A few weeks ago, I laid in bed until 5 p.m. I had no desire to get up and no energy to go throughout my day.
My battle with depression has been a strange one. One day, I’m fine and ready to throw a party, run six miles, and write a book, and others, I lay in bed and sleep the entire day away.
But I had to celebrate the small victory when I did actually get up. I texted my friend Leslie and told her I’d been in bed all day and felt awful, so she called me. I didn’t want to answer, but she’s the kind of friend you don’t ignore. She’s the kind of friend you need.
I answered and heard, “Do you want to talk about it?”
No. I sure do not want to talk about it or anything else. I want to go back to sleep.
But I talked about it and cried and she seemed to hold me through the phone.
I managed to get dressed and go for a 30-minute walk because I knew exercise and fresh air would help. (I have not been exercising regularly at all and I KNOW that’s a reason I have felt so mentally horrible.)
I felt better after my walk and headed to a friend’s birthday dinner. The whole way there, I thought about how I should have just stayed in bed. The enemy told me no one would care if I didn’t show up and I’d be better off to stay in bed for another 12 hours. But I went anyway.
That’s the key. Go anyway. Call anyway. Show up anyway.
My pastor, Chris Hodges, talked about depression today. He was open and raw and real, and it was so refreshing.
He said, “It is not a sin to be sick.”
He was so sensitive to the fact that mental illness IS illness. Just like you get a cold or break your arm, your brain can get sick too.
A few months ago, my husband and I were on a mission trip. We had met some incredible people and were really having the time of our lives. On the way back to our hotel from a serve project, two of my new friends were sitting on the bus row behind us talking about depression.
One of them said, “It was a horrible feeling. I felt like I saw everything in gray.”
I never said a word. I just looked out the window with tears slow trickling down my face.
My husband leaned over and whispered, “Is that how you feel?”
Without losing eye contact with the city outside the window, I nodded once.
I wanted to turn around and tell them, “That’s how I feel right now. I see gray all the time,” but I just couldn’t.
I told one of them a few days ago about the exchange. We talked over text, but I know she was crying for me and for her and for anyone who has ever felt so colorless.
I love color. I love to see in color and live in color, and to have that robbed from me has been so cruel – but we have a cruel enemy, guys. And we have to fight back, but we cannot do it alone.
The key takeaway from my pastor’s message was to stand together. “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
We can’t get through this life alone.Isolation is one of satan's favorite tactics, but God put community in place to battle loneliness. Click To Tweet
Loneliness is not from God and He hates when you feel alone in your struggles.
I know it’s not that easy. I know it’s so much easier to stay in bed, at home, where you feel safe. And if you can’t muster up the energy to step outside, send a text or make a call. Just let one person in. That one person might just add a few drops of color back to your life.
My friend Mary Alan loves to send me songs. We were together a few weeks ago and she played me a song that made her think of me.
“Rainbow” by Kasey Musgraves – go give it a listen if you haven’t heard it.