Standing in the kitchen eating the entire thawed holiday loaf of ginger bread tears clouded my eyes. I had reasons to feel depressed but that wasn’t at the forefront of my mind this morning. Why did I feel so lethargic? Was it the worry of my daughter in college moving out and not being able to continue school, was it the worry of the direction of my youngest, was it the worry of my oldest daughter’s health or the fear of losing connection with my husband as we become empty nesters? No, these were worries but not the reason for the feel of draining complete tiredness.
No this was just plain depression, it had reared its ugly head throughout my life, post-partum and other times but not like this. I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed with grief today, but I felt utterly noodle-like. Why? The gift my daughter that left me was this. She left me with the full feeling of what it really felt like and a glimpse of what that battle might have felt like. In truth I never understood, I made it out of the horrors of young adult hood so I assumed my children could. This was a gift of understanding that it was a daily battle, one maybe she could have continued fighting, but she wasn’t in the place to do so.
Looking at the chores looming around the house all I could feel was a lack of motivation, a desire to go back to bed. The feeling that everything was pointless and that I had not a pinky toe of energy to start. How to fight a battle like this? I remembered a class I took on ADHD where I learned that it had to be hit from many sides as a parent. The only hope in battling this kind of heavy fog was to hit it from everywhere. Were the beginnings of menopause making it worse? Wear the dumb patch. Would the anti-depressant help? Maybe if you actually took it consistently. Would prayer and meditation help? Undoubtedly if I actually sat still long enough. Would having things to look forward to make me leave my house? Probably. I had a knack for making plans and then the day the plans arrived I wanted to do absolutely nothing, once out though I found it to be exactly what I needed.
How do I teach survival and hopefully the ability to flourish despite overwhelming sadness to others? I was going to have to find effort somewhere in the depths of my being. Fake it until you make it, I have said. Force the smile, the outing, the walk the laundry and the feelings, that one little serotonin cell will clap for joy in accomplishment. I don’t want to waste this gift of understanding. I’ll make the bed, I’ll go on the outing, I will spend some quiet time, I will take the medication, wear the patch and hopefully each day will knock down this wall that was built up in side me.
I always loved when someone’s advice when I was in an autoimmune flare was to go exercise. I would think to myself, “my feet are cement, my body on fire but sure, I’ll get right on that!” It about that level of difficulty when fighting your own wall of sadness let alone trying to help others feeling that way. Stone feet but I will make them move inch by bloody inch.
I have been asked about the need to share such deep information, especially on a public platform. I write things I don’t even say aloud. It is simple my daughter died she lost her battle. If I could help one person not feel so alone with their thoughts then sharing my deep inner thoughts is worth it. Sending love today for all the people fighting their own wall today and if you were able to move one inch, it was one crack of many cracks to soon pull your own wall down.
On my mission trip in Mexico at first glance the area seems just dirty, hot and miserable. I couldn’t find any reason to want to live in the rubble besides it being the only option the people were given. Then slowly I noticed the beautiful, almost hidden plants outside many of the small cubicles called homes. They were vibrant planted amongst the rocks and sand. They required little water or anything special to survive. These were each homes crack in their harsh world, a sign of hope and beauty against all odds. I’m sure I appeared a bit off my rocker running from fenced yard and skirting flee-filled dogs to snap a quick picture of the beautiful flowers, but they filled me with a feeling of hope and one I hope I was able to capture.