it’s been ages since i’ve written just to write here. i’ve shared lists and reviews and products, but have I honestly shared my heart? not so much.
I haven’t known how. it’s been a hard season, arguably the hardest of my life. depression has been raging, anxiety has been a constant companion, and i’ve been restless and wrestling through more than I care to share publicly.
the feelings have been overwhelming.
they’ve been paralyzing.
they’ve been heavy and hard and ugly and unwanted.
if you’ve experienced depression or anxiety, you know how it comes out of nowhere and disrupts everything. if you haven’t, I know it doesn’t make sense, but hear me out— it’s brutal. it’s baffling.
I recently opened up to several close relatives about just how badly things have been lately, and all of them were surprised. "but why? you seem fine! your life is great!” and “but you always seem so strong!” and “what’s there to be depressed about?”
i’m sure you’ve heard it too.
it’s hard to know what to say. my head knows on some level that yes, I am fine, and yes, my life is great… but I don’t feel that on a heart level. it hasn’t actually seeped into my bones and become a belief I am confident in. I wish I had an explanation for why. I wish I knew where it was coming from, what was triggering it, what I could do to stop it. I wish I felt as strong as i’ve learned to act on the outside. I wish it wasn’t this way. I wish I knew how to make it stop, how to just be okay.
but the truth is that i’m not really okay right now.
and like my counselor reminded me yesterday— it’s okay to not be okay.
the enneagram 1 in me fights HARD to be perfect and have it all together and be seen as competent and confident and perfectly polished, but that isn’t my reality right now.
and as much as I don’t really want to give my feelings a megaphone, it doesn’t feel honest to not talking about the real things here and to only keep sharing easy blog posts that simply skim the surface. I don’t want to dwell on depression, and i’m working hard to balance this hard self-reflection work with words of gratitude and truth and light… but sometimes the hard things need to be talked about too.
i’m fighting hard to hold on to hope. i’m fighting hard to make it through each and every day. i’m battling with all the bravery I can muster to believe that God is good and that God is for me and with me in this. i’m fighting to believe it won’t always be like this, won’t always feel like this. i’m fighting for freedom.
i’m feeling all the things.
i’m trying to fight back.
I feel like i’ve written posts like this in the past at different challenging points along the journey, and it frustrates me that i’m not further along by now, not better by now, not over all of this by now. I haven’t wanted to write about it, because I haven’t wanted to admit it, haven’t wanted to let anybody see my weakness and my struggle and my shame over it all.
i’ve been living like i’m in genesis 3, trying to hide behind fig leaves, pretending like I can somehow stay hidden from God and not have to come clean and be seen.
I don’t want to keep doing that.
it’s something my counselor tells me often:
“you don’t have to know what TO do, but if you know something’s not working, STOP DOING THAT.”
I have a whole long list of things that aren’t working.
little by little, i’m stopping those things.
and little by little, i’m starting new things.
and some of those things? they’re working.
I think we’re making progress on finding an anti-depressant that helps. i’ve consistently been waking up extra early to carve out a solid hour of quiet time at the kitchen table every morning. i’ve been showing up to counseling weekly, never missing a session. i’ve added new healthy rhythms into my routines. i’ve scaled back my social media usage, purged my following lists, cancelled memberships to things that weren’t life-giving to me. i’ve been back in church. i’m leading a mentorship group, leading a women’s ministry table, planning a big women’s gathering for next fall. i’m reaching out to friends and family more than ever before. i’m journaling often, processing things more quickly instead of letting them build up and explode.
and writing all of that out helps me see… growth is happening. it’s small and it’s subtle and it’s a struggle, but it’s happening.
the best thing I know to do is just the next right thing.
i’m holding on to hope.
i’m trying to drown out the lies with truth, shine light in all the dark places.
i’m reaching out and letting people in.
i’m asking for help.
i’m feeling it all.
i’m fighting through it all.
i’m clinging to faith.
i’m carrying on.
may you have the courage to keep carrying on, too. with you, brave ones.