Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'm Being Rebuilt

Last time I posted was in August.  I just reread my blog post and see that the signs of depression were there already.  In mid-September, for no particular circumstantial reason, I was hit with the most paralyzing depression I've ever experienced.  I've battled it a few times in my past...but this time was different.  It was an all-consuming, dark, quicksand-like muck that I got stuck in and it stripped me of my 'self' quicker than I realized what was happening.  It's hard to explain to anyone who has never experienced it, but I'll try.

It is to have a physical pain that hurts so badly, but you can't quite pinpoint exactly where it hurts...mostly your heart.  It just hurts.  It's dark.  And it makes you want to cry out...but you don't have the energy to cry out, so you just lay down.  And hide.  But...then you have a lot of time, unless you're blessed with the escape of sleep.  And time is the enemy because within that empty time the demons, seeing that the armor is laying on the floor next to you, walk right up to you and sink their teeth in.  The accuser, the deceiver of this world, does his thing and brings to mind every failure, rejection and negative thought you've ever had...and whispers them til you agree...'Yes, yes, I am those things.'  Auto-piloting through the things you can't get out of, canceling the other things.  Things that normally bring joy you just don't do.  Everything seems fuzzy, what truths you had clung to are now just out of grasp and you don't have the energy or desire to grab on to them.  'I'm defeated...I'm so sad.  I don't want to be here anymore.  I can't pray.'  So much sadness, so much hurt but unable to cry and release it.  The feeling of being all alone is overwhelming.  The truth that many love you and want to help you sinks in the mud and the lie of loneliness and rejection rules.

NOT a good spot.  Very scary.  That was mid September.  I visited my doctor immediately, pleading for her to fix me now...and I received some medicine.  Which is great, but it takes 4 or so weeks to take effect.  I had amazing support from family and friends who checked in on me constantly.  I did not want to talk, but the effort was appreciated.  I can not say enough about the friends who 'loved at all times' during this...when I was un-engaged, unmotivated and not fun in any way.  It was probably the hardest for Jeff who couldn't help me, which is what he always wants to do.  With the help of a Christian counselor and the medicine, I started to get back to a level of functioning, one where when the sadness came I could cry at least and work through it.  Not the best, but do-able.

Since then I have been on quite a journey.  Medicines are not quite right and have been changed several times.  Counseling has been hard - very taxing.  But I already see that the reward and payoff is going to be great.  Because of the illness of depression I sought out counseling...but through this I received the opportunity to spend some time looking at who I am.  Typically you don't spend time in deep self-introspection and dissection, uncovering stuff that is 'just fine' buried under all the layers.  I see it now.  I've looked at why I am this way or that way.  I've cried, I've mourned, I've connected dots, I've wished, I've explored, I've shamed myself, I've hated myself, I've asked for forgiveness, I've forgiven, I've loved and I'm allowing others to love me.

And now, I am at a turning point.  I think. (I keep slipping on the side of the pit...soon I'll be away from it.)  God and I have scooped out of me every habit, hurt, hang-up, memory, experience, characteristic, etc - it's all sitting on a table in front of me.  Even many of the things that I'd worked on in the past seemed to only have been patched and the patches were chipping and curling off.  And now, I am ready.  And I will become me.  The beloved daughter that He wants me to be, the person I long to be.  The parts that He wants back in, we'll put back in, some will need to be thrown out, some will need to be replaced or toned down.  I'm being rebuilt...made more like Him.

I'm starting with what I know is in me and can't be taken out - the Spirit...and I'm acknowledging Him.  He is IN me, actually IN me.  All that time that I was so miserable He felt it too, He wept with me.  Now and always, His power is available to me.  His truth is in me.  Who He says I am is a part of me - the foundation that I want to build upon.  The Fruit of the Spirit is in me:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

I'm learning a few things as I'm getting ready to rebuild.  I'm not going to be constructed overnight.  In fact, I will not be finished until I meet Him face to face.  Habits and defense mechanisms and chains have been with me for 38 years.  So, I must give myself grace when I slide.  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6

I absolutely must put on the armor each day.  Satan has seen what he did to me and knows my weaknesses.  He will not win though.  But he's still going to try.  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

The mind is where the battle is...I fail regularly in the area of taking my thoughts captive...but I have to keep trying.  Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Romans 12:2

Rebuilding is not something I can do.  It's mostly about me becoming a vessel for the Holy Spirit to flow in and through.  It's about letting go of control and the hope to do things perfectly.  It's about submitting fully to Him and His plan, His timing, His control - trust.  It's about Faith.  As I read the title of my blog:  "Never Say Never: My Faith Journey".  I figure that my story can re-start right here at this point in my life.  It always comes down to Faith it seems:

        "Do I believe you God?"

                                     "Do I trust You?"

Welcome back to my faith journey.  Yes, I've taken quite a few months off from writing, but it's time now.  One thing that gets taken off the table today and put back in to me - Expressing myself through the therapy of writing.

I waffled on whether or not to share all of this.  I'm embarrassed.  I shouldn't be.  Why is this disease such a taboo topic?  I know it is hard to support someone who is constantly emotionally draining.  And it may seem as though those who are depressed aren't trying to get better and are just wallowing around.  Maybe some don't put forth effort in healing, but for me it was like trying to get out of a pit that had been rubbed down with is frustrating and seemed impossible at times.  It really stinks though that it's easier and more comfortable and not as messy to support someone who has had a heart attack or a broken bone.

If you know someone who is depressed and you don't know how to support them:  send a card, send flowers, bring a meal or a dessert, give them a hug or several - every time you see them, drop them a text - all you have to say - "I'm praying for you. This won't last forever." All that stuff goes so far even though it doesn't seem like much.

I realize that there is a possibility with me posting this for the world to see that someone might think I'm weak and won't try to understand...I am okay with that.  I'm picking up another few things off of the table and putting them in me - I want to continue to be real, open, honest, genuine, and approachable.  I still want others to feel like they aren't alone.  And one that I've not been so good at but I'm putting in me - I am going to be okay if someone doesn't like me over this or something else.  Not everyone is going to like me.  I will let go of the unrealistic striving for everyone to be happy with me constantly.  Thus, I will share these things.  This is me.  This is part of my story of growing in faith and the beginning of the rebuilding of me.  

There is hope.  Especially with Jesus' help.  He is our hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13