I'm just a couple short months away from it being a year since I was "officially" diagnosed with depression but the symptoms have been around going on two years. Why a years difference? Because of denial when it was mentioned as a likely possibility. It was actually one of the first things on the table during my seemingly endless appointments because of my symptoms and the fact that I was in great physical shape.
There are many different forms of depression and different levels of severity, it can also differ from week to week, day by day, hour by hour. Sometimes I'll feel like I'm doing so well I contemplate whether or not I should still be on an antidepressant, but it never seems to fail that within a short time thereafter I come to the conclusion that it's just not that time yet. I struggled with being "Ok" when it comes to using medication in the beginning because then that meant I couldn't be in denial anymore, that I was in fact in a dark place wrestling some demons.
I'm in a better place... medication ISN'T a cure all, you need to reach out to others, which is hard when you don't want them to know.
You need to dig deeper to deal with it and not just live with it.
And you need cling to Christ. I don't know how people can handle depression without Him. He is my hope. going through this without that hope would be seemingly impossible. Yes, I have a wonderful family... a supportive and loving husband, and 3 wonderful children (one on the way too), and going through this without them would be difficult too... they're my support, my loves.... but my hope comes from Christ.
So what's life look like right now when depression has stuck around? Well, it just keeps moving forward. I have many more good days than bad it seems, but the bad days still suck.
We moved which was a huge blessing... a fresh start in a new place, nicer neighborhood, more space and much nicer living conditions.
We're expecting child #4 which is exciting and it keeps me in pretty good spirits, especially when he's active and I can feel his every move.
Depression can make you feel stuck all the time if you focus on it that way. My goal everyday is to search out the positives, the blessings, His goodness towards me. The more I focus on how crappy I feel the worse I get. I'm learning, it's still not easy but it's a better way of dealing.
It will try to consume you.
It will tell you no one cares.
Why bother getting up?
Why go see friends?
Why be active?
Why eat something good when you feel horrible? eat those sweets, eat that junk, that comfort food.
Stay in bed.
But you have to fight back. You have to make yourself do the next thing, the next thing that will help you get into a better state of mind faster.
Some days I do just stay home. Some days I do just eat the junk. And sometimes I beat myself up over it, I shouldn't because that won't help. I just try to do better next time.
If you struggle with depression, talk to someone, anyone. The first few times you do it will be extremely difficult.... but it helps when you've picked the right ear to hear you out and be there for you in whatever capacity that they can.
I don't know how long this journey I'm on will be, but accepting it and living my life regardless of my down days is my plan.
Depression has helped me in some ways, it's deepened my relationship with Christ, as well as with my husband as he goes through this with me and for that, I am FOREVER thankful. I'm not saying I'm thankful for depression but the positive outcomes from it give me hope too, that God is using this in His own wonderful way.
"You are at a crossroads, and you will take one path or another. There is no such thing as not choosing because "not choosing" is one of the paths. It too, is a choice. Your decision is between calling out to the Lord or not.
...you can sit in silence or cry to the Lord. You can cry on your bed or cry to the Lord. These are your two choices."
"Feelings don't define faith. Instead, faith is simply turning to the Lord.
...Faith is not the presence of warm religious feeling. Its the knowledge that you walk before the God who hears."
-Edward T. Welch "Depression. Looking up from the stubborn darkness"
Just keep doing the next thing.