Every time I come up against bloggers-block (ha :P) it’s because there is something on my heart that I feel I can’t share, for whatever reason. I usually start blogging again when I realize that the best way past it is to blog about it, and afterwards I’m able to move on to other topics. So I’m going to try that now.
I tell myself, privately, that my struggle with depression will one day be a great testimony for the Lord. How he brought me through. Once I finally reach the other side. And, in the meantime, I tell myself, it must be secret. I have to push through on God’s strength, keep quiet, and one day I’ll be able to look back on these times and explain to others how God brought me through.
And you’re reading that, going, “Michy, that’s dumb. That’s not how it should work.” And I’d agree with you.
Why do I feel the need to keep my struggles secret? It’s not for God’s glory. It doesn’t make God appear any stronger or do anything to prove his power. It neither helps me nor does it help my friends. It’s pride. If I’m honest, the only reason for my secrecy is that I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that I’m weak, that I struggle, that I have a problem that my friends don’t have, and I hide it to protect myself, pride-fully trying to appear unflawed.
The other option is, of course, to open up and let my loved ones in – to help, to listen, or even just to pray. I would have to trust God enough to be vulnerable, to humbly admit that I’m not Super Michy. Just Michy. And that definitely goes against the grain.
So here’s the truth. I cry more than … anyone. I cry more than anyone should, more than anyone else does, as far as I can tell. I get depressed, and miserable, and it makes me feel utterly alone. Because I know that there is no way anyone else can understand. I know that really, only God can truly be there with me – understand me – and I feel alone. I feel helpless to explain, and I usually don’t even bother.
In fact, I usually scoff at people who ask “What’s wrong?” I decide that they don’t have, or care to have, the next twelve hours free for me to really make myself understood. And it seems so meaningless to just say I’m sad. I’m depressed. I’m going through some stuff. I’m having a hard time. Those phrases don’t even BEGIN to cover it, and even if they did, someone would then ask me, “Why?” A million reasons! I can list a handful off the top of my head, but to you they will seem like nothing, and the truth is, they are nothing. Except that they are piled on top of a lifetime of other STUFF and they are viewed through my messed-up, depressed mind.
And the truth is I hate that I’m depressed. I see myself as weak and lazy when my depression interferes with my life, and I tend to feel like I need to protect myself from being seen that way by others. So act strong. Get mad, not sad. Crying is weakness. Smile. Pretend. Be there for others, but never make them be there for you. Because chances are they’ll fail, or even if they don’t, they won’t be ENOUGH.
Best not to try. And best not to be a burden, because if you are a burden you’re likely not to have ANY friends.
This is why I feel unknown: I don’t let anyone know me. I might as well tell God that He made me wrong. He shouldn’t have given me this flaw. It’s ugly; it’s meant to be hidden.
And as I try to hide, I lose something. I grow hard and harsh and lose my inner beauty and gentleness and… I can’t be genuine with people. And without that genuineness and openness, my relationships become shallow. I wonder if my impact on people, on the world… how different would it be if I were open? Vulnerable? Would people see God more clearly? Would they feel love more fully? Would my words and actions be more meaningful?
The truth is, I live with the chronic pain of depression. I struggle THROUGH it, constantly. And God helps me. He’s with me every moment, he gets me through each day. He’s the reason I don’t become self-destructive, the reason I can still love others, the reason I can still find joy (sometimes). I think my friends deserve to know that NOW. Because who knows if there ever will be an “other side” that I’ll reach, where it won’t hurt so much? If I keep waiting for that, I may never get to share my testimony.
Just some thoughts…