Depression. I know it’s a dirty word that no one ever talks about, but it really needs talked about. Lately, I have been depressed. For the last fifteen years, I have struggled on and off with depression. At first I thought it was solely due to my life circumstances, especially dealing with the aftermath of how I grew up. And in part I think it was, and counseling and healing went a long way to helping me move through it.
However, when Jeremy and I were trying to get pregnant with Ethan I noticed a trend. Every month around the same time the depression and blues got worse and worse. I remember February of 2009 was the worst I’d fought in years. I was so “in the depths of despair” (in the words of Anne of Green Gables) that I could barely function. I even remember telling God, “Okay, we have got to get pregnant this month because I can’t take another month of this!” Then I called my doctor for a prescription for Zoloft but waited to see what happened before I filled it. Six blessed weeks later by and act of God we were pregnant, though we didn’t find out for 6 weeks beyond that.
It was then I began to see that yes, sometimes my depression was triggered by things around me, but at other times it was triggered by what appeared to be hormones and the rhythms of my body that I had no control over. For me it shows up as constant exhaustion, deep sadness, and a tape in my head telling me “I can’t do this!”
Right now that type of depression is bothering me so much, I told Jeremy last night that I just wanted to crash and burn this week. I feel so belch! He calmly asked me what that would look like. I told him I don’t know because I can’t crash. I have two little boys depending on me to be okay.
So this morning I began to get help. I had a good long talk with God, drank deeply, and told Him exactly how I felt. It felt good to just tell someone what was going on inside. Then I called my doctor to see if I could switch my birth control prescription* to something that would help me better.
I feel no shame in using medicine to combat depression or other types of effects from hormone imbalance. I have learned getting whatever kind of help is needed is actually the best thing I can do for myself and my family. My husband needs me to be sane. My children need me to be present and able to respond to them positively.
Yes, it is true talking to God helps. Coming to him and being completely honest lifts a weight off my shoulders. And I am praying for healing, but if He chooses not to heal me for some reason, I still need to be able to function for the sake of my family instead of feeling half crazy for several weeks a month.
If you’re struggling with depression, know there is no shame in getting help. First turn to God. Tell him exactly what is going on, how you’re feeling, and what you’re thinking. Then pray about your next steps. Do you need to see a counselor to work through some stuff from your past or even situations in your present? Do you just need a break for a few days? Or as you pay attention do you notice a pattern to your depression? That you might need medication natural or otherwise to combat it?
Please, please, please, don’t just stay where you are. Depression is crippling and effects everyone around you even when you try to hold it in. It’s like this black gunk that seeps out whether you want it to or not. Please tell God how you’re feeling. Please tell those close to you how you’re feeling and Please begin to take the steps to get whatever help you may need to begin to walk free again. There is light at the end of this tunnel you’re in, and it is not an oncoming train.
*I did end up changing my birth control prescription, and quite honestly I feel like a new person. No, the fix isn’t always this easy. I’ve been through times when it has taken months and months of healing to get to this place. Either way though, paying attention to your body and working through the healing are worth it in the end. I promise!