This weekend was the end of busy “me”. I had so many fun educational activities planned, just like the previous weekend. We have had the calendar filled as I have been energetic and excited about all the wonderful free events going on for children. We live in a very “artsy” town. There are galleries and exhibits and children’s scavenger hunts and classes all the time. We’ve also taken up geocaching and try to find at least one every weekend. In addition to that we’ve begun new literature studies… Five in a Row for the two younger boys and Beyond Five in a Row for Big Bird. On top of what we were doing. I have been go, go, go for weeks now. On Saturday I felt like a brick wall smacked me in the face.
I woke up Saturday at noon, only because hubby woke me. I drank my coffee and went back to bed. I didn’t wake up until Sunday morning, again only because hubby woke me. Yesterday was a struggle to stay up and awake. I was a crying mess most of the day. And I realized there was no way I could handle everything I dished out onto my own plate. I lost all that energy I had and now I can barely get the basics done. I am a little hungry, but can’t eat. It takes everything in me not to fall back asleep just sitting down. And now I am shocked that I thought for a moment it would be a good thing to add two more programs onto the homeschooling plate. I won’t get into the awful thoughts trying to gain control over my mind or the lack of lust for life I had in abundance one week ago.
I have depression and it just hit me. It does every year at around this time. When I was younger and a bad ass, this would be about the time of year I would do something to get myself arrested or suspended/expelled. Only now I am a wife and a mother and I can only daydream of running away. Not because I don’t love my family, but because I do. I hate when anything I do hurts them. Tons of guilt feels heaped on my head and I know it’s only a trick. None of it is real. When I feel bad, I tend to lash out and hurt others. Not this time. This time I am so gosh darn tired I feel like I am in another world and I am in slow motion.
There are medicines which help this type of disorder, health defect, lack of neurotransmitter movement in my brain, and I am on one of them. It has worked great and has kept the physical depression at bay for almost a year now. But it is not a cure, it’s not Christ. The medicine I take is only meant to prolong the length of time between these periods. And it has done a great job, but it’s not meant to make them disappear.
There’s an age-old debate about whether depression is a real medical condition or not. I could argue the medical defense for it all day long, but the fact is, it’s real. Whether you believe it’s medical or spiritual, it’s real. I know it’s not spiritual because I am physically dealing with the full effects, but I am also fully aware of Christ, His love for me, His allowance of serious ailments in order that He would be my comfort. There is a very real, very physical medical condition which causes depression and it’s counterpart, manic depression.
Mania is physical as well as mental. In a manic state I can drain a savings account faster that the speed of light and have no recollection of what I bought or why (hence the setting up of a savings account under hubby’s name only). It’s exists and it’s not for lack of Christ. But I don’t want to talk about that too much because it’s not what’s going on today.
I am going to get ready for our school day and make sure the kids ate all their breakfast. I am going to homeschool them and give thanks as I do. When my husband comes home tonight I am going to have a good dinner waiting for him as I hug him tight and realize how lucky I am to have him, we are lucky to have each other. In all things I am grateful for Christ and the piece of Him I get to share in, even when my body betrays me in this way.
I can understand a little bit about what it means to be joyful even when sad. Color has drained from the day, it’s all in black and white. My legs ache and my bed beckons me. I relive the most horrible parts of life over and over again and all I want to do is go to sleep and never wake up. As I look to Christ to figure out how in the world I am going to get through this day, He encourages me to put one foot forward, then the other. It is Him sustaining me. It is Him carrying out the loving life of a mother in me during this time. If that’s not something to be grateful for, then nothing is. Deep down, nothing can ever replace His joy with sadness. My body will try, but it will fail.
Thanks for reading.