesus, I fight the battle almost daily between depression and clinging to the truths of God. On any given day, either side can win. Sometimes, the depression side wins so often, I feel hopeless, but God always rescues me, no matter how many times I lose in my daily battle.
The writer for this piece wishes to remain anonymous. They want the words to help someone but as the information in this blog is sensitive, the writer will be kept anonymous for confidentiality reasons.