Brushing Aside Pride and Being Honest
(This should be a post about Easter, right? It’s Easter week and this is a Christian blog! This is not a post about Easter.)
I don’t usually think of myself as someone who struggles with anxiety and depression. I know people who have it so much worse. It’s easy to dismiss my ups and downs as mood swings or “just hormones.”
The last few weeks have been especially hard though. I have not been myself and not only did I not feel like doing anything, I actually felt like I “couldn’t.” Those ‘what was I doing again?’ moments are normal, but when I find myself paralyzed in the middle of my day, over and over again…I start to realize there’s a problem.
I wish I could describe it.
Or maybe I don’t.
I’ve been able to do what my kids needed me to do, and I could go to work and pretty much function in the world. But personally I was just inept. Listless. Overwhelmed and numb at the same time.
And it stinks. It’s just so frustrating and exhausting and confusing. I want to fix it but I feel helpless.
One day I thought, “well maybe it’s just stress.” So I took a quiz that was supposed to tell me if I was dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress.
The answer was YES.
Um, wait, what?
‘Yeah, no,’ the quiz responded. ‘You need to call a doctor.’
Whatever. I took another one.
Same results. “This is called depression” the results announced back at me and I started to see maybe there were some recurring symptoms that qualified.
My next thought was shame. Unjustified, unreasonable shame. The way it usually shows up — for no good reason.
I still don’t know exactly what to think. I had to cancel my doctor appointment because I had a sick child who needed to go worse than I did. So I need to reschedule and that is at the top of the list this week. And today I felt ok. Not awesome, but less stressed and more hopeful. Saturday I wrote again for the first time in weeks. I’m back to texting friends regularly and talking to my husband and not crying multiple times a week. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m hoping a while. It’s pretty clear to me I need to find the right drug to help and I definitely need to get outside more. (Good timing, spring!)
Meanwhile, I’m going to do my best to write and produce a podcast this week. I’m going to write and study and try to enjoy time with my kids. One of the cool things I saw happening in the midst of this mess was that I wasn’t doubting my salvation. So many times over the years when I would go through a low spot, I would question everything I thought I knew. God’s love for me was at the top of the list. I would assume that since I didn’t have it together, it meant I had dropped the ball and either God was ashamed of me or He had abandoned me since I clearly wasn’t as faithful to Him as I should be.
I’m so thankful for the truths I have discovered in the last decade. Now I know without question that God NEVER leaves me or forsakes me. That He loves me NO MATTER WHAT and that He wraps His arms around me to comfort me with His promises.
There are plenty of things wrong with me – and all of us really. I wish we could all just toughen up and “get over it,” but sometimes it’s not that easy. I’m so grateful that I have people in my life who know that’s not helpful advice and have been encouraging and praying for me.
I was reminded this morning of the role of pride in my life. I haven’t wanted to talk about this and it feels weird to share it. But it also seems more useful to just be straight about things and not try to pretend like everything is fine. Besides, I know how helpful the right medicine, a good therapist, or a solid chat with a trusted friend can be. I think we should all seek these things out when we need them, instead of wallowing in our self-pity and sorrow. Easier said than done, but I know keeping our pain and confusion in the dark is exactly what Satan wants, so I’m going to do what I can to counter that. When the light reaches our secrets and our shame, there is hope for change and progress.
I don’t need an online quiz to tell me that.