Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Who? Me? No. I'm NOT Depressed.

Last March I told you I had been struggling with anxiety and depression. I also said I intended to share my journey with you. And in a recent conversation with a friend, I was reminded and encouraged to do just that.
So, for the next three days I plan to give you an overview of where I've been, and where I am. My hope is to open up a conversation with anyone who needs to talk. Perhaps you are, or know, someone who is suffering silently and you need to know you aren't alone. I want to give you that assurance.

So, we begin.

Honestly, the anxiety thing didn't surprise me so much. It's in my family. I know I'm a high-strung person. No major revelation there.
But, to be told I also had signs of depression came as quite a shock to me.
I've heard people who suffer with depression describe themselves as 'unable to get off the couch for days.' Or thinking their life had no meaning, no purpose. And those things didn't describe me.
True, there were times in the midst of my uncontrollable crying spells when I wondered, Is THIS depression? But I would quickly excuse it as PMS, or my pathetic inability to deal with life. To say I was dealing with a very real thing called depression almost seemed like an excuse to me. Somehow I determined in my mind that I should be able to pick myself up and move on, or at least pray myself out of my moods.
I now understand such a way of reasoning was fueled by my depression - my propensity toward negative thoughts.

Seems kinda crazy. The very thing with which I was struggling was working against me to try to convince me I wasn't struggling with it. *Geesh* What a mess I am. *wink*

In fact, I almost cancelled my doctor's appointment. Because as the time drew nearer I really thought it was just going to be a waste of time and money. But through the encouragement of some very dear people in my life, I kept that appointment.
And God used my doctor to reveal truth to me: This struggle to cope with things, my tendency toward uncontrollable crying, my bent toward thinking negatively about myself - it wasn't just something in my head. It was a very real thing.
It was called 'depression'.

And God was going to help me through it.



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

So proud of you for taking the step to be so transparent. You will bless others hugely...I promise.

Irritable Mother said...

That is my prayer, Leah! To be a blessing. To offer hope. To be a friend. To be HIS instrument.

Anonymous said...

You can't fix it until you know what it is...and you're on your way. God Bless.

Heather {Desperately Seeking} said...

Starting about last September I finally admitted that's where I was... about the time of the Girl Gathering? I think... But it had to get worse before it got better and it got alot worse. But it also got better... and God put me right where I needed to be when I needed to be there for me to work through it... (inlcuding this gig as a church secretary!!!) I want to blog about it, however, for reasons that my husband was once married to, I won't... but I'm glad that you're talking about it! it stinks, but it can get better!!!! I'm not completely out of the woods, but I'm better... and getting better....

Laura said...

Hi Karen,

I just want to let you know that God HAS used you as a tool of inspiration in my own life for years. Although I am not always as loud about it as I should be, you know some of the struggles I have had. HE has helped me through all of them, and continues to EVERY day through the hearts of women like you who are my prayer warriors. I just wanted to say Thank you for pouring into me in the past and praying for me along the way. You are a vessel of warmth and God's love...

gianna said...

Thank you for bringing this to light. I can't wait to continue to hear how this journey goes for you!

Irritable Mother said...

Anon - HE has! Thank you.

Heather - Yes, I know God can use even this. And I am trusting Him to do that. I think we need 'it' to get (a lot) worse before it gets better. Cuz before it gets a lot worse, we might thinkn we can make it through... God knows what we need, and I am so thankful for His hand in our circumstances!
Here's to getting better!

Laura - Thank you. You have blessed me with your words.
Isn't HE gracious to use our struggles to help one another? It absolutley delights my heart to be His vessel.

Gianna - Stick with me, friend. It's an amazing journey. ;o)

Heaven said...

Oh my beautiful friend, Thank you for your transparency in this journey. Depression has stolen most of my life. I'm thankful that I'm not where I used to be, and praise God that I'm not done yet!

Depression is real, and as many times as I've tried to "positively talk" it away (and failed!), is about how much I've used the phrase, "I'm ok. I'm fine."

God is SO faithful EVEN on this journey! Sometimes I feel closer to him when depression comes for the sole fact that I can't function during those days without him.

Prayers and blessings sent your way! Hugs! Heaven

Irritable Mother said...

Heaven - Thanks for sharing. It is good to know we aren't alone. Amen?
Indeed, I am experiencing God's faithfulness, and I am so thankful.
And *ahem* I can't make it through the good days without HIM, either. ;o)

Larie Writes-Proverbs 27:19 said...

Oh Karen this sounds soooooo familiar!


Irritable Mother said...

Larie - When are we going to actually meet face-to-face? I think we might be like two peas in a pod. Love you!