WARNING: This is an extremely sensitive and personal topic to me, but I feel compelled to share it anyway. Please be judicious with your comments.
I struggle with depression. Some days are better than others; some weeks are better than others; some months are better than others; some years are better than others. I think you get the point. Most of the time my depression doesn't bother me too much. It certainly almost never affects my daytime life. (Who can let it with four little ones to take care of?) For whatever reason quite recently it has become very difficult to bear, particularly in the evening/nighttime hours. I find myself wasting hours on end on the computer just so I don't have to face the dark and cold loneliness. (Lest any of you jump to the wrong conclusions: my relationship with my husband is wonderful. This is just my perspective of my spirit/soul.)
I've had depression to some degree or another my entire memorable life with a pretty severe peak my last couple of years in high school and on through the first few of my adult life, when I said, "To Hell with the world!" and didn't care what I did or who I hurt and I lived the wild life. It was miserable and did nothing to alleviate the emptiness I felt. There was even a time at the end of my high school career that I was actually somewhat suicidal. Meaning I had thoughts often of death, but never enough to make any attempts, lest I fail and be crippled or something worse. I'm way too much of a coward to ever actually attempt to take my own life. I would NEVER do that. At the time I just employed minor self-mutilation to distract me from the emotional pain I felt. I've matured from that too, believe me. I have so much more self-control now over my depression as an adult than I did as a teen.
This most recent bout of depression seemed to strike around July of last year (2011). And has gone through some pretty fantastic ups and downs since setting in, as can be expected with depression. I finished last year and started this year (2012) with quite an upswing and it felt so good! Alas, it was extremely short-lived, as I'd fallen to the deepest level since this new bout began. It is a constant struggle. Most days are fine, sort of. I've found that the computer lately has really become a vice for me. It is so much easier to lose myself in the online world than to deal with my own real world some days. Some days are completely wasted and nothing productive happens. Considering I home educate our children, this weighs heavily on my conscience when these days happen. (Which really doesn't help matters at all!)
I am not a bad person. I have struggles. Mine may not look like yours. Yours may not look like mine. I am weak. I am fallible. I am not perfect, much as I'd like to convince everyone otherwise. So, there you have it. I am struggling through it right now. I'm feeling much better than I was a week ago (hence the post), but I know I need to come higher still. I'm still pretty low. I have begun to question some things deeply - more so than I've ever done in my life. And that frightens me a little (a lot!) too.
I have no one specific thing that I can say bugs me, but there are lots of things I could certainly complain about (who couldn't?), but no one "cause" for my depression. Yes, some bad things happened to me when I was little. Yes, more bad things happened to me as a teen. Yes, bad things happened to me as a young adult. Yes, I made some terrible choices. But I can't point my finger at any one thing and say it causes my depression. Depression eludes me. I don't understand it at all! I have a fantastic life! I am so richly blessed in every area. Sure, bad things have happened, but every single person who comes to this earth has bad things happen to him.
So, without going into all the gory details that's where I've been lately, in case you've wondered. I'm naturally a bit reclusive, but if I seem extra hermit-y lately, please don't take offense. I don't do well in the long, dark, cold winter months. Those are the most challenging for me.
So what am I doing about it? I cry to Luke when I need to. Occasionally I'll cry to one of you too, if you catch me at the right time. :O) I'm trying to not get too wrapped up in the great world of the Internet. I'm trying to set some boundaries. My goals have changed for this particularly low time. They are much more simple than they were at the beginning of the year: Get out of bed every day before noon. Go to bed by three a.m. Do some form of "formal" school with the kids each day. Talk to my children (when I'm withdrawn, I don't want to be bothered) and husband. Acknowledge each feeling as it comes. Don't hide from "bad" feelings; acknowledge them and move on. Look for a reason to smile, then do it - smile. Smiling releases endorphins, you know. Find one thing that I accomplished and celebrate it. Doesn't sound like much, but like all things: "this too shall pass."
I know that I should have listed prayer and scriptures, especially during my dark days, but sometimes I really truly don't feel like it and I'm very angry with God. I give myself permission to throw a tantrum and stomp my feet at him with my tongue sticking out and my ears plugged. I know it's incredibly juvenile, but sometimes it happens. When I get around to humbling myself again (which usually doesn't take too long) I feel so much better. I repent of my immaturity. The humility helps me to hear Him better. Some of my best moments have been after a literal tantrum, fit-throwing, yelling, crying "prayer" with the Lord. Maybe someday I'll grow up and I'll learn to trust Him better than I do now and I will be able to turn to Him during my darkest days and find the solace, peace and healing I desire. I just have to grow up first.
So that's where I've been. My amazing husband has been right beside me, holding my hand, falling asleep while I vent of all the injustices in life at 3:00 am. ;o) He's so incredible. I'm so lucky to have him! I love him so much! I promise Honey, this will get better. It always does. Thanks for being patient with me while I work through these rough spots.