Is this depression? 

I know around the time it started.

It did not start because of this event but it was at this time that my -whoa is me- attitude started.

My oldest child started college.

I hear what you are saying. You think I am in denial and that yes that would be reason enough to be depressed. It wasn’t. I am very happy for her and because I did not go to college I was totally enjoying it through her experience.

It was a combination of to many -all hands on deck- events in my life in a short amount of time. My younger kids started school, my house got flooded, we had a 10 day event at the Tn state fair, we had a weekend event at church, I was studying for my Real Estate exam, and My eldest went to college. This all happened back to back to back. There was no time to breathe and rest before another wave of events came at us. I am naturally a -go with the flow -kind of gal so this is normally my jam so I was surprised that I was in a funk. Don’t get me wrong, I get in funks all the time. Once a month to be exact 🤪 I can wake up in a bad mood for no reason at all. Just like everyone else, Bad attitudes are not a foreign thing to me. I am generally a very happy, glass is half full, silver lining, optimistic lady so I was very surprised to find I could not shake this depression. Maybe that is because I didn’t know I was depressed. I knew I was sad. I knew I was in an odd mood. I knew I was in a funk.

I was doing all the Christian bullet points to give it to God and have joy every morning. I was spending time in the Word. I was praying and thanking God for who he is and all he has done for me. I was worshiping and asking for praying. I 100% believe it helped it from getting worse but I just still felt blah. I thought maybe my hormones were out of wack or maybe I am lacking some sort of vitamin. I watched what I ate and made sure I took my vitamins.

It didn’t help.

Nothing was helping.

I have practiced, preached, and even inwardly thought about how anyone can get their selves out of depression with just a few good worship songs. This time though I was finding that even though I LOVE worshiping and felt God’s peace I didn’t feel happy any other time throughout the day. I love my family and love spending time with them but really could have cared less if I saw anyone else. It was a strange place to be.

Here is something else I realized. I didn’t talk about it or post about it bc I didn’t feel I had true depression. There are people who have way worse depression than what I was dealing with. Mine was nothing worth talking about. To talk about felt like I was just trying to be in a group were I understood what true depression felt like. I don’t, so therefore I didn’t say anything. I have sense realized that there are different levels of depression and it can look different for each person. Just because what I was going though didn’t look like someone else’s didn’t make it less real. I believe the enemy wants us to stay quite about emotions because it doesn’t fit into a category or look like someone else’s story. That is the problem, staying quite. I imagine I am not the only person who has dealt with a light version of depression. I imagine I am not the only person who couldn’t quite place her finger on the problem and didn’t even know that what she was dealing with was depression. I have always felt that depression was caused by a spiritual problem or a chemical/hormonal imbalance. I didn’t realize that it could be caused by “simply” not walking in who God has called me to be. I had a ton of things go on in my life but that is not new. I alway have things going on. This time though I forgot that I need to restore and rest in ways that I was designed to do. For me that meant create. For someone else it may look totally different. We are never meant to compare our lives with our neighbors but we can learn from each other and apply it to our own lives.

One day I heard on a podcast that started my healing process. It was about passion. The person ( I unfortunately can’t remember who) asked what do I get up for in the mornings? I sadly thought “nothing” They asked what am I passionate for each day and I still had no answer. I had already been praying for the Lord to show me what was wrong with my body, my mind, my spirit. I was asking God for answers as to why I was so emotional. I was sad, angry, and tearful for no reason at all. Even though I have never really been depressed I knew enough about it to recognize the symptoms. I still didn’t think that was the actual diagnoses, I kept putting that off as not the true reason I was down. I knew I needed to figure out why. Why now?

Through those podcast questions I thought about what makes me happy. This took awhile because I had really lost passion for everything. I had to think back to past things. I asked myself what brought me joy in the past and I realized that being creative brought joy. I love to create art. I paint, write poetry, draw, color, move furniture around, and refurbish things. I am a creative person and that is when the light bulb went off. None of this events were the cause of the depression but they were the taker of my time. My time had been swallowed whole by life’s events. My way to relax and restore was to create and I was missing out on doing the very things that make me who God has created.

I know this is not a formula on how to get out of depression. We are all unique individuals and each of our story is going to look different. Depression for each person can have some of the same symptoms but the details can look different.

Now that I have asked myself what brings me joy and I have an answer I can feel the depression fading away. Yes it could have been a combination of the worshiping the King of Kings, the healing prayers for the hormones, the added in vitamins, and remembering that I am created to create. Jen Hatmaker says in her new book ‘Of Mess and Moxie’ that we are created by the Creator to be creative.

It should be said that I was never suicidal. I know God is real. I know I am loved with God’s whole heart. I had peace about who I was and who God is. Ending it was never a thought.

I am looking forward to entering into 2018 with fresh eyes and restored joy and peace.

Updated: my mom sent me a text this morning. She was understandably sad that I didn’t talk with her. She said if I didn’t talk with her what would make my daughter talk with me if she was depressed? She was right and this made me sad. I thought about it and realized the importance of being in someone’s presence. We do so much social media hang outs that we feel like we know the person. This is false. I am very real on my social media plat forms. I never act like I have it together but because I am naturally an optimistic person I tend to focus on the positive. I also realized the importance of questions. Asking someone how they are doing as you are walking past them on the halls does not count as caring for that person’s emotions. Pausing for a hug, making eye contact or going out for coffee are ways to get in someone’s space for them to start that process to talk. I didn’t know I was depressed but I knew I was not right and when anyone spent even a moment in my presence I was honest about that. Make a point to SEE people not just know someone based on their outward appearance.

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