Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

Purposely taking life slow with depression

From past experiences, I learned that waiting for depression to go away on its own doesn’t happen. If left neglected, it gets worse over time. After a sleepless night, I called the doctor’s office and made an appointment for that afternoon. The kids came with me; while I spoke to the doctor, they sat outside the office door eating snacks and playing on their tablets.

Having depression is not obvious: appearances and demeanor can be misleading. To others you seem to be doing okay externally; you’re smiling, functioning, and not visibly in pain. Talking about it is not easy: it’s not the best conversation starter and there is always the lingering fear that people will not like you or avoid you because of it.

“You are so brave and quiet. I forget you’re suffering.”

Ernest Hemingway

I tell myself that everyone gets depressed at one time or another, but does that mean I need to see a doctor about it? I don’t feel like my usual self, but is it bad enough to take medication? How can you differentiate between regular sadness or something more? Isn’t it reasonable to feel this bad after all that’s happened recently? BUT I don’t have time for this; get over it will you!!, I tell myself.

I wonder why I need to justify it to myself or someone else. It doesn’t need to be a confession (wise words from a professor referring to a childhood memory of meeting my parents at four years old, but her words seem relevant in this case too). Why can’t I accept it as part of my story and my reality??

One step at a time. Life is not perfect but living it well is my wish. God doesn’t abandon me when I’m hurting; He draws me closer. I’m thankful God’s grace covers me when I’m feeling this way. All the condemnation, that I’m a bad believer, a sell out, a weak person, is not from God but from the enemy telling lies. What a time to actively listen for God’s affirming words and his promises by reading the Bible. I’ve been reading it a lot lately.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Going through this so early in January is a wake-up call. This year I need and want to intentionally focus on living slow. All this constant internal pressure to do more and stay busy deflates me. I want to find contentment in this space of ours and stop reaching for what I think I “should” do. So cliche but true: quality over quantity.

Photo by Nacho Juárez on Pexels.com

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming “of it.”

Helen Keller


Author:

Writing and daydreaming have always been two of my favorite things to do. I've been an avid journal writer since junior high school. It was a way for me to survive the complex world of being a Korean-American female straddling two cultures. Journal writing continued through graduate school, but that luxury is now replaced with multitasking to raise and homeschool two young kids. As the self-proclaimed domestic C.E.O. of our home, personal reflection occurs mostly in my subconscious dreams, during solo grocery shopping runs, or when my husband Chris takes the kids to Costco for an afternoon trip.

8 thoughts on “Purposely taking life slow with depression

  1. Take a deep breath and breathe in Jesus. Let Him show you your inner strength. I know you have it, you just misplaced it momentarily. And remember, those who don’t have depression do not really understand it is a real thing. I do not suffer from it but my daughter does so I fully understand. Know that I am praying for you and hope for a calmer January.

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    1. True…those who don’t have depression don’t understand it. It doesn’t mean indifference, it’s probably that they don’t know what to say or don’t know how it feels. Thank you for sharing about your daughter. I hope she is taking care and soaking up your support. Moms have amazing power to make things feel better, no matter the age. I will remember that people are praying for me and that so thankful for your kindness!!

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      1. If we don’t lean on each other we have no one to lean on. And we all need that. Jesus told us to lean on Him and in the process build up each other. One big family

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  2. You’re doing yourself a wonderful favor by offering up patience and accepting God’s love. Hugs to you as you continue each and every day, one day at a time is a perfect approach. I love the quotes you chose too! xx

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    1. I have to fight against the urge to keep doing this and that. Such a strange assumption that keeping busy equates to productivity. It only keeps me tired and worn out. I’m glad to learn how to slow down but I wish it didn’t come in this depression package. Thank you for your kind words and happiness!! Love hearing from you…

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      1. Keep resting, keep taking care of yourself, you’ll make it through these moments of trials. Hugs to you!! PS – keep smiling, too!

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