Depression had been gathering troops in the background while I had been distracted. The numbers were larger than I expected and I was not ready. When the first warning bells went off, I peeked over my wall and saw depression advancing quicker than before. Their faces were angry, terrifying and blank. I quickly shrank behind my wall and pulled out my big weapons. My favorite verses came out, my favorite worship songs began playing and prayer came quickly pouring from my mouth. The advancing of my depression seemed to block everything else out and I couldn’t feel God as close to me as before. I looked up and realized I couldn’t see Him right next to me anymore so I shut my eyes and prayed harder. It was terrifying having to remind myself that God is here, God is here, God is here even though I couldn’t feel Him. I knew that that was only the depression blocking everything out but it didn’t make it any easier. The thing with depression is that nothing really changes around you. You can experience the happiest day of your life all over again without changing a single thing but the depression simply disconnects you from the happiness you felt. That same day that was once filled with joy turns into a miserable day because you feel nothing. It’s not that you’re sad necessarily, it’s just the lack of motivation, desires and ability to feel something, anything that makes living so difficult. It’s like hiking up a trail that’s ridiculously steep and going to the top and finding that there’s no view, only a rock. All of that work was for nothing and now you’re being told you have to hike up higher for a better view so you keep going. Once you get there, it’s another rock. Eventually, after being tricked so many times, you decide it’s easier to just sit there and stare at the rock because there’s nothing at the top. Why should I keep climbing?
It started small on Friday. I sat down and tried to write a paper but ended up blogging and napping instead. I didn’t realize the motivation had disappeared from my body because I had accomplished other tasks. Depression was sneaky this time around. I had thought, “Oh I wrote a new blog! I did something!” but in reality, the things I needed to get done were not done. I shook it off and decided I would do the paper the next day. Saturday rolled around and seemed to go by normally except nothing got done. Then Sunday came and when I peeked over my wall, depression had set up ladders and was beginning the climb up towards me. It started in the evening when I sat down on my couch. I had planned on showering but the motivation disappeared immediately and I sat back down on my couch, defeated. Pulling out my phone, I decided to play a couple rounds of Phase 10 and shower later. When later came, I decided to start talking to people through a chatting app to keep myself distracted. I didn’t realize that the quiet thoughts of insecurity had begun in the back of my mind. They were so subtle I didn’t even realize I was thinking those thoughts. I tried to listen to worship music and focus on God but my mind became filled with images of the man who tried to destroy me hurting me all over again, going out with other people, saying the painful words to me again and again. My mind refused to forgive him and suddenly a deep fear of ending up alone crept over my body. It feels like everyone around me is getting engaged and I’m no where near that stage in my life. The pressure to find “the one” was overwhelming and trusting God with my love life became near impossible. He had been asking me to trust Him and I was starting to get there and let His love be all that I need. I realized that for almost all of my relationships, I had been the one to really pursue the other person and prompt them to do cute things. God was challenging me to stop prompting men and wait for someone to pursue me without any hints while pursuing Him with all of my heart instead of a fraction. The doubts are something I’m constantly fighting off.
But God, what if no one pursues me? I know You love me, but what if no one else can see what You see? What if I’m not lovable to anybody else? That man who hurt me probably doesn’t care about me, never did, why should I believe there is someone out there who thinks I’m worth it? You’re the only one who has ever made me feel worthy, God. I want to stay here with You but stopping this pursuing thing is so hard. What if no one pursues me and I am alone?
God just kept repeating one line.
Will you trust me?
UGH. Yes, God. I will. But… wait no. No buts. Yes. I will trust You. Ugh. It’s so hard. The inner turmoil was real.
Before I knew it, it was midnight and I hadn’t even brushed my teeth, put on pajamas or climbed in bed. It took everything in me to climb in my bed simply because my phone was about to die. After another hour, I physically dragged my body off my bed to put on my pajamas. It took me twenty minutes to change. Eighteen of those minutes were spent staring at the wall trying to argue myself into changing. When I finally changed, I took my glasses off and climbed into bed and continued playing Phase 10 and chatting on my silly app. I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep until I woke up at six in the morning with the lights still on, phone in my hand. I still hadn’t brushed my teeth and my bladder was screaming at me. I also hadn’t showered. The wallowing was severe and I felt disgusting, miserable and nothing. The feeling nothing part was terrifying. It had been weeks since I hadn’t felt a thing and the little things became excruciating to the point that climbing out of bed to go to the bathroom was physically painful. Everything in me was fighting against the desire to take care of myself. Even now as I am attempting to blog, my body forces me to stop every other sentence and simply refuses to type any more of the words flooding my mind. It’s frustrating having to fight my body to do even the smallest things. Sleeping was the only time when my body actually felt relaxed. The minute I woke up, my body became tense and I felt the need to stretch my legs every minute or so otherwise the muscles became tight and began cramping. It feels like the depression took the form of little soldiers running all over my body destroying as many things as it can get its hands on.
I laid in bed staring at the wall for an hour, tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable and relax my body. My body was exhausted but my mind was relentless. It wouldn’t be still long enough for me to fall asleep so I laid there for two and a half hours until I had to get up to take my medication. After I took my medication, I hovered in the in between stage of being fully asleep and conscious. I felt like someone had simply hit pause for a moment before I woke up fully and felt my body become tense again. I kept trying to fully sleep but my body refused to surrender to rest and instead remained paused. Listening to my favorite worship songs calmed me for a bit but I found that my mind would run away for minutes and when it came back, the song was almost over. Even though I played the same song over and over, I feel like I didn’t actually listen to it. My thoughts were so loud they drowned out the music playing right beside me. I was so frustrated! My mind kept screaming with frustration but remained quiet at the same time which made me want to scream louder but the silence had become deafening. I felt nothing. No desire, no pain, simply nothing. The black hole inside of me had reopened and was sucking away any emotions that I had begun to feel again. Around 1:30 pm, I was laying in bed, wrapping up another round of Phase 10 and feeling disgusting. It had been 3 days since my last shower. I know it’s disgusting but that’s the reality of depression. The littlest things such as showering, brushing your teeth, eating and even changing become impossibly painful. It’s physically painful to get out of bed and live. You’re indifferent to everything and at one point, you just stop caring about the smell and the way you look. Nothing else matters so why should I put effort into looking good? There’s just going to be another rock at the top so there’s no point.
It’s a battle every minute of everyday. My soul clung desperately to the joy inside of me. I wasn’t happy, no, but I was joyful. The joy that transcends circumstances hadn’t left me, it had simply become a little quieter. I feel like I’ve been blind folded. I may not be able to see right now, but I have to trust that the room I was standing in hasn’t changed and the chair I’m sitting in won’t be pulled out from under me. It’s a terrifying feeling, not being able to see and only having faith to hold onto. Through it all, I can still say it is well with my soul even if I’m hiding in the tallest room of the highest tower while the rest of my castle is being destroyed. It can always be rebuilt with even taller towers, more extravagant designs and more windows to let the sunlight in. The destruction may be painful, especially if your first castle was already destroyed but if the second castle was that beautiful, how much better is the third one going to be? I’m excited to see what my God, the greatest architect in the universe is going to design for me this time around.
Oh and by the way, I forced myself to take a shower. It was simultaneously painful yet I couldn’t help but smile. I had one victory under my belt. Sure it may be small, but hey, it’s a victory. And my conditioner smells freaking awesome. Who knows, maybe I’ll eat a meal and brush my teeth next.