severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
a condition of mental disturbance characterized by depression to a greater degree than seems warranted by the external circumstances, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
synonyms: unhappiness, sadness, melancholy, melancholia, misery, sorrow, woe, gloom, despondency, low spirits, a heavy heart, despair, desolation, hopelessness
Just about everyone experiences depression to some degree at some point in their lives. For some of us, its an ongoing battle and quite personal in that we all experience it differently.
My blog, so I’ll write about what it’s like for me.
You know those moments when you’ve just laid down to go to sleep? It’s dark, you haven’t yet closed your eyes and since you just turned the lights out, your eyes haven’t quite adjusted. When depression is kicking my arse, it’s like this day and night. There’s no color, no light, nothing but empty dark and heaviness.
Pain seems to come from everywhere, with no particular reason.
Any chance of energy has drained out of every extremity so even if you wanted to move, you can’t. There’s an exhaustion that pervades your entire being, but you can’t sleep enough to satisfy it’s demand.
The phone rings, the dishes need to be done, the dog needs to go out, laundry is piling up and you’re out of the things you need to function properly from day to day, but you can’t do it, so the demands continue, bringing on an yet another added sense of being overwhelmed.
My mind races with the reality of my single, childless state conjoined with my age. I think of all the aborted vision that was. The hopes of marriage and family that aren’t coming to fruition. I’m the only one of my parents children with no husband, no grandchildren for them. I’ve become a burden. A needy, life taker rather than a life giver. I feel like a disappointment to my G-d, my family, my culture. The hopes of being more stable, mentally, physically, financially have gone by the way side. I see how I’ve become everything I never wanted to be and the idea that it could change seems too far fetched to even imagine. Why daydream about how things could be when it’s just a set up for another let down?
Dissociation is a factor with the harsh reality of a long, difficult journey ahead. Not only am I experiencing the thoughts and feelings noted, but there’s a whole group of people in my head with their very own depressions, their very own stacks of disappointments, mostly aimed at me.
Then there’s people. You’ve already isolated so the very idea of going out and being around people makes you nauseous. Don’t want to see them, don’t want to smell them, don’t want to put on the fake smiles on because there’s not even enough joy to pretend. Plus you know you’re not exactly going to be a bundle of fun, so why be the party pooper? Easier on everyone if you skip out and stay in the bed where you’re still imprisoned.
For me, I have the addition of rather significant physical pain. Staying in bed makes my body feel better, but doesn’t help when the depression is high.
It’s often a battle to even want to live, to look another day in the face just seems like a needless form of torture. It would be easier on everyone if it were over.
Now, let me add that I’m NOT in this state right now. Much of those are my very real realities, but I’m OK and viewing them differently. Let me also add that these are common thoughts that occur in the throws of a depressive episode that could last anywhere from days to years.
Thankfully I’m medicated and my world is filled with love and I’m learning more every day to find the beauty of life where I am, in the now. It’s not always easy. We were promised tribulation in this world, but we were also promised that the ONE on whom we depend has indeed overcome the world.
Susan Stocker, a therapist and lifeline out of NC, posts responses here from time to time. She talked to me once about grace and accepting the offer of G-d’s grace for each day. I’ve survived off of this truth.
Each day we are given a choice to choose life. Some days are harder than others. Some days are very dark, cold and lonely. But, sometimes light shines just enough for us to see that grace that’s been made available through Him.
This isn’t really a happy blog post, but I’ve been outraged at some of the attacks made towards a man who just couldn’t handle the pain of another moment. He couldn’t see life for the gift that it is. I’ve been there. People have called him selfish, not recognizing that in his mind, he likely thought that ending his life would be better for everyone. I grieve for his family. I grieve for him, knowing what it’s like to want so badly to quit.
Sometimes death seems like the most beautiful, welcoming, cozy, blanket waiting for you to wrap it around you to protect you from the world and the world from you. Selfish, it most certainly is not, but it is terribly sad.
I chose grace today. I’ll choose grace tomorrow. G-d will be with me then just as He is now and I don’t know exactly what He’ll do, but I can hardly wait to see how He shines His light. I can hardly wait to see His grace in action. I can hardly wait to see Him. Tomorrow when I wake up, it will be still very dark outside, but I’ll be seeing brilliant, colorful light.