I really don't where to start - seeing that I have been away so long. I knew I had to take some time, I just didn't think that my sabbatical would be this long. But I'm back - ready to make a go at it again. My family just moved into a house that I love. I wouldn't call it my dream house because I would have never expected to own a mid century modern home. 70s no less. Complete with panelling and orange Formica counters. If you could have a house for a soul mate - this would be mine. It was "home" the first time I crossed the threshold. And now that I am home, I feel inspired.
Where have I been since October of 2011. Right here. In my life. My life that for the last several months has been messy, difficult and sad. However, its also been uplifting, educational and triumphant.
I was depressed. Very.
I've written about my struggles with depression before - no secret there, but when I found myself depressed with no single thing to point to as the cause, well it depressed me. I couldn't figure out why I felt so bad when I had such a wonderful life. With a great husband, three healthy children and the ability to to focus on what I loved, there was absolutely no reason why I should feel so emotionally and physically beat down. I had my moments of joy, inspiration and happiness, but I couldn't hold on and engage them for very long. I felt like a kid looking at a litter of puppies through a pet shop window. Clarity and peace were right there - I could see them - they could see me - but when I reached out to touch I couldn't. A glass wall divided us.
Depression, when it lingers, steals your moments.
I had to face the fact that depression was an underlying condition in my life. I had always had the benefit of having something life altering to blame my depression on. The last being when I lost my daughter over 5 years ago. So it stressed me out that there was no "valid" reason for my not being able to function. There HAD to be a reason, if there was no reason then wouldn't that make me one of those women who drive their husbands away and are remembered by their children as being weepy and confused? My biggest fear surrounding the depression was being thought of as having mental health issues. As long as I processed my history with depression as a series of isolated occurrences instead of an underlying pervasive issue - the inspiration to write was drying up with each day that passed. So it makes sense that I stopped writing.
I write my life. As imperfect as I am and for reasons that I don't quite understand - writing my life is my call. My ministry. My service. When I have secrets - I can't do my job.
No one can keep clinical depression a secret for very long - especially as you get older. You just get too tired and to put it simply - your crazy starts to show. Well for the last 12 months I focused on facing my crazy. It helps me to understand what triggers the depression. You can't win a fight with an opponent that you don't acknowledge, and there are some opponents that you have to get to know, you have to study them and learn their moves.
I'm doing well - I'm happy. So I am writing again, I can't promise that my crazy won't show - but I'm good and I still thank God everyday for the life I have.