It's been a dark few months. Particularly this last one. Every year it starts around August, peaks in November, and slowly works its way through winter and then out of my system come spring. I get a lot of flack for my intense hatred for winter--I live in the South after all! I have to admit something: it's not just the cold that gets to me. I started noticing it around age 19. Each year I ran out of excuses for why I felt the way I felt and blamed it all on one little word: crazy. I was crazy. It's just easier to say that.
I haven't done much research on seasonal depression. Its more denial than laziness. Most years the colors of fall distract me enough to get by, until those last leaves fall and I slump into my coat of darkness for the winter. This year I didn't even catch but a glimpse of them. Did you know you can still smile when you're depressed? It doesn't mean as much. It takes more will power. But you can do it and no one knows the difference. You can still talk and walk around like a normal person. Because you don't go out when you can't.
It's hard to write about, because it's hard to explain. It's hard to understand. You get to thinking, Everyone goes through this... why can't I handle it? I have no good reason to feel this way. Why am I so weak? And at times you can grasp to the fact that you are weak, but God is strong. But there are times when God seems obsolete. You no longer turn to him because he doesn't even seem like an option.
It has felt worse this year. Maybe it's because there was a three year old watching my every move, sensing my every mood. Maybe it's because I now have two children that require so much, leaving little time available to turn inward, be alone, to try to recoup. I hid myself in books and movies, every moment of quiet filled in hopes on not hearing the darkness creeping in. TURN TO GOD! I demanded. But I didn't know how. I don't know how. I say prayers, but they feel empty. I think to myself and hope my thoughts reach his ears. Don't let me get lost... I can't turn to you... be patient... don't forget me while I'm here.
Those days feel forever. Days when your little boy asks if you're going to cry again today. When his eyes examine you when you enter the room, wondering if you'll be his mommy today, or that other lady who can't laugh or play because all her energy is working to simply hold it together.
It's not that you want to die. I could not even think of heaven or hell. But to not exist? That was appealing. Just make it go away. You think almost always.
Eventually the darkness starts to break. It's not that it's over, but more that you being to realize it will be over.
On good days I thank God that he is strong enough to handle this. Loving enough to love when I can't. Patient enough not to give up on me when I give up on him. Those days that were so few and far between are coming closer and more often again. Hopefully soon I'll be writing light hearted posts and wondering why it all felt so overwhelming.