Monday, August 1, 2011

215 days...and the "d" word

I started this blog 215 days ago... It started out as a New Years resolution to re-discover myself and to get back to one of my greatest loves - writing... 

215 days ago I was in one of my all-time valleys/lows.  I had decided to leave a job I loved for a job I thought I would love more.  A job I ended up hating... I was grieving.  I was having an identity crisis.  I could not understand my emotions, and it quickly turned from feeling sad to feeling nothing.  The end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 was marked by me really searching myself, and searching for God to show me who He had made me.  For the first time in my life, I knew I was probably the "D" word...

Depressed...there I said it :)

I was no longer sad, I was blah... I felt hollow and miserable but could not explain why I felt either.  Night after night I would beg God to tell me what I was doing wrong?  I would read Bible verses, I would surround myself with positive people, I would quote encouraging sayings day after day.. I kept clinging to all my blessings.  I kept thanking God for the good things...

 I was searching for some sense of identity again.  I knew God had me (logically, I knew) but emotionally I felt bankrupt.  I couldn't explain it to people, and the few I did try to explain it to couldn't understand how I, of ALL people, could feel "depressed"...

I don't like the "D" word.  It made me feel like there was something horribly wrong with me.  I went to the doctor 3 different times thinking:  1) I must have a hormonal imbalance 2) or maybe I have cancer or something 3) maybe I have thyroid problem, or I am pregnant, or diabetic 4) or maybe I really was one of those walking commercials for a medicine I never wanted to take

My favorite doctor looked me in the face, and said "I think maybe we should try some anti-depressants."  I immediately burst into tears in his office and felt like a total failure.  I got my prescription filled, and within two days I had convinced myself that they made me feel worse and refused to ever take such a thing again.  I have never gone back to that doctor since (even though he was my favorite)...

I was determined that I would not be bound by a pill for my mood...  With that said, I have several friends who do take them and I think that anti-depressants are an extremely wonderful tool when used as last resort.  But it wasn't my last resort yet, and I wanted to get out of this funk on my own.  It wasn't until I realized that was not possible, and that God was the only way out that He really started inching me out of the huge pit I was in.

I started a new approach, the "trust God" approach.  One day I felt God literally say, "Go talk to a counselor, Rachel."

So, I did.  The counselor was great, and she guided me in a way that was unexpected - "if you hate your job, quit it.  If you are too scared to quit it, come up with a plan to get you out of it.  If that seems to big of a problem, just keep taking it day by day until God tells you different.  One day at a time, one moment at a time.."

It seemed funny that some of the same advice I give to others was exactly what I needed to be fed.  When we pour all we have into other people that we are left completely bankrupt. 

I started making a list of my dreams:

1 - to stay home with my kids
2 - to be able to financially be ok with not working or working less
3 - to love and serve a husband who was just getting the "leftover" parts of me
4 - to feel content and happy again
5 - to be a better friend
6 - to have energy
7 - to find out what Rachel wanted not what "work Rachel" wanted
8 - to let my love for the Lord radiate again
9 - to not dwell in the pit - to keep moving forward
10 - to soul search joyfully

And day by day, God started answering my dreams... The first was the day I knew I needed to quit my job.  And once I actually did, the fog of my depression went from fog to an ascending cloud.  And day by day, moment by moment, God carried me out of the pit I was in. 

One day in late Spring, I remember waking up one day and feeling happy and joyful and peaceful.

He always uses our valleys to make the peaks that much more victorious.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, and found it to be quite an inspiration. Writing is something I have always truly loved, and for years have repetitively told myself that being a photo journalist or just a writer is just an unrealistic dream. I appreciate hearing that someone has felt and been exactly where I too find myself at times. Thank you for sharing--I definitely needed to read this.