As I sat through the Mass, I struggled to keep focused on what was going on. My attention was being sidetracked to my childhood wish of being like everyone else. It wasn’t just as a child that I craved being part of the normal and popular crowd because as an adult – I still wanted it. In between listening to the priest lead mass, and my mind trying to separate from the pain I was experiencing, the Lord spoke into my situation.
I couldn’t help but think about a few months earlier when I had gone down on my anti-depressant medication. I reasoned that I felt good and I had maintained this ‘good’ for a long time. Purposely, I ignored my doctor as he told me I would probably have to be on medication for the rest of my life.
Since the age of five, I have struggled with depression, but the last five years I had finally, reached a level of stability, in which I felt ‘normal’.
Depression became more prominent in my life as I became a teenager, and by the time I was in my twenties, I just stayed stuck. I can’t write of my twenties because I don’t remember them.
It started slow, but by December I couldn’t understand why I felt the extreme heaviness, my anger was springing up all the time, being overwhelmed by the littlest things, frequent crying jags and an all time lack of energy.
I had just turned 30, and I was searching for a new job as a live-out Nanny. Shortly before, I had started experiencing insomnia. As a child, I had suffered through insomnia, but I didn’t realize it was also a part of my depression. Everything was fine as long as I could get that afternoon nap in, but one day I didn’t fall asleep for my afternoon nap.
I made an appointment with the weekend clinic at my doctors practice. My motivation for making an appointment was because I didn’t want to be sleep deprived – I just wanted to fall asleep.
To my surprise, it was my doctor who was working that weekend. To be honest, I was cautious of my doctor; he asked too many questions for my liking. Talking about myself would expose the girl who hid from her fears. Had I known he would be seeing me that weekend, I probably would’ve cancelled the appointment and gone elsewhere. I wanted anonymity – at least that’s what I thought I needed.
But I forgot that God knows me better .
I don’t remember much except he told me that I was stuck. That was the statement of the year for me. He told me he would help me. I had been begging the Lord for so long to help me because I knew how I felt and functioned wasn’t normal.
As long as I felt restricted by being and feeling depressed, I realized I wouldn’t feel part of the ‘popular group’ but the more I thought about it, the more I recognized that what I was feeling was a depressed state. From the time I understood I was depressed, the Lord was able to come more fully into my situation. As I mouthed the words along with everyone else at Mass, I heard the Lord whisper to me that He had never left me alone, and that was enough to get me through it all.
It is then we must turn to the witnesses of faith: to Abraham, who “in hope … believed against hope”; to the Virgin Mary, who in”her pilgrimage of faith, walked into the night of faith” in sharing the darkness of her son’s suffering and death; and to so many others. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us also lay aside every weight an sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” CCC,165
* Hebrews 5:8
painting, public domain