WordPress kindly notified me that my blog-anniversary was a year ago. Last week. And I missed it. Life gets away from me sometimes.
The last two and a half years has been an ongoing battle. Or an on-and-off battle, maybe. I don’t know. I have the test results to prove that the battle was at one point off, but recent tests show it’s most definitely back on. That sick intuition that something just wasn’t right with me was confirmed two months ago when I was diagnosed with post-partum depression. But no, not enough alone, this time it’s doubled up with anxiety.
I know the good memories are in my brain somewhere, I just can’t remember them. They’ve been buried under the stress, the sleepless nights, the burden of anger at a helpless little human who can’t communicate through more than tears and screams. Most of the time I can’t take it.
But I have to. I’m a mom now. There’s no vacation from being a mom. And my heart hurts.
As always, I’m finding the burden of mental illness gets lighter when I just talk about it. I need to dig out, and I can’t do it alone. By the grace of God I can say I know we’re not meant to do it alone. Don’t try to dig out alone.
I’m not just talking about prayer, about “casting your cares on the Lord,” about the yoke that is lighter than my worry. No. Heck, guys, we are the church. What does that even mean, anyway, to be the the hands and feet of Jesus?
I won’t suffer in silence because I can’t. It’s not safe there. It’s not safe in my quiet prayers that when left alone I feel fall on deaf God-ears. I need you. Yes, you, my friend. So what can you do?
Don’t tell me I just need more Jesus. I have plenty of Jesus. I know his love and his grace, his comfort, his mercy. I’ve found that often we need to receive those things in tangible ways to get out of our own heads. I’m sure it’s not just me. It has to be true for some of you too. Be those tangible means. I need you to come and show me through your actions and your words and your spoken prayers that God is listening. That he hears me and I’m truly not alone. Because this darkness is a damn lonely place and I know the love is there all around me but I just can’t see it most of the time. Don’t always wait for me to ask for help. Just come. Come wipe the grime from my mind’s window and show me the reality that lies on the other side. The love and the comfort and the peace and the joy. Be Jesus to the suffering, friend.
Most days I’m just angry. Angry that this is happening again— this time getting in the way of me feeling the love I know is there for my daughter. And I know with time I’ll probably get better. But what if I don’t? Does that make God less compassionate or powerful? Does that mean my faith is less than someone who fully recovers? I just don’t think so.
God has a purpose. And cognitively I know that he still loves me. My heart needs to get there, too. Because of my miscarriage and other little threads of life, I know that the commonality of experience heals others when we’re honest about our stories. The only thing holding me back from sharing is my own self-talk. Life isn’t about having everything you want anyway. It’s not about marriage or sex or family or money or even happiness. My happiness may be muted most days, but I still have joy. Love may not come easy for me all the time, but I know I am God’s and that he loves me. He delights in me, he delights in my daughter, and that cracks open my soul to receive his joy.
I’ll hold on to what I know is true. Though depression takes my happiness and anxiety tries to take my peace, I am saved and I am beloved and I am, somehow, free.