Admitting You Need Help
I am weary.
Well, technically, I’m depressed but that causes weariness. Or is it weariness that causes depression?
I’m inclined to believe it’s a chicken and egg argument.
Admitting that I was suffering from, and needed help with, depression has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life.
This year has been the hardest of my life. I started out with such fervor. Hubby and I were slightly discouraged we hadn’t seen two pink lines appear yet but our hope stood firm that we would see though lines soon.
Then the storm hit.
A terrible training accident, a widowed friend, another friend burying her son. It was too much to bear. When Hubby left in February for his deployment, my heart was weak with the weight of this world.
I hadn’t been feeling well but, remarkably, the doctors could get me in quickly. A silver lining.
I didn’t know that that would be the last piece of good news I received in awhile. The doctors put me on an oral contraceptive to try to help with my pain but, not only did it increase the pain, it broke me.
I became a shell of the person I remember. Aside from the constant hunger (I’m talking waking up in the middle of the night stomach growling), the weight of all of the terrible grief of the world seemed to land on my soul at once. I cried several times a day, I struggled to find purpose, my typical delights bored me at best, and God felt… well, not there. It was a dark time and I have yet to find my way out of that forrest.
Bravery is something I aspire to. I dream of leaping over stereotypes and destroying stigmas. There are days I have been very brave.
I remember my hand shaking when I called the counselors office to make a consultation. I felt like a failure, but I picked up the phone. My teenage sister was visiting when I left for my first appointment. She asked where I was going and, in a move of courage and a desire that she never feel the stigma I felt, I explained very rationally that I was going to see a counselor because I was depressed, that it was very normal to feel depressed, and that most of my pain treatment remedies listed depression as a side-effect.
After a few months of talk therapy, I was fighting hard. I have had some high days and have developed an interest in liturgical worship, but I have crashed into some incredibly low days. Days where nothing appeals to me except crying on my bed. Over what I’m not quite sure but I’m vaguely confident it has to do with the state of the world. Most days, I just felt weary and disengaged.
Today, today was a big day. It was a hard day. I met with my doctor to discuss starting an antidepressant medication.
I wanted to cancel the appointment a thousand times today. I kept having to talk myself through the reasons I was seeking help.I confided in a friend and finally, left for my appointment. They were running behind so I sat in the lobby alone for almost an hour waiting.
I held back tears through most of my appointment. The nurse was clearly having a bad day and that was a bit more than I wanted to deal with. But when the doctor came in, she was incredibly compassionate. She talked through a recommended course of action thoroughly and asked if I had any questions. She didn’t make me feel foolish or insecure. She wanted to help me.
Tonight, I am resting in satisfaction that I am making the right choice for my body and mind. I am choosing healing. I am yet again handing myself over to God asking Him to remove this cup but ultimately, praising Him for the sufficiency of grace.
When Jacob wrestled God, what did his heart say? My heart is crying and my body is weary with wrestling. I’m waiting for the blessing and the new, strengthened identify that follows. These days are long but I can feel the time moving around me, relentlessly pressing forward with or without my approval.
I wish I could regain this time. That my husband’s could have come home from his deployment to the arms of a wife who was healthy and well. That my year could have been spent knocking things off my bucket list – making trips around the islands, visiting friends, enjoying my life. Instead, these days have been marked by suffering and it will forever leave a scar on our lives.
I pray that one day, the bravery that told my sister it was okay to need help, okay to not be okay, will look at my scars and realize that it’s okay to have your life marked by suffering. That it will remind me that our Lord was known as a “Man of Sorrows” but that God’s hand was in every, single moment of that sorrow. That my God is in the business of turning ashes to beauty.
These are the truths I know to be true, even as I struggle to believe.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. – Isaiah 61, ESV