I have part two of “as the season changes” ready but I wanted to share this as I promised to keep this post “real”. That means that when the worm (depression) shows up in my otherwise bright, shiny, red apple, I need to let you in on it in real-time.
The last couple of days I encountered a couple of upsetting situations. Both involves people permanently in my life that I love very much. The first example was a vacancy I saw in someone’s eyes. It was like no one was home. I’ve never seen it before and it scared me. I’ve shed some tears. I’m trying to convince myself that she just didn’t hear me which would explain it. I’m still clinging to that.
The next was rude behavior I received from people I have given to freely and without reservation. People I love, pray for and cry over. My husband and I have often encountered this behavior from them. What is surprising is that I continue to allow it to happen. I tell myself I will lovingly bring it to their attention right when it happens so I don’t continue to feed on it. But it always catches me unaware. I saw their interactions with others. There were “Hello’s”. “Hey, how are you doing?” There were friendly conversations with acquaintances. There was barely a word spoken to us. I could go on.
It’s these kind of circumstances that can really jump-start a downward spiral if we don’t stop it immediately. I convince myself these situations are catastrophic. (They probably aren’t.) But that’s what we do when the sun isn’t shining and the days are getting shorter. Everything seems worse than it is. So what did I do?
(I’m going to talk about my faith now so if you find that objectionable hit the exit button.)
I mentally whispered to God. “Lord, would you just put this in my “trouble” box and hang
hang on to it till we can talk?” I do this often when something is bothering me as I know that I need to be in a safe place when I open that box. For me, that safe place is time with God.
We opened the box this morning and I poured out my concerns. Nothing held back. No pretending that I’m not scared. No pretending I’m not hurt. Just me and God. I talked. He listened. Then He talked through the scriptures and I tried hard to listen.
Beating depression means being honest with oneself.. That means not making mountains out of mole hills but also not making mole hills out of mountains. If it hurts, it hurts. I don’t have to chastise myself for being human. Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean everything in our lives is as it we would like it to be. It doesn’t mean there won’t be days like these. What is does mean is that we learn how to deal with hurt, fear, and disappointment in a healthy way. The method can look quite different for each of us.
Do you have a pre-determined method to deal with difficult circumstances? If not, maybe today you can begin your own repertoire of healthy coping mechanisms.