Well. Even my counselor is at a loss for words on what to do. With every, “I don’t know what to do.” out of my mouth it was echoed by hers. Tears poured out of me. Simply because neither of us knew. Depression evokes a desolate feeling of unknown. A sadness for ‘no reason at all’. It is at no fault of hers or my own for not knowing. It makes no sense from the outside looking in.
“Look at her! She has a great apartment. A college education. She’s generally healthy, has a good church home, supporting friends. She has clothes on her back and food in her belly. Yeah she doesn’t have a job at the moment but she did and she’ll find one easier than most.”
First of all. HA. I have a new appreciation for being unemployed/ employable. If I’m struggling to find a job and I have a college degree, how much more are those struggling that don’t?
But that’s just it. Depression hardly ever makes sense outside of the stages of grief. At least that is how it is for me. And it is infuriating! I mean, what now? Now what do I do? There is a part of me that is fueled to keep writing, searching, and fighting. There is another, slightly bigger, part of me that has pulled out the mega-phone and yelled, “CUT. That’s a wrap people!” across the set of my life. The backdrop is being raised, the extras are leaving, the director is packing up his manuscripts. Shows over. There is nothing left to bother with. There is one stage hand who is shouting through tears at the receding crowd. ” WAIT! What if we do something different? Change the plot? Keep the heroin? Add puppies?! Everyone loves puppies!” But it is too late. The lights click off with a loud thud and there is darkness. (Can you see how this is the slightly bigger part of me…)
So here I sit. My coffee steaming from a mug that, comically, says ‘Hott Stuff’. Sun is streaming in the windows carried on a summer breeze. The sky is beautifully blue. And, honestly, the only thing that feels right to me-is writing.
This screen, page, phone-whatever you’re reading on- this is my DNA. This is my core pushing up through the cracked and brittle ground of depression. This is what I am here for. If I can hang on to nothing else, I’ll grip this life line with my bare hands until they bleed and my fingernails turn white and crack. I’ll pour what little I have in me, into you-World Wide Web- and hope, one day, someone else will hold on to their lifeline just a little bit longer too. That’s all I’m asking of myself and of you. Just a little bit longer.
Together, let’s give the “I don’t know what to do.” one more day to figure it out. Please, please, please don’t let it shut you down. Rather, allow it to still you. Stop striving and clawing and asking. Ask just once, maybe twice. Anymore and you’ll become hysterical (trust me). The answer of what to do is never found in repeatedly asking over and over and over again at the top of your lungs. No. Ask. Then allow the heaviness of the unknown to still you. Wait. Listen.
If you are anything like me (Lord have mercy on your soul), there will be an answer welling up from the very deepest depth of you and it will begin to answer your question. Listen with all of your senses. It is telling you what to do. I promise. It has taken me roughly 26 years to stop asking and listen to mine. It is telling me what to do. One word.
Today’s devotion from “Seeking God’s Face” just happens to be…
“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.”
“I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand-I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the church, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.'”