Friday, October 5, 2012

Jesus and Prozac

At the moment, I'm kind of arguing with myself and with G-d. There's a list of things I want to get done and this, honestly, is towards the end of that list. But this I promised I would do. Every day.

The problem, if I'm being transparent, is my depression. After a few days of being stuck inside because of strong rain, my SAD is setting in. And this is the year I feel like I need to go off my meds. Right as the days get noticeably shorter. Please tell me how much sense that makes. (Actually, don't. Because you'll tell me not to go off my meds. And in a "strong moment" last week, I decided it's time to try life without them. (The idea of strong moments and weak moments comes from a rare chapel that I attended during my time at Houghton and that actually impacted me! I think it was during PRAXIS week.))

For those of you who don't know, my struggle with mental illness has consumed most of my life. My first moment of being overly anxious for the situation that I remember, that anxiety that paralyzes me, I was 8 years old. I was surrounded by people that were practically strangers despite their blood relationship to me and I was overwhelmed. Then when I was 12, I sat on the floor of my bedroom and I bawled my eyes out, harder than I thought possible. And I actively contemplated suicide. I knew exactly how I would do it and I didn't care about who I left behind. It's been 10 years since that day and I've changed a lot. But I still have this struggle. I still have this darkness that overcomes me.

Today, instead of wanting to kill myself, I have what's known as passive suicidal thoughts. I want to fast-forward, to escape. I want to be someone else. But more often, I want to hide. To curl up on the couch and watch movies until spring. Or until some point in the future when everything will be better because of [insert magical circumstance here]. I never thought when I was first diagnosed that I would still be struggling now. I have my bachelor's degree, I have the chance to live in Europe for a year, I have family I love and friends that I miss more than words can describe. But here I am.

My cabin fever got the best of me this morning. After days of being stuck inside with the baby because it's raining, I took the first moment that it wasn't pouring today and got my rain boots on and my jacket and took Nuria out. I knew she'd fall asleep (and dear Heavens am I sick of her screaming as she fights sleep...) and I needed to get out.

But do you know what? I came home because I was hungry, my shift was over, and my boots were bothering me. And I've been here all afternoon. I haven't left. I haven't gone to take pictures with my new camera. I haven't gone to buy the chocolate that I'm craving (because I bought the cheap Nutella and it SUCKS). So my butt is still sitting here. And I can say it's laziness but I know the truth. This is me starting to hide. To hibernate.

But I don't want to. I want this year to be different. I left college just a few months ago but I already have a few things I wish I had done a bit differently. I wish I had lived more. I wish I had gone to more events, had more nights of fun with my friends and less nights obsessing over relationships. I hurt a lot of my friendships the last semester I spent at Houghton. And that sucks.

So what does this have to do with Jesus? I'm trusting Him to help me through this. Christ is the Healer. He healed the blind, the lame, the sick, the lepers, the ceremonially unclean, the dead. He healed those with FAITH. Jesus, I have faith. Help my unbelief. Be with me as I struggle with this mountain. Let me tell it to move and let it JUMP into the nearest ocean, gone forever.

But ya know what? Sometimes Jesus doesn't heal. Sometimes He leaves that thorn in our side. And if that is what He chooses to do with my mental illnesses, if He doesn't take this cup from me, it will still be well with my soul. It will still be okay. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And He will strengthen me through this journey.


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