The last couple weeks? They have not been the best. It’s not even the fact that I work every day – I mean, that plays a part in it – but I’ve been emotionally and mentally drained for other reasons as well.
I started my second new job on September 28th. It’s a job that I’ve wanted ever since I can remember. I won’t go into the details now, but I’ve mentioned it before (if you want to use your detective skills), and will hopefully share more with you in the future. These first two weeks have been intensive training in very delicate issues; issues I am very familiar with. It’s been a ride – one that involves a lot of narrow bumpy roads with a few wide smooth sections every once in a while.
I’ve been slipping further and further into this depressive funk since that first day. I didn’t really notice it at first, and just thought that my blurry thoughts were due to the fact that I no longer had whole days off. But, this week the slipping has been more like sliding on a very steep slippery slope.
My alarm went off this morning and I didn’t care. I didn’t hear the kids, so I turned it off and went back to sleep. I’d had a fitful night, and Liliana had woken up at 4:30am crying. She’s been sleeping through the night since she was 12 weeks old (don’t hate me) and from the time she was born she’s always been a great sleeper. So, the times that she does wake up in the night (which are extremely rare) really throw me off. But, even if she hadn’t woken up, I still wouldn’t have slept well and still wouldn’t have cared about my alarm.
You see, this depression thing has a self-destructive twist with me. I like to purposely sabotage myself. I guess “like to” is the wrong wording, as I’m always angry with myself afterward, but it’s like I don’t let myself succeed in anything – even things as little as waking up on time. I like to be on time and hate being late. I also hate for Kaylie to be late for school. She rarely is. But, in the last two weeks, she’s been 5-10 minutes late 2-3 times per week, and at this point in her school career, it is not her fault. It is mine. She’s also had to have lunch from the canteen twice this week (which she LOVES) because I haven’t had time to make her lunch. I’ve been late for every day of my new job. I’m really sounding like a model employee (and mom), now aren’t I?
You see? I “like to” sabotage myself. I’ve wanted this job for years and now that I’ve finally gotten it, not by my own doing even, I won’t let myself enjoy it or even be on time for it. (I didn’t apply for this job, I was offered it. The best offer I’ve ever been given.)
I am, by nature, very independent. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m the oldest child in my family or maybe it’s just how God made me. Maybe it’s both. In many ways, my extreme independence has been a good thing – like when I was a single parent for four and a half years. But, in other ways, it is not. The thing is, I cannot live by my own strength. I know this. When I’m struggling, though, I start to think that if I just tried a little harder, I can overcome my issues on my own. By my own power. I’ve learned over and over AND OVER again, that this is not true and yet I keep deceiving myself into thinking that it is.
The thing is, there is a God – my heavenly Father – who wants to help me. He wants me to come to him with my burdens.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~Jesus (Matthew 11:28)
I sometimes hate referring to myself as a “Christian” because of the negative connotations linked with the word. But, in it’s original definition, a Christian is simply a follower of Jesus Christ – one who has a relationship with God and strives to live as Jesus did while He was on this earth, and as He still lives in heaven. That is what I want to do.
(Let me just take a little moment here to explain to those who are unfamiliar with God – He is three persons in one – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. It’s like an apple – there’s the core, the flesh, and the peel – three parts, but still one apple. I’m not a teacher for a reason so I hope that made sense, but if I didn’t, I’m sorry!)
I have a relationship with my God, my heavenly Father, that has nothing to do with what church I go to or what denomination I’m associated with. My church/denomination encourages me in my relationship and teaches me things about my Father God, but going to church does not make me a Christian. My relationship with my God does.
Apparently I’m all about explaining myself (and my God) today.
Anyway, I find that when I neglect that relationship, my life does not exactly go smoothly. It starts to fall apart. That’s what’s been happening lately. I can do it myself. I can beat this depression myself (with the help of my doctor and a lot of drugs). I can live the way I want to and make all my own choices, because I know better than He does.
“But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
On my way to work today, I gave in. I surrendered my independence to One who knows me and knows what’s best for me way more than I do. I physically felt my mood lift. I have the privilege of working with fellow believers and asked them to pray for me during our usual morning prayer time. I even sent out a text for prayer.
I’m not exactly one to ask for help, in fact I hate it. But, I don’t want to hit more of a rock bottom than I already have. Every time I think that I’ve hit rock bottom, I fall off a new ledge and find out that there’s an even deeper rock bottom. I’m blessed to have an amazing support system, I’m just not very good at tapping into it when I should. Sometimes I just have to swallow my stupid independent pride and seek the help that I so desperately need.
I’ve found that, from attending church my entire life and going to a Christian school for eleven years, some verses of Scripture (the Bible) lose their significance with me. They turn into “just” words. But, last week I read Psalm 23 like I’ve never read it before. It was more than just words on a page. It was comforting and uplifting. I needed (and still need) it.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
I love that when I hit rock bottom, I can depend on my rock solid God. I can cast all my worry, concern, and problems on Him because He cares for me and knows what is best for me. He will make me lie down in green pastures and he will restore my soul.
My day (week, month, year) just got a whole lot brighter.