When...I go to college it will be better.
When...I graduate college and have my own place it will be better.
When...I get married it will be better.
When...I lose weight it will be better.
When...I am debt free it will be better.
When...I have kids it will be better.
When...I find the true love of my life it will be better.
When...I am a greater Christian...it will be better.
When...I am healthier...it will be better.
And on..and on..and on...anddddd onnnnnnnnn.
Well, the many "whens" have come and gone and "it" is in fact, NOT better, but possibly worse.
The "it" is my continual struggle with depression and anxiety.
I have spent my entire adulthood and at least half of my childhood fighting this disease. Daily.
I think the "it's getting worse part" is due in fact to my realization that there is no WHEN. This is a disorder that I will struggle with always. No matter the when or the what or the why or the how or the who....the dark cloud continues to hang over my heart and challenge me.
There are goods and bads to this life actuality.
The good part is that I do not have to sit in waiting any longer. Waiting for the "good" to overcome the "bad" in my life, and finally making all the aches go away. I am beginning to seriously understand that this is what I have done for years upon years. Instead of accepting who I am and what struggles are mine, I just kept waiting for the next "when" to happen and POOF! dissipate all the sadness.
Yes, here in America, we call that denial. And it is the road I have been wandering on for years.
So, it is good that I finally get it. I get that depression is a genetic disorder that I have watched the other women in my maternal family suffer from, too. I get that that hereditary connection makes me susceptible to the disease. I get that no matter how good life is, that the physical ache, can still rise up and attempt to suffocate me. I get that I am not alone and that there are buckets of other people fighting the same struggle, some of them women that I love, adore, and admire to my core. I get that it is not something to be ashamed of and that treating it is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of acceptance. I get that God isn't punishing me for being a less than superior child of His. I get that this struggle does not make me less of a person or less of a Christ-Follower.
I get....that there is...and never will be...a WHEN.
And in that slow, painful acknowledgment, I am finding comfort, and consequently, healing.
But, still, it's a step I have waited a couple of generations to accept and take.
This brings me to the bad part. Conceding that depression and anxiety are not disorders I caused, means I have to allow my heart to feel it all...in the now...and not shove it away until the savior of "when" shows up.
And to be frank? It hurts like hell.
The pain is so overwhelming, I am struggling with panic attacks and long bouts of uncontrollable sobbing.
My denial, has allowed me to smile through many painful events and bouts of sadness, knowing it would all be okay someday.
Someday is today. And it is okay.
It is okay to be me.
Me is a person who has a plethora of blessings. A loving husband. Two healthy, happy children. A debt free home and vehicles. A job I love. Two college degrees. A God who offers grace and love. A church that reaches out to show me His love. Friends, friends, and more good, good friends. And on and on and on and on.
I am very aware of the showering of goodness on my life.
And I am, finally, aware that being depressed does NOT mean I am ungrateful for these many gifts. Nothing is more frustrating then when people tell you to "focus on the good", when you struggle with these disorders. The good, the blessings, the happiness, the gifts of life.... I know all of these and daily, thank my God for them. But depression is a sickness, not a sadness due to a lack of appreciation.
I, finally, truly, get that and in this discovery, I am attempting to delight in the small happiness daily, then wait for the BIG happiness...when.
But me is also a person that has been through a lot of personal and physical heartache. That, mixed with my despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy(the actual definition of depression), sometimes requires a violent and forceful need to fight...just to survive the day.
The bad part is that my new found freedom, also allows me to unlock the Pandora's Box on my past and its encased emotions, the ones I figured would all just go away when WHEN got here.
And that, has been excruciating.
And I hate it.
And I wish it wasn't this way.
But, I accept that it is.
And in that acceptance WHEN becomes NOW.
Now...I will deal with and treat my conditions, unashamedly.
Now...I will cherish all the gifts I have and not feel unworthy of the joy they bring.
Now...I will cry if I need to and ask for prayer when I have to.
Now...I will thank God for the buckets of people in my life that offer support and love.
Now...is when I let go of...when.
If I acknowledged the dozens of people that helped me to get to this point, the list would be too long. But you know who you are. I thank each of you and of course, I thank and praise my ever faithful, God, who never abondoned me no matter the whens or nows.
|Chloe, Austin, and I parasailing in St. Augustine, Florida.|
|1400 feet in the air! A cherished moment I will never forget!|