To just keep going is the hardest thing there is in a depressive episode, in part, because there’s no indication of when it will end. It can be hard to believe that it ever will. And if you’ve weathered multiple episodes, there’s the added knowledge that this current ordeal probably won’t be the last. It’s exhausting and well, … depressing.
With that said, persevering is usually the last thing on my mind. Instead, escape, by any means necessary, seems like the only path forward. For different people that escape might be at the bottom of a bottle, a gummy-induced high, long periods of sleep, workaholism, meddling in other people’s problems or a million other distractions. I can admit that I’ve tried a few. Really, the possibilities are endless, but they don’t really end it. And to be completely honest, I’m not sure what does.
After years of working on my mental health in therapy, learning healthy coping skills, consistently taking anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication and every kind of vitamin, moving my body to boost the feel-good chemicals in my brain and building a relationship with God, I still find myself in depressive episodes. It makes me wonder if it’s just my cross to bear in this life.
Yet, even still, I know that it could be worse, namely, because it has been. There was a time in my life when the pain of depression wasn’t an episode, but an everyday, all the time, thing.
When I remember how little it would take to send me back to those days, literally just a week without my medication, I have reason to be grateful. I’m reminded that although I’m not where I want to be, I can still thank God, because I’m definitely not where I used to be.
Depression is hard. But what’s crazy is that it’s one of the ways that I’m reminded that there is a God, especially one who cares about me. Because I’d fail if it was all on me. If I had to depend on my own smarts and resources to navigate depression, I would have left this place a long time ago. So, even though I still struggle with this really hard thing, the fact that I’m still here, that I continue to keep going without even really knowing how, is evidence of God’s fingerprints.
What about you? Is there something that you want to escape, but can’t? How do you get through it?