Anything But Down

I just finished reading a novel about a young woman who endured years of physical, sexual and mental abuse. It was harrowing and haunted me for days while I tried desperately to distract my mind from dwelling too much on it. Reading it reminded me of why long ago I ceased pouring over accounts of the holocaust: knowing that others have waded through travails far worse than my own does nothing to alter my brain chemistry.

I know I have a blessed life. I'm truly grateful for my stable, loving marriage; my healthy children; a home to live in; friends and family who support me; a country that I'm proud to be a citizen of; and a merciful Heavenly Father that helps me to feel peace.

But one of the most insidious things about depression is that the way I feel has nothing to do with my circumstances. I know I have a happy life. I want to feel happy. But I don't.

I have to keep reminding myself that it isn't my fault. Depression doesn't mean I'm weak, or a rotten mother, or ungrateful. It just means I'm sick.

Fortunately, it's temporary. Experience has shown me that pregnancy throws a wrench into my mental workings. And though it feels like I'm going to be pregnant forever, the truth is that come August, I'll give birth and things will start getting better. In the meantime, medicine helps a little {at least I'm not crying every day} and I'm getting a lot of reading done.

As long as it isn't a novel about abuse or the holocaust.

p.s. Entry title is from a Sheryl Crow song. I've always liked the line, "You don't bring me anything but down," though I worry that people think that about me most of the time. :)


Cheeri said...

"But one of the most insidious things about depression is that the way I feel has nothing to do with my circumstances. I know I have a happy life. I want to feel happy. But I don't."


LisAway said...

You're right about not being a rotten mother but the sickness sure is rotten. You have such a way of explaining it.

When I wasn't feeling well during pregnancy I read and read, but it was all just escapist stuff, the Victorian classics that I love so much. I reread half my library, I think.

hannah said...

It is refreshing to hear your raw honesty within the blogging community. You are an inspiration.

Thank you for stating this.." It just means I'm sick."

It is forgotten far too often.

mosey said...

This is such a complete and beautiful accounting of how it is to live with depression. Your gratitude and joy of life are very apparent in every word you write and image you post on this blog. You live your life with grace and it's plain to see even for someone who doesn't know you in person.

And please - go find a nice happy book to read. :) There are times for the slice of reality books, and times to fill ourselves with the good feelings that a piece of fluff literature can offer.

The Queen Vee said...

The fact that you are willing to share your struggles with depression to me means your are dealing with it. I think you are amazing. We all have challenges in life, it's how we meet them and grow from them that counts. The refining process isn't easy or pretty but the end result can be quite amazing.

Anonymous said...

MS -you don't bring me anything but up.

Even the sadness I feel at your trial, challenge and struggle is nothing compared to the total amazement at the quality of your writing, the insight into your life, the clarity of your photography, all a sumptous feast for my eyes and heart!

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