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Brighten My Heart

I have not written in some time because I have been uncertain what to say. Sometimes it is hard for me to process my own feelings. I find that what I want to feel is often different from how I am feeling. Therefore I fight my feelings, trying to convince myself that I am not feeling what I am feeling and am in fact feeling something else.

Make sense? No? Let me try to be clearer with some specifics.

Many years ago I dealt with and healed from a pretty severe case of depression. The healing happened after a significant amount of time on anti-depressants, in prayer, and in counseling. I have considered myself free of depression for four years and I do not want to go back.

Going into motherhood, I knew my risk for postpartum depression and meant to go for help if I felt depressed. But the time after Jack was born was so different from what I expected that I could not discern my own feelings. Looking back I think I may have been dealing with some depression in the first couple of months following Jack’s birth. I wonder what would have happened if I had sought help… who knows. I can’t change that. What I can chance is what is happening now.

I have so much not wanted to be depressed that I think it has made me more depressed to now admit I am again dealing with depression. (I’m really into confusing sentences today – perhaps it reflects my state of mind!)

This depression is very different from my experience so many years ago. I don’t hate myself like I did then. I’m not crying every day and night. I’m not suicidal… But I am tired. I have little motivation to get things done and often the things I do try to do become overwhelming very quickly (and they are simple things, like the laundry or filling out a form). I am also quick to snap at Jack or Tim.

It is hard admitting this. I feel ashamed as though it’s my fault that I’m “back here” again.

Have no fear, I am seeking help. I am facing issues that have brought me here. I am exercising regularly (which studies have shown is as effective as an anti-depressant – crazy huh?) and getting out of the house(anybody remember that creepy short storm/film “The Yellow Wallpaper”? yeah, we don’t want that). I am socializing with others – and not just online.

Most importantly I am expressing my feelings and I am bringing them to God. So often I subconsciously hide these negative things from the Lord because we’re supposed to be joyful, right? The other day at VVV (I mentioned it before, remember?) Nancy began with a simple prayer bringing our hurts, our depression, our pain before the Lord. It reminded me that it is ok. I am ok. God embraces me here and desires this vulnerability with him.

What a relief.

Sixpence None the Richer’s song Brighten My Heart has been my prayer the last week. It reflects my life right now and my desire to open my heart to the Lord who is the only true source of hope and joy in this world. I hope it ministers to you too.

Brighten My Heart

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