Thankfully mental health is becoming less taboo these days. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot of confusion about it. For this week’s blog I thought it might be helpful to provide basic information about depression. How is it defined and diagnosed and what are some healthy coping skills for managing it?
Having worked with couples for over 20 years, there has been such joy to be on the front row seat witnessing healing and restoration. Being used as a vessel for God to show up and work miracles is no short of fulfilling. Recently, I worked with a couple who had been married 15+ years, finally gotten to the hard-worked-for chapter of retirement, found themselves not enjoying one another during this supposedly “golden” chapter of leisure and relaxation, and now living in two different cities separated and ready to call it quits. The lawyers were hired, the papers were filled out and awaiting signatures. One reached out and posed the question, “Are we sure?”
‘Tis the season! Even though I say this, I am really not sure exactly of the meaning. I don’t really talk that way any other time of the year either. I don’t say, “‘Tis the summer,” for example. Many times, I catch myself just moving through the motions during the holidays, never really thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong, I like the welcoming warmth of what traditions bring. I am saying, though, that giving some intentional thought before the main event of the celebration season begins may help as you move through them.
Grief: something I wish no one ever had to deal with. At the age of 29, I never thought I would have lost two very important people in my life. I look back at how I grieved the loss of my grandmother and now my uncle and at times I would find myself frustrated and angry with God. Frustrated of the unknown. The tests that did not get to happen, the unanswered lab results, and the other unknown questions. Although I know they are both with my heavenly father, I was frustrated that I did not spend as much time with them, that I worked more than taking the time off to visit them. I was angry that I had to live through holidays and big events without them cheering me on or walking through the difficult parts of life with me.
“Somedays, you feel so unloved by the people who are supposed to love you. And your heart hurts. And you feel empty. Like you’re in a wasteland with no life. Right now, it seems that this has been a very lifeless season. People who are supposed to bring joy to your life now bring thoughts of dread as you think of the life being sucked out of you. They never ask if you’re okay. And I’m not. I haven’t been for a long time.”
These are words I wrote down about a year ago. Words that I felt so deeply to my core.