The Detox Diaries: Grayness

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Gentle Reader,

I wondered if it would come.

That sense of sorrow, so deep it crosses into the confusion of numbness. That pain so awful it pushes with a physical ache into my heart.

Depression.

It always lurks, somewhere in my mind. Some call it pessimism, some call it a melancholy personality. It is both and neither. I have to work, every day, to push the grayness out of my eyes and see the sun. Some days the grayness is splotchy and it’s easy to overcome. Other days I feel like I’m trying to look through a blanket. Those days are hard.

As I lay awake in bed last night, trying (unsuccessfully) to get to sleep, the grayness invaded. I was unprepared for the onslaught. My chest hurt. The tears began.

I wasn’t sad about anything. I was just sad. That’s the difference between situational and clinical depression. And before anyone suggests that I need to deal with some sin, trust me: confession is often the first thing that pours from my lips. When there’s nothing to confess and you’re still sad, the only logical conclusion is that the sorrow is not connected to anything in particular.

The sorrow just is.

A few deep breaths and a, “Help me, Jesus!” later, I reminded myself of what was happening in my body. Without the Cymbalta and the hormones, I am, as Jackson Browne puts it, running on empty.  I don’t go back to the doctor until the beginning of August, so I have to ride this roller coaster for another month. Yes, diet and exercise help. Summer is the worst time of year for me (I hate the heat and always have), so I was just telling Chris that I wanted to make sure we get a walk in this evening when it’s a little cooler. I’ll be eating…sigh…avacado as part of my dinner. (Gross). I’m aware of what I can do naturally.

But you’ve got to understand something. All the diet and exercise, and even all the antidepressants and hormones, don’t make this thing go away. The grayness won’t flee because it’s confronted by some Omega-3 rich salmon. The consequence of living in a fallen world is, for me, a broken brain. I am always going to battle depression and anxiety this side of Eternity, unless God sees fit to heal me. Thus far, He hasn’t.

In a way, that’s okay with me. I don’t relish the feeling of my feet being like bricks, so that every step takes monumental effort. I don’t like crying at the drop of a hat. Honestly, though, I’m over the stigma. I really don’t care what anyone thinks about my being depressed and anxious; anyone who wants to give me some input or suggestions may do so, but I’m going to shrug off any negativity or judgment. I refuse to take that in.

You know why? The grayness pushes me toward the Source of all light. I can’t see clearly, I can’t understand rightly, and so I turn to God, time and time again. If this battle is what it takes for me to stick close to Him, then fine. I am His beloved daughter, and He’s happy…no, He’s delighted to have me around. My struggle and need doesn’t surprise Him or put Him off. He’ll gladly hold my hand.

He’ll even carry me when I can’t see to take another step.

My journey to faith. (15)

To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.