Tag Archives: depression

The Way of the Waves

There are things you begin to notice.

Your voice quietens, just a little.

Noise seems louder, scratching at your eardrums.

You’re more easily irritated, patience worn thin.

You are tired, the tiredness spreads through your body like slowly freezing water. It is cold, painful and slows your thoughts and movement.

The feelings are dully familiar, and yet they catch you by surprise because the reprieve has been so long, so welcome.

Thoughts and feelings you have written about many times in the past tense have crept back into your present and they are as fresh and frightening as they were the first time.

Depression is an unwelcome returning guest. And yet you welcome you must, for fighting delay and worsens the inevitable tide which may or may not knock you off your feet.

You know how it goes, it’s a tide you’ve chased many times before and yet it feels new.

The newness is the baby, your delight, who gives no heed to your falling mood or slowing movements. He still needs to be fed, entertained, cherished.


Being a Mum made me reach out sooner than I might have done in the past; because there is not just me and my husband to consider, but a tiny boy who depends on us for everything (whether or not he cares to agree with this.)

And so I fell into my community, I allowed them to care for my family. We accepted help from all sides and I tried to push away the guilt and shame.

I realised, this time, that pride had crept in over the months and years of relative wellness. I speak of struggle in the past tense, I am a “new me” now.

Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten that I still need the grace I encourage others to share.

That I experience more freedom is no small amount of work – but it is also the way of the waves – that they have been ridden and not overwhelmed me.

So I write because I believe in honesty, in fighting the stigma (even if today it exists only in my own mind) and in a God who does His most beautiful work in our weakness.

 

This is a story of hope

A short testimony I shared with others when we were asked to share our stories of hope:

This is a story of hope…

And yet it begins with an almost complete lack of hope. As 2007 dawned, I had pretty much given up on the idea that the year ahead would hold anything to hope for.

Having been diagnosed with clinical depression three years earlier at 14 – life had seemed to get progressively worse. And I was tired. Of life, and living.

In medical terms, I was acutely and chronically depression – and yet, it was when I was hospitalised for a night that God planted a seed of my calling. Because amidst the blinding pain of my depression, I felt a flicker of something. How can we bring the light of God into this place? How can we get people to understand what others go through every day?

It was a spark that lay dormant and often forgotten about as I fought to recover. Recovery was, and is a long and difficult road – but the glimmer of hope I saw that night in hospital remained as the years that followed continued in a cycle of getting sick, well, sick, well, sicker and well again.

It was not until I came to LST that I began to think about that spark. It was ignited by people who loved and believed in me as I started to think about having a future. The desire to make a change in Churches and communities in the way mental illness is perceived was strong in me.

Because what had been my darkest night – ignited my hope – in the God I serve, His mission and the part I am called to play, amongst those suffering in the darkness of mental illness.

Scared of Happy?

It sounds strange, to be scared of something which is often fought so hard for. And yet, it is exactly this fight which can make a person fear the happiness when in comes. When all is dark, one begins not to notice that darkness but shown the light, we don’t want to return to the darkness.

It is something I have been thinking a lot about recently as I have enjoyed the happiest six months of my life. Whilst some of this happiness can be attributed to having amazing friends and family, a loving boyfriend and a fulfilling degree course – there is also an element of freedom. The freedom to wake up in the morning and feel ‘okay’ is one which eluded me for a great many years. Going to bed with a smile on my face, was, for a long time completely above and beyond my wildest dreams because I simply did not think I deserved it.

So now, as I enjoy the happiness – there is a lurking fear – a fear that the darkness will return, a fear that days will once again become lost in my ‘sad eyes’.

It is, in many ways a very useful fear – it keeps me tethered to the ground, keeps me thankful for what I have, enables me to use the happiness rightly – stops me from ever taking the light for granted.

I am not naive enough to think that I will never face any darkness again – but I’ve been granted the feel of the light and I like it. So whilst life may become dark again, I hope and pray I can hold onto the hope of the light.

For now though, life is good – and I’m going to enjoy the light and give glory to the one who spoke the light into being.