Saturday, June 23, 2007

Depression...

To some, depression might be what you feel when you've had a bad day or even a bad week. To others, you may not use the word to ever describe your emotions. I, however, use the word depression with much thought and much understanding. I am clinically depressed. It's not situational, it's not a mood, it's not an adjective to my week.

It's not a word to be used lightly, to be tossed around here and there. I don't, I assure you, now that I know what depression feels like. I have been depressed for eight months. I have more bad days than good days. I cry more often than not and I find myself longing to be anywhere but where I am.

You may not think I should be depressed. You may only see good things for me. I'm glad that you can. I still struggle with the emotions brought up with my dad dying. I struggle with being infertile. I struggle with moving to a new place, just when I started to feel at home. I struggle with things I've never dealt with, with emotions I didn't know I had.

You see, when you're in such a state, you can't get out. You are beyond the point of choosing to be happy or sad. You live most days in a black hole and you just can't figure out how to get out. On my worst days, I'm mean and angry and cry all day. On my best days, I laugh a few times and feel motivated to talk to people.

Depression isn't something that I thought I would go through. It's not an emotion I understood or was compassionate toward. Now, I can't help but notice when someone is sad or having a bad day. I see when tears have been cried, even if their face isn't red.

I cry for no reason. I get angry at the smallest things. I cannot control my emotions. I want terribly to make my own decisions, to be able to change my feelings. I spend countless hours trying to figure out who I am now. This is not who I am, but I can't change a thing. It must run it's course. Clinical depression hurts. Physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally. Nothing feels right.

You can judge me. You can tell me I've not prayed enough. You can tell me I don't seek the Lord enough. You can tell me that I've fallen into sin and have a hard heart. I will tell you that you are naive. I've cried out to God for relief. I must walk this road to know Him more. I've sought God's word for guidance. I must cling to the hope of His promises, that I am not alone and that He has incredible things for me.

Over the last week, I've been able to smile a little more. I laughed with Patrick over something so small and so silly. My bad days are getting to be less intense and my good days are more memorable. I know I'm not healed yet, I know I'm not in the clear. But I do know that I am on my way to being myself again. I know that the Lord has tenderly guided me through each bad day and each tear cried. I know that someday I will laugh until I cry again. I know that someday, I'll look back at this time of depression and remember all that God has taught me. I know that someday, the Lord will use this hard time in my life to bring glory to Him name...and for that, the tears are worth it.

8 comments:

Megan :-) said...

Ash,
I've been there and I know exactly how you feel. It's awful! I, too, have struggled with those who believe that it's because I am not spiritual enough, or haven't sought God enough to put an end to it. Trust me, I have. The only good thing that has come out of it, is that I have had to lean on Him much harder and trust Him much more! How can that be bad?? :-)
I have taken medication for 4 years and am sure that I could have used it years before, even during my time in Motown. It's just such a hard thing to admit and seek help for. Especially when you have to try various ones before you find the one that finally works. But, even with the meds, I still have bad days. It is such a struggle!
This past fall, there was a 3 month period where the only time I got out of bed was to eat, go to the bathroom, work, and church. And I admit that I didn't really even enjoy those things. I could have stayed in bed endlessly and it wouldn't have been enough.
I will most definitely be praying for you! I know I'm far away, but if you ever want to talk, I'm here. You can get my number from Katie...don't want to leave it on here. Or, email me at mjmwvu@comcast.net.
Love ya... Megan :-)

Jeannie said...

ain't no judgin' here, baby, just love love love

Erin said...

Ashley,
I'm so sorry things have been so hard. I can't say I totally understand but will certainly be praying to the One who does.

Jen said...

Thanks for sharing, Ashley! I've struggled with this, too and am grateful it was just a season. I'll be praying that you feel His nearness thru' it all.
Love, :) jen

Big Al said...

I am looking forward to getting to know you more....you know you have taught me a lot already. I love it!

Thank you for this post.

mama cindy said...

Like Megan, I take medicine for my depression too. You never know what is going to cause it to happen, and I am so sorry it got you. I am hopeful that you are on the road to being happy again. I want that for you, so much. I am always here for you, Ash. I love you, to the moon and back.

Jen said...

dear friend, I hear ya, feel ya, know exactly where you are at. I've often struggled with the same thoughts you have and the same thoughts other people seem to have (people who really haven't a clue). It is miserable when you cannot function in life. I wanted desperately to be able to "handle it". What an incredible blessing it was to finally let myself receive the help I needed in the form of some great meds. There is no shame in that, it doesn't make you less of a godly woman that you are. I'm glad you shared, and if you need anything please holler. I'll be praying for you during this tough tough time for you. love ya.

Baby Hancock said...

Oh, Ashley. You've been such an encourager to me and I wish I had the magic words to encourage you right now... Know that I love you and want for you to have a bright, happy day today. Talk to you soon.