Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Being Human

I have a long list of personal aberrations. Most are livable but annoying. Yet, one experience in disease changed me forever. I do not have it now, but I live with knowledge that my mind and body are capable of it. During a brief but significant period of my life I experienced clinical depression. Not a mild bout of the blues, but a descent into a black pit so deep that hope was a distant memory and I had no idea how to begin to start crawling out. There were months when fantasy and reality were almost indistinguishable, and the sole reason for opening my eyes in the morning was my two children.
Living in the world and not feeling anything is like being dead - except you're not. You are still in the world with people who love you, who have expectations of you, people who care but don't understand, and people who don't care and tell you to snap out of it. But you can't snap out of it any more than you can snap out of the flu or the chicken pox.
It was the worst thing and the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed me for the better. I journeyed out of the darkness to feel more human than I'd ever felt before. I knew myself better and it gave me a permanent ability to empathize with other human being's struggles.
I felt stronger as a woman knowing that, even with professional help and medication, I still had to create the will to live from deep inside me. I was still the one that gathered the massive determination it took to fully heal. I will always regret my children seeing me at my weakest, but I am also aware that they saw me get better and carry on in a new life. When crisis visits their lives, as it surely will someday, I hope they will remember and understand that there is always healing and hope.


Kelly Jene said...

Depression is a hard road to travel. I'm glad you found your way out of it. Children are a God-send for helping people out of depression, in my opinion. Without my kids, I know I would have given into the whirlpool of darkness.

Anonymous said...

It was painful to read your blog on 'Being Human'. Your words: "clinical depression", "descent into a black pit", "fantasy and reality were almost indistinguishable", took me back to a place that I could never visualize, until it happened to me!


I know what you mean. I know how it feels, and it too tugs me with having my boys witness it, although they are quite young. I remember feeling like I was looking outside of my body, and everything was just spinning around me, moving, and I couldn't re-attach myself, although I knew what I had to do, and like you put it there, the medication and verbal chats only gave a bit of understanding, it wasn't until time and my own combination of mind, emotion, physical self could charge through it when all worked together.
Awful time..but good lessons.
Thank you for your truth!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this personal account on your experience with depression.

It's a refreshing look at a very serious disease that many people do not discuss publicly.

Anonymous said...

Depression is well knowen even by God's children. Our hope is in the LORD>

Psalm 39
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1 I said, "I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence."
2 But when I was silent and still,
not even saying anything good,
my anguish increased.

3 My heart grew hot within me,
and as I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:

4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.

5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.

6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.

8 Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.

9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.

10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.

11 You rebuke and discipline men for their sin;
you consume their wealth like a moth—
each man is but a breath.

12 "Hear my prayer, O LORD,
listen to my cry for help;
be not deaf to my weeping.
For I dwell with you as an alien,
a stranger, as all my fathers were.

13 Look away from me, that I may rejoice again
before I depart and am no more."