This post – parts 1 and 2 – are dedicated to my therapist Elizabeth Steinmann, who saw my need and helped me ask God for His peace, even when I wasn’t sure how.
The last week has been pretty awful, as I’m adjusting meds, and a few other tough things. And it’s not just the meds that have made my life so difficult, but the spiritual battle that can be (is always?) part of a depressive episode.
I entered my therapist’s office building for my Tuesday appointment – I was actually early! There was some construction going on, and the waiting area was really warm. I glanced down the hallway to see if her office door was open so I could walk in. It was wide open, and empty! She walked down the hallway a few minutes later, gave me a quick “tour” of her new office, and then we went to the conference room where the air conditioning was working.
The first thing she did was come around the table and give me a big hug. I had emailed her a couple of times over the week, and she even had me call her so she could confirm I was ok. We started our therapy session with a tight hug. I really needed it!
I filled her in on the details of the med changes, my mood struggles, and then I read to her from a journal/email entry, where I had written out from the depths of my heart. I’ll share most of it:
… my first thought …is that my depression is my fault. I feel this crappy – with the ache in my chest and anxiety on/off in my throat and tears constantly threatening – do I somehow like this? Being so lonely, feeling so much loss, no idea for what I want out of life. I guess I’m having a midlife crisis, huh? And it’s my own damn fault, because I’m not connected with anyone. I’m not serving anyone. So I’m angry. And depressed. And so incredibly lonely. [Later…] I’m pissed. I’m angry at everything and everyone. I’m sick off all of it – my struggles, others’ struggles, my life, my effort, the world. It’s all a huge mess. I’m sick of the daily battle against Satan. I’m tired, and tired of it. It could all end right now and that would be fine with me.
Should you be worried that I’ll do something stupid? No, ’cause I won’t. … [but] it’s all my fault. My daily relationship with God is half-hearted at best, unless I have to for someone else (like Moms In Prayer, or my commitment once Bible Study starts). I’m not sitting in His Presence and letting Him simply love on me, heal me. I’m not accepting the love and forgiveness that He offers. We’ve been to church maybe 6 times since we moved here. That’s my fault too. I’m completely to blame for feeling so far from God. He doesn’t move, doesn’t change. So I am the one who has moved away from Him. And I’m sorry. And if it were me, I wouldn’t want me back. All the truth I tell others – you can’t out-sin God, He loves you completely. But I’m having a very hard time accepting that as true for me.
Bet you weren’t expecting this gut-pouring. ‘Cause that’s what this is. I’m finally saying all the stuff that’s been locked up inside, some of it locked up for a very long time. Stuff I’ve been afraid to say to anyone, even to myself, certainly not saying it to God (even tho’ I know He knows). Can’t tell those who love me – they won’t understand that I feel like this. I’m scaring myself. These emotions and thoughts are way too raw to be exposed like this. Lucky you – I dumped them all on you. I don’t know how to recover. The folks who I would want to help me don’t live here. Oh God!
Part 1 of this post ends with me sharing my despair and admitting to my therapist about my difficult spiritual battle. Part 2 will show God’s amazing healing to my heart.