There’s a part of me pulling away from clinical depression because to be identified with an illness is a terrible identity. It is what it is.
Here’s my thoughts now. Have you ever come to something, like a book, only to realize it’s not what you thought it was? You were looking for it to do something that you later realized it never was going to do what you “commanded” it to do? So much is out of my control. Clinical depression is within that context, and the book I’m writing about is as well. The disconnects in life are too many to list. We look into our hour glasses, and we realize ten years has passed, and we think we’re in the same place. That can be a truth and a lie. Before you write something off as a total loss know that it wasn’t. You might even go back to that book as I have for greater clarity. My friend Jon Acuff says the greatest fight against distraction is action, and that is so true. I have paralysis by analysis everyday, but when I follow it up with the reading of the book I’ve read a thousand times or I get out of bed with my depression I’m usually glad I did.
It’s called paradox. This blog is a big fan of paradox. I am broken, but I’m fixed. Imposter syndrome is a reality Satan uses to anchor us in paralysis by analysis.
I was just sitting in our living room earlier overcome with grief for our late dog Lucy. I texted two friends, and a Sonic run entered the “conversation.” I took that Sonic run with our dog Wrigley who is equally hurting from the absence of Lucy. That run to Sonic gave us a second wind. I type each of these words resting on that wind. Dogs understand that better than we do. They know how to sleep when grief drives them to do it. They know how to care for their mental health better than we do. We not only overthink it, but we punish ourselves for thinking it. Both are counter productive. Grief, depression, being disappointed with a book and anger at others are hard things to deal with, but when we give ourselves permission to sit with the thoughts we can have a break-through. Sometimes we think it will never end, but remind yourself of the times the brokenness did end. I know it feels like a vicious circle, and sometimes it is, but maybe a run to a fast food drive through will help. Get up and move. Text a friend. Turn the tv on.
Battling the incongruent things of life like pain will always be with us till we die, but they do not have to paralyze us. When they do paralyze us keep crawling.
I feel like sometimes I’ve “mastered” this depression. I think it’s going away, but then I’m reminded that it isn’t. I might be in an easier season of life, and it’s not as much as a thorn in my flesh as normal. I’ve seen signs of depression since I was in the third grade. I’ll be fifty in October. I’ll likely have to learn to cope with it till I die, but again it doesn’t have to identify me. Some people don’t even know I have depression. They don’t see me behind closed doors. They don’t see the times when I ugly cry for the things that have happened in my life, and they have no clue the pains I go through to minimize the damage my mental health can do to my wife and daughter. And thank God they don’t.
That book I was telling you about is still very much at play, but like depression I have a much more realistic view of what I’m up against.
I think I’m going to go watch tv.