I have never been shy about being depressed. I hate that there is a stigma attached to depression and that people don't feel safe talking about it. There are SO many people that struggle with depression that don't know it or don't have someone to talk to about it. I know that for some people it may seem like over sharing to discuss it on my blog but I will continue to do so for two reasons. One is that this blog is a record of my journey and I use it to look back and see how far I have come and to remember all of the blessings along the way. Secondly, I hope that I can inspire others that may struggle with the same things to have hope. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Romans 5 it says:
We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Depression does not define who I am. I am a joyful person. It, along with everything else I have been through in life, is something that I persevere through and it makes me stronger.
I DO NOT think that it is a result of my circumstances or because I am "unhappy". I do not question my faith, my marriage or my life at all. I know that depression runs in my family. I believe that depression is caused by an unbalance of chemicals in my brain and can be fixed by taking medication. (please note that this is my simplified version of what is happening according to the explanation doctors and counselors have given me)
When I am depressed I can literally feel that my brain isn't working correctly. I call this "crazy brain". I have trouble focusing. I have trouble reading a sentence or continuing thoughts. It makes me feel stupid! I also have trouble dealing with things. Very small things feel huge and unbearable. I have trouble motivating myself to do anything. I feel exhausted and all I want to do is stay in bed and sleep for hours.
I say all this so I can remember how I have been feeling for the last few months and to reach out to others that may be feeling the same way.
I started a new medication 3 weeks ago and I am finally starting to feel the affects. Thursday I felt happy again. I heard myself laughing wholeheartedly and my face was tired from smiling. This is not to say that I haven't laughed or felt happy the last few months but there has been a conflicting feeling of sadness inside me during those moments.
These are a few of the things that blessed me on Thursday and made me smile:
*Having both cats sleep with us at night
*Waking up early to finish paperwork for conferences and finding this note on the counter for me (it is crumpled because I kept in my pocket all day)
*Having a student of mine tell the director that a boy called her a "big head" on the bus and she explained to him that the reason she has a big head is because she has big brains!
*A student in another class decided she would choose three students in class and make it her goal to help them behave and be calmer (so sweet)
*Parent-Teacher conferences went well
*Coming home to find that Joel had made dinner because he thought about how long and difficult my day might have been with conferences after school
*Later Joel gave me a little back rub while I checked my emails(have I mentioned lately how blessed I am in the marriage department...seriously)
*Getting an email that I sold this iPad case on etsy. It is such a blessing to make things and have people like them :-)
*Getting an email from a friend at work that I have sewn baby-slings for that said she gave one at a baby shower this weekend and someone asked for my information because they loved them so much
I don't know if Thursday was just an exceptionally blessed day or if my "crazy brain" is just clearing enough for me to finally be able to see the blessings. Either way I felt happy again. I hope that you find yourself feeling happy as well.