Or Life as Toni
Just recently I started a little series of writings that I titled “Silly Scribbles” or “Life as Toni”. I began posting them on a private writing club that I joined. I received such positive feedback I decided to be be brave and share with my Maid Arise readers.
So often the writer in me throbs and insists, but my current work in progress is strictly grammatical at this point and my creative juices feel cramped and unjustly squelched. So I have decided to allow these juices passage and wait to see what comes of it. I decided to share my experiences with you. Sometimes my life can be quite humorous to the point of disbelief which I have come to accept as normal.... or sometimes I learn new things about myself or little lessons God teaches through the inevitable we've fondly labeled “life”. I hope that these shared stories and bearings of the soul are somehow a blessing, or in the least, a few minutes of entertainment.
Coping is exhausting. It's a verge of breaking, but clinging desperately to a weak hopeless nothingness. It's survival with constant pain. Depression is a wound that haunts and hurts, but no one else sees it's blood. A sticky despair. I'm so tired and I look up into the darkness, trying to pray. It's clear and cold; not a star in the sky. That's how life feels right now....starless. Everyone is in the house. I can hear muffled laughter from inside, and it seems to mock me. I lean against the clothesline,'s wooden stake, staring up into that bleak stretch. No one answers me. I could never doubt His existence. Just as I could never doubt my mothers existence. I know Him too well. But the question that stares back at me is – Does He care? No one cares to know how I feel, because they too hurt. Or they are doing so well they forget that others mourn while they rejoice.
So, this is depression. I have read of it, witnessed it, talked about it....but now I meet it. It's not so much of a sinking feeling but as if I've sunk. It's dark. It's odd knowing I'm depressed....it's like holding it, trying to scrutinize it, turning it over in my hand. It's ugly. It hurts to hold it. But I don't know how to let it go. I feel so guilty for being dramatic and feel condemned thinking if others knew how I felt. But could I even convey what I felt to others? I'd just cry and they would wonder. They would feel uncomfortable. They would see me as just an emotional female. Or they would blame my “sickness”. I feel dangerous. I would never contemplate suicide...but death seems so welcome, so liberating. I want it.
Alone is a sad word. It's not that others don't carry heavy burdens or know what depression is like. But I have no-one who cares. That is lonely. Crying brings no relief. No washing. After I sob I'm left a little numb, but it's a gaping empty negative numbness. He says that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. If that's so, my life is one drawn out nightmare.
This has been my last couple weeks. Painful, sleepless, depressing days. It doesn't matter why. There are many variables. Some are physical. My health has been sorely stretched. Some of it is circumstances. Hurtful words. Wounds by friends. Shifting of stable pillars. Some of it is emotional. Stress, defense, a pulling back, disappointment and grief.
I finally faced it all. In it's abhorrence and pain and disturbance, I looked at it and realized it was not something to be ashamed of. I clung to something sturdier than a hope....I reached out for a promise. A promise that He would incline unto me and hear my cry. That he would bring me up out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay and set my feet on a rock. That He would put a new song in my mouth and praise. (Psalm 40).
While reaching out for the promise I didn't try to escape the hurt. It had found me, whether I liked it or not and I wasn't going to try to cope anymore. I wasn't going to press it down. I was going to pray no matter how many stars shone. And it happened.
I finished work and stepped out onto the sidewalk and headed “home” (my friends house). It was 5:30 in the evening but it was still light out and people milled about the streets. Each of them complex individuals, only unified in humanity, but the rest an unknown mystery. A casual quiet mystery. Sunset, car lights....twilight's enchanting hues. Spring's fresh air. A man whistles as he walks up his drive, happy to be off work and home. It's a relaxed stirring of humanity. And I don't feel like a detached spectator. I'm part of it all and it excites me. Somehow depression has lost the stare contest. The only loneliness that tugs at the edge of my heart is not being able to share that moment with someone closer who would be able to see what I see and revel in it and take quiet notice with me. But I do have Someone. I smile. That same Someone makes life worth living. Makes sleep possible. Night is nothing to dread no matter how many stars show. And the morning will come – a day the Lord has made and planned in detail. Depression let me go. Or did I let go of it? I accepted it. I faced it. I decided. As I drew near the house, with the sun setting behind it, I knew there would be a morning. And when it comes I will look up at the sky and say, “Who has conquered my grief? Who has conquered my heartache? Who has conquered my pain?” And I will sing – “Jesus.”