You can see right to someone’s heart by looking directly in their eyes.
You can see their joy, their sorrow, their fear, their peace.
And then you see yourself.
Depression is a deep dark well and the real kicker is that it never truly goes away. You can close a chapter, but it will always be a piece of your story, often just one moment away from being the main antagonist again.
I’ve recently been in a dark depression. I am only just now speaking out about it because it hurts. However, keeping it bottled up only adds to the layers of shame and darkness to it. If I throw it out in the light, it can’t find me alone anymore.
This past depression lasted approximately three years, with its peak occurring one year ago. I am climbing my way out of it now and have come so far, thanks to God, my family, my friends, my doctor, therapy, and time. I can think of lots of reasons that brought this one on, such as undiagnosed postpartum depression after our last child, stress of a young family, disappointments at work, genetics, etc. but the reality is I am prone to depression and when life happens, it hits me hard.
This was not my first depression. My last one happened approximately thirteen years ago, which led to me being 23 years old and 300 lbs. I was in that deep well for about four years. That is the thing about depression, it likes to hang around for awhile and give you all sorts of words to describe yourself. It really settles in and takes over. It took major life changes, including gastric bypass, for me to climb out of that well. However, on this side of it, I will tell anyone that I am so grateful for that time in my life because it taught me so much about my strength, my identity, and has given me a life perspective I would not have without having lived those years.
Which is also why when I fell this time, I knew in the back of my mind that I would eventually get out. I knew my comeback would be amazing. I just did not know when or how it would happen. Even today, I would not say I am all the way back. I have my moments, lots of moments, where the darkness knocks, but I am on my way. However, this time, I give all the glory to God. No magic surgery could fix this one. I had to lean into Him. When it all just feels so much, I pray. When it all hurts too much, I sit in His word. I have to because my goodness, I cannot fix this on my own.
So what just brought me running to write this, was a random picture on my phone. It was an a simple picture from several years ago, where I saw my eyes. My eyes stung me right to my heart. My eyes look full of joy. So much joy. And so different than my eyes right now.
I am not out yet.
I miss that me.
I won’t be that me again, because just as before, this chapter is helping me grow into a different and better version of me.
I miss it though.
I miss that joy.
Tonight, I am going to acknowledge that emotions, stories, chapters, moments, all flutter through your face. I am also going to be okay with the fact that sometimes we do not like the story it tells.
But tomorrow, I will keep climbing.