In the last year or so, so many wonderful things have happened in my life. I got engaged. Had two sweet baby nephews added to the family. I finished school. I married my amazing husband.
And, I fell back into a depression.
That last sentence doesn’t make much sense when you look at everything preceding it.
I have struggled with depression off and on for the last decade. Sometimes it “made sense.” There were circumstances and dark storms surrounding that made the depression acceptable in a way. I could somehow understand and validate why I was feeling the way I was. Other times life was just mediocre at best. There were positives, but also stress and other challenges that came along with it. So sure, I guess the feelings of depression I was having kind of fit, too.
But not this time. No, right now there are so many reasons to not feel the way I have been feeling.
I kept telling myself that once I was done with school and I wasn’t so overwhelmed I’d feel better. Then I told myself that once all of the stress of planning a wedding was over I’d feel better. But now I’m at the point where there’s no real obstacle or chaos happening to permit the depression I’ve been faced with once again.
There have been countless days where I have felt incredible guilt for feeling the way I’ve been feeling. Days where I would pick myself apart because “I had no reason to be so sad and unhappy.” I completed my degree—something that I had often thought I maybe wouldn’t or couldn’t accomplish. I married the most amazing guy. We have a nice home in a nice town. He has a steady job and my career is picking up, too. We also have great families who love and support us. I have NO reason to be depressed.
Fighting the overwhelming thoughts that I must be broken has been difficult. When everything else is going well, the problem has to be me, right? But life doesn’t work that way. My brain doesn’t work that way. Depression doesn’t work that way.
Today I am challenging those lies. Today I am choosing to believe that I am not broken.
Depression does not define who I am. It does not define my worth. It does not define whether or not I am good enough or deserving of love. Depression is not me.
So when depression clouds my mind so fiercely that I can’t see beyond it, may I remember that I am not the fog. I am not the mess. I am not the problem. May I extend grace to the person I truly am. To love and care for myself when my mind is not well. When untimely depression and the guilt that goes along with it knock me down, may I find the courage to pick myself up and choose to believe that I am stronger than the storm in my mind.