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Redemptive Grace

Loving Jesus, Loving People….(including even me).

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2018

Functional Depression

I keep telling myself this is just grief manifesting itself…that it will resolve with time, and maybe it will. On days like today, though, I fear there is something more hidden beneath this grief. Something darker, something threatening. Days like today my mind cannot comprehend simple instructions, instead I feel thrown into a full-blown trauma response. I find myself in tears just trying to complete the simple tasks of being an adult.

The kids are fighting in the background, they need me. The house is a wreck again, it needs me. We need groceries, there are bills to be paid. I have to figure out how to transfer all of these accounts. State exams are nearly here, but I can’t comprehend these instructions for filling out the requisite paperwork. I am highly educated I tell myself, I should be able to navigate all of these situations. I am vaguely aware of a persistent voice telling me this is a normal response to what has happened in this last year. A small part of my brain cries out to be heard: you will be ok. If you can set these tasks aside, take a shower, and nourish your body…you will recover. 

I can hear this inside of me, but I can’t grasp it; I can’t connect to it. I am having a hard time even connecting the sensation of hunger to the need for food. I can’t leave my bed, there are at least 87 pages open in my brain, I’m definitely swirling. My screen betrays what is happening in my mind: 18 tabs, 4 screenshots, 3 documents, various emails, and at least one document search currently lay open on my laptop. Even still, I will complete everything I need to today, except mother my kids, or feed my body. I’ll rarely leave my bed.

This is functional depression. Oh. To force accomplishment, to finish the day with an outside air of perfection. To feel lost and a little alone. If you stopped by today, I could whip up a smile, I could distract you with a little humor. You would likely leave me feeling refreshed. I, however, would wish I wasn’t so good at deception.

I am mad at this wasted day. Mad that I didn’t take that walk with my son. Mad that my kids watched too much tv and mad that the only time they heard from me was when I was shouting at them to get their chores done. Mad that I still expect perfection from myself on a day I needed just to be.

The sun has now set and I am sitting here in the dark of my room, my favorite space. I can smell the warm fresh scent of jasmine coming through the window, I try to let it tell me the story of renewal. I apologize to my kids, they are so accepting. Tomorrow, please God, tomorrow let me be free.

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Allay This Fear

Today is one of many harder-than-hard days in this fluctuating season of unease, and I know that I will face many more days like this in the coming months that will feel as trepidatious. As I fight my need to allay the intensity by distracting myself, I know one thing for sure: none of the many ways that I desire to resolve the anxiety within me will last. I must acknowledge the basal response of my system and call it what it is: uncertainty, anxiety, fear and these are temporary. Pushing in, I must be aware that with time these all encompassing emotions will pass and become a distant (albeit painful and teachable) moment in time. Today, all that is required of me is to remain.

God will fight for me.

I have never understood this so fully as this current season has required of me. Perhaps it is all of the times I have insisted on trying to fight for myself that have failed. The failed attempts to recover my sense of self through relationships that were not right in timing, or those many many demands I made of myself to be perfect and exacting. I have failed so often trying to gain the foreknowledge that would keep from unraveling my carefully constructed walls of self-protection that I have missed out on the inexplicable peace it is to remain.

The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still.

-Exodus 14:14

Now, don’t misunderstand me. All is not fine. Suffering is real and alive, and there are so many unknowns that are present in this life. What I want as a release and protection is very real and I am pleading for it to be so; I also know that God will fight for me, even as the outcome is certainly different than what I can imagine is best.

I have frequently misunderstood what it means for God to fight for me. I had assumed, as many around me, that the protection of God meant justice or at the very least a lessening of pain. As though God would come through like a night in shining armor to swipe evil away and make life right and safe. I believed in a theology that said that God saves and that meant rescuing from circumstance. In reality, God saves means that the deepest parts of me are awakened to a reality that God is within. That regardless of circumstance, that my protection is being intimately connected to the unchangeable, steadfast Spirit of God.

Today is a day of unrest, and yet I am resolved to remain because I believe the Lord will fight for me, I need only to be still. 

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