I‘m living the dream. Living with my prince in a land of literal castles. Living inside of a postcard, who could believe I’m depressed?
I’m newly married. What will people think about my marriage? Will my single friends think I’m just ungrateful?
I’m a Christian. What if people ask uncomfortable questions like, “are you praying enough? Are you reading your Bible enough?”
You wouldn’t understand. Because I don’t understand it. So how could you?
Your problems are bigger than mine. Or someone’s are. So how dare I be so ungrateful?
But then I thought,
maybe for all these reasons, I’m the perfect case-study for depression. Maybe I’m the perfect example of why depression isn’t really about circumstances or wishing yourself to be better. I think depression, for all its darkness and struggles, reveals the complexity of being human. It reveals a part of us so deep, which even we ourselves cannot understand; and that part, is affected by literally everything. Our circumstances, our feelings, our personality, our background, our spirituality, our health, and our mental state. No one thing causes depression, unless you mean “living in a fallen world”.
So here’s the reasons why I am sharing I (have) struggle(ed) with depression.
We’re all homesick sometimes. I think my depression is partially stemming from literal homesickness and that’s part of expat life. But as C.S. Lewis indicated in his famous quote, there’s a part of us all which is longing for a home that is no where in this world we know. It hopefully leads us to a recognition of our need for God and that He is both our journey’s friend and our journey’s end.
Many people through out history lived with depression, but wrote the most encouraging words full of understanding and empathy for struggling humans. This leads me to think there is a way to embrace the darkness which will eventually lead to the light.
Maybe if one person is willing to be the Debbie-downer, other closet Debbies will feel safe to appear and be able to name their struggle out loud. I’m living in a country where suicide is an actual industry. That says to me, when we feel like we are alone in our struggle, nothing could be further from the truth.
I believe my relationship with God goes even deeper than human emotion and turmoil. He is my rock, my purpose, the love of my life. Those realities don’t mean my reactions to the darkness in this world or the darkness inside of me, aren’t also dark sometimes.
The struggle of finding one’s footing in a new marriage and place shouldn’t be glossed over. The beauty is, God sent me a human who regularly reminds me I am loved, even when I’m at my worst, and even when I don’t believe it. I wish everyone had that, but the reality is, not everyone does. So I’m here to say it. You are loved.
The list could go one, but soon grow to just words words, blurring on the page. So many words but I (you?) still feel the same inside. So when words fail us, music.
This randomly came to my playlist last night and it touched so many parts of me. It brought up memories of dancing as a carefree child in our living room. It reminded me of my parents. The music made me feel happy. The words reminded me how to react in a healthy way. It was no one thing, but maybe for at least a couple of those same reasons it’ll be a bright spot in your day. So in case you’re a Debbie, here’s some Amy.
photo credit : Viola S. You can buy my dress here (affiliate link). If this post encouraged you or you think it could encourage someone else, please share. One option is to pin the image below.