Depression coexists with everything good in my life like some nasty gray fog that follows me around. Every once in a while, I stop moving and the fog settles over me. I’ve come to a place where I can recognize it, however that doesn’t mean I can simply make it go away. For a long time after I realized I probably had cyclical depression, I struggled with thinking it was because I wasn’t a good enough Christian. I know I’m not alone in this.
I will absolutely admit that I haven’t followed the path God set out for me, like, at all. He is good and has blessed the meandering path I did take, but I’m nearly certain He had hoped things might go juuuust a bit differently in a few places. Now have some of those choice enhanced the depression and anxiety and overall crazy in my life? Yup. Does that mean that I’m a bad Christian? I’ll say no, it means I am a horribly flawed human who thought she could handle life by herself.
I hope I’m making the difference here clear; my depression doesn’t negate my faith, and my faith doesn’t negate my depression. Right now I am hauling butt towards Jesus – joining new small groups and serving at church, getting involved in an amazing new women’s ministry – with that gray fog still looming right behind me. I know it is trying to settle in because I can feel the lethargy, the fake-it-til-you-make-it happiness that lacks the bubbly joy in my chest. Its sort of like when your sinuses are congested and you can’t taste anything but you pretend that each bite of chocolate cake is equally as delicious as usual.
So what the heck is the looming fogginess doing when all in all, life is grand?!
He will use anything and everything to keep you down! Including things you can’t entirely control; mental illnesses, health issues, joblessness, family issues. Literally he is a big meaniehead who takes small molehill problems and builds them into mountainous issues that make you feel overwhelmed and under-equipped. Today, for example, I planned on doing laundry and dishes, and working on my weekly/monthly menu. What I actually did today was get up, go to church, come home, sit on my couch for an hour, watch a few movies, eat food, call my mom, and now write this. I got ZERO of my planned chores done. Because I felt overwhelmed. At doing laundry and the dishes. Like seriously, I need one of those “You got out of bed!” gold stars.
I can recognize this and still struggle, obviously. Not every day is going to be full of big ‘wins’. Some days, your ‘win’ will simply be saying “Not today, Satan.” Don’t allow him to use your struggles against you. We might never be able to pray away our issues, and if not, God is still good. We might have to go through the motions of enjoying hobbies until the fog recedes. We might have to pray for strength to do chores when our own motivation is gone. Letting Satan utilize your struggle to convince you that you’re unworthy, you’re a bad Christian, you’re a bad mom/dad/brother/sister/child, that cannot happen.
We must keep praying “Not today, Satan. Today my struggles will only make me rely on God more, they will push me closer to Him.” If that’s your battlecry, as it has been mine lately, well, I think we’ll be alright.