I tend to be pretty transparent. I don't like pretending. I figure if we're all in this world together, and if we can be of any help to each other, than the best way is to be open and honest with each other, "bearing one another's burdens." (Galatians 6:2) So, if that makes you feel uncomfortable, you probably should skip this post.
I suffer with depression, just like other people suffer with asthma or diabetes. If that caused a reaction in you, I understand. When my meds are working well, even I can't understand the twisted way in which I once thought. Although there is research being done to try to match a person's blood type to a specific anti-depressant, currently the only real way to find one what works is to try them. I've tried a lot of them, which is not a fun roller coaster. What works for my depression makes me very sleepy. I have to live with the sleepiness and lack of productivity; it's a trade-off.
I have been struggling lately. I'm hoping it's due to the dreary winter weather, but have a suspicion that it's more than that. I did a Google search on "homeschooling depression" to see if I could find help from others in my situation. The first one I found was an article by Teri Maxwell about her past struggle with depression. And while I appreciate her willingness to share publicly, it aggravates me that people share their struggle once they're "over" it. I think that pushes the stigma of mental illness further underground: It's embarrasing and something we don't talk about until we've conquered it.
So, I looked further and came upon this quote:
"Many of us homeschooling moms deal with depression that can, at times, be debilitating. We don't have to live with it! If you're living with depression, look into what may be going causing it, and take steps to remedy it. . . Above all, ask your Heavenly Father for help. He knows what makes you tick, and He knows all the circumstances of your life. He's so ready to help; all you need to do is ask Him for it. Why suffer with it any longer?"
That infuriates me. Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe we need a different name for the times when a person experiences circumstantial depression as opposed to the person who suffers with a chemically-altered brain function. But when I read things like the above, I just want to scream and cry for all the other people in my position who feel so condemned by such statements. I don't have to live with it? I don't have to suffer any longer? If I really seek God, He will pull me out of it? That just perpetuates the idea that it's a shameful situation rather than a true medical condition. Why hasn't God healed me then? I've asked that over and over and over.
Thank God for His Holy Scriptures, the Living Word. It is truly amazing that in that one book we can find the answers to every life circumstance. Only God could put together something that perfect! What I've been encouraged by is Paul's experience with the "thorn in the flesh" that is never named. He asked God to remove it, but God choose, in His sovereignty, to allow it to remain. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so
that Christ's power may rest on me.
I have clung to those words in recent days. His grace is enough. I may never be free of this disease. His power is made perfect in my weakness. His power is perfected in my depression. How? I don't fully know, other than it draws me to Him; I cannot boast in my own strength; I am continually humbled. For whatever reason, God has chosen to give me this thorn in my flesh. So I will continue to bear it to the best of my ability.