I’m going to tell you something about myself (at least lately) at risk of sounding like A. I’m begging for attention or B. I’m self-diagnosing.
Alas, I would rather keep this on the down-low, but I feel it’s better to be as completely open and honest as possible with as many people as possible for the sake of our mental, spiritual, and emotional health.
That said, here’s what I’ve been going through lately, and something I’m trying to learn to submit.
Saturday morning, I awoke to come into work, where I spent all of two hours. I didn’t really have much of a plan for the work I was going to get done (I wasn’t a barista that day) and two hours later, I ended up leaving from work. I remember talking to one of my co-workers, telling her that I was just having a really hard time getting into anything.
Fast forward 24 hours. It’s Sunday afternoon, right after I got out of church. I’m waiting on a friend to go get lunch (he was tearing down from the church service we were just out.) I decided to, while I was killing time, drop by the coffee shop and hang out for a few minutes. Turns out the coffee shop was packed, and I had tried to converse with a friend of mine, but for some reason, nothing was clicking in my head. I had no idea where to take the conversation, I couldn’t pay attention, etc. I spent the rest of the day at home, doing little to nothing else, trying to take it easy.
Monday morning I woke up with a little bit of leftover fog, but nothing too bad, I suppose. I went about my normal Monday morning work as usual, and ended up being really energetic and excited for my Monday night shift – which was a total turnaround from how I’d spent the weekend. I was hopeful that maybe I’d gotten over the fog and overall weirdness and sadness of the weekend. But Tuesday, a lot of the same stuff just kept perpetuating. Aaaaaaaaand again on Wednesday afternoon.
Sadness, a lack of clarity. A lack of focus. No energy. No ability to concentrate, to engage, to converse meaningfully.
What was wrong with me?
Here’s where I’m risking self-diagnosis (and probably a disservice to a massive community of people…) but, I’m starting to believe I’m staving off a really mild bout of depression.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have it that badly. I can still get out of bed, I can eat (trust me, I can) and it’s not a lack of focus that makes me think I have any sort of attention deficit disorder. But I don’t know how else to explain it – feeling so foggy and so mentally blocked; feeling so sad for no particular reason (trust me, if I could figure out why, I’d change it.)
I guess that to a certain extent, I feel it’s more useful to name it than to sit around wondering what’s wrong with me. I could be totally wrong as to what it is, but I definitely know what the symptoms are. I have no use to be sad, it doesn’t help me to be disengaged from my work and from people (I’m an extrovert!) So I want to name it so that I can deal with it.
In that vein of thought, it’s my goal to give this to God. I’m not embracing whatever mental instability this is – I don’t want it, and it’s not welcome. But I’m realistic enough to know that sometimes a fallen brain can be hit with things that mess with it – in particular, chemical imbalances that lead to swings in mood one way or another. I can buy that.
But for me, it’s just like with anything else – just like when I ask for healing when I’m sick with the flu, just like I ask for healing with a damaged limb – I aim to take whatever is going on in my brain to the Lord, to help me deal with it. Because as much as I buy that my brain can be imbalanced, I also buy that the cross is mighty, and Jesus is Lord over all of the earth, including my messed-up brain.
So that’s my prayer: that Jesus would rule it. That all my mood – and all my mood swings – would come under the rule and Lordship of Jesus. That somehow, He would use it to His glory, heal me of it, and be Lord over it. That I don’t let anything I struggle with define me, but let Him define me and let everything else sort itself out.
Lord, I give this to You.
P.S. I don’t mean this as any sort of start to a series about a “battle” with depression. Honestly, it may never come back. I’m willing to admit I could be entirely misguided, and this may just be an outlier – but the psychology major in me thinks it’s something more than that. So, I don’t write this as some sob story to keep falling back on – quite the opposite. I intend not to write about this again. And thank you for letting me be honest, stupid, and wrong with you.