Just before Thanksgiving, I felt it creeping around me. I worked hard to keep it at bay. The school semester was ending and there was so much to do to finalize it, I was just getting over the flu, we were in the holidaze craze, and I was working on my dissertation. I couldn’t handle it making space in my life.
And yet it did.
Photo by David Castillo Dominici with FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
I was a month or so into taking my meds for depression, and I was even starting to compartmentalize my thoughts so that I could function.
But slowly, that compartmentalizing began to break down.
I was OK during Thanksgiving.
I was suffering up into Christmas.
I was languishing through Christmas and into the New Year.
And now, I’m in catatonic land for the most part.
Aside from working out, I have had no care to do anything. A heaviness plants itself in the very center of my chest, it hurts to breathe, and any thoughts beyond get up, go bathroom, maybe eat, and workout puts me in a frantic-run-to-the-edge-and-look-down frame of mind.
Two weeks ago when I saw my counselor, she wanted to see how I felt over the next two weeks… see if I needed my meds upped.
Went to see her this week, and I felt worse than before. And today, worse than that.
Most of my life, panic–though it is the bane of my existence–has worked to motivate me. Depression, doubt, insecurities, and whatnot work overtime to keep me feeling down, but then panic of not completing a task enters, and I end up doing a 24-hour write-a-thon, and boom, task completed, and according to others, completed well.
For the last two months, panic does not help. I don’t feel it. Because I don’t CARE. I SEE panic on the periphery of my life, but my lack of care is a force field that keeps it away from me.
NOW… I have to chuckle a bit because I know you read the title of this post and read the post and are now like, “Um, where’s the STRENGTHENING?” Ha!
Here it is. Today. I talked with my bestie. Well, really, SHE talked. My chest, my heart, my mind are too heavy to say much right now.
She put some wonderful words into my head and my heart. She prayed for me, as she always does. She reminded me that despite ALL this, God still loves me, and He’s still working on my behalf.
After talking with her, I went on my walk and listened to music. Trin-i-tee 5:7′s “Listen” came on, and I ended up playing it on repeat at least 10 times.
Here are some of the lyrics I latched onto:
Cause He’s right there waiting for you to let it go
And if you didn’t know, now you know
That He’s always on time
Let everybody know it’s not the time to give up
So no matter what you’re going through, going through
Just hold your head up high, keep pressin’ for the prize
Cast on Him all of your cares, leave your burdens there
As I listened to this song on repeat, I felt the cracks in my brokenness being filled with God’s love for me. I felt my back straighten, my head lift, my lips curl upward, my stride lengthen, my gait quicken. I felt powerful.
In my head, I repeated five verses that always touch me when I read them:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. -Isaiah 55:9-11
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. -James 1:2-3
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit. -Proverbs 18:21
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. -Psalm 30:5
Despite what is going on with me right now, I do believe that I will be OK. That I will be better than OK because I have a Father who is working on my behalf and paving a strong, durable, bless-filled road for me ahead.
What I’m holding on to as I move through my life right now is this:
For every break, I am strengthened.