If you’re ever struggled with depression for a long time, you don’t wonder why people commit suicide.
I know that’s morbid.
Mina Brees was 59-years-old when she committed suicide from a prescription drug overdose. I don’t know a lot about Mina Brees (Mina was the mother of Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees). I know she was an attorney in Austin. I know she was intelligent and people say she was charming. But when I first heard that she had committed suicide, I wondered about how she lived? Did she struggle with depression? For how long? What was the last straw? I don’t know the answers to those questions. But when I hear of an older person who has made the decision to end their life, I assume they struggled with the monster that is depression.
Alcoholism is a disease that persists. Some people struggle with alcoholism for a short time, and then conquer it. However, many people struggle with the urge to consume alcohol for their entire lives.
My experience with depression is chronic. I was diagnosed with depression when I was in 8th grade. Since that time I’ve had a half-dozen or so bouts of depression. One bout lasted a year, another lasted only three months.
Depression is exhausting. It feels like there is a giant weight on me. I try to move, and it holds me down. I try to think, and it holds me back. My body hurts all of the time. I haven’t slept soundly in weeks. I’m exhausted from fighting something that won’t seem to go away. I feel ridiculous that I have to tell people again that my depression feels like its winning.
This time, my bout has been going on for about four months. It started slow. I noticed I was feeling anxious at work, and felt scared to talk in front of people. My depression has progressed to calling into work ‘sick,’ avoiding large social situations (if I can), and trying to stay away from people. This week at work I had to go to the bathroom six times to cry in the stall.
Frankly, I’m just fucking tired. I’m tired of fighting this. I’m tired of the waves.
Last week my mom came to visit, and she spent a lot of time taking care of me.
Last night, my husband held me while I melted down into nothingness.
If my depression could be healed by thinking of nice things, I would’ve started investing in puppy stickers a while ago.
If this mental pain could be healed by prayer alone, my words to Jesus would’ve saved me years ago.
If my anxiety would go away with hugs and kisses, then the time my mom spent holding me Saturday should’ve healed my tired nerves.
If my faith were enough to save me from this, this weight would’ve been lifted a while ago.
I try to imagine all of the good things that come from having depression. When I think of the best thing, I think of Darl from As I Lay Dying. “Life was created in the valleys. It blew up into the hills on the old terrors, the old lusts, the old despairs. That’s why you must walk up the hills so you can ride down.” You never really know a peak, until you’ve been in a valley. And if you’ve never really been in a valley… well… you know the rest.
I lay in this valley. The only way to get back up – is to climb. I’m so fucking sick of climbing. Can’t someone else just pull me up? Whatever… here I am. Climbing again. Step by step. When I reach the crest, I know I will rejoice in the glory (1 Peter 4: 12-13). The sun will be bright again. The sky will shine in glory. It’s hard to see the glory from the bottom, but I know it’s there. I will walk up.