This was a rough week. First of all, there was snow. I don’t like snow. It’s wet and cold and awful. There’s a reason Dante put snow—well, ice, which is almost the same thing—in the innermost circle of hell.
Snow was the least of my concerns this week. I suffered from depression. This was no surprise. Depression afflicts me occasionally. Sometimes it lasts only a few hours. Sometimes it lasts a week or more.
At its worst, depression is very much like a cold. These conditions share some symptoms, such as tiredness and lethargy. Depression also inflicts apathy, mild panic, feelings of hopelessness and an inability to focus. Both conditions last anywhere from a few days to more than a week, and they’re generally infrequent—thank God.
When paralyzed by depression, I watch helplessly as chores and commitments pile up. (Yes, these sometimes include blog posts.) I huddle in my armchair when depressed, unable to focus, dreading work, wishing I could just curl up in my sleeping bag and wait for my depression to go away… and wondering whether it ever will.
This week, I stumbled through a suffocating fog of stress and fatigue. I slept a lot, and forced myself to eat, and watched some Batman videos on YouTube, and then shuffled reluctantly out the door to go to work. For the most part, I didn’t live. I merely functioned.
Then I awoke on Thursday and felt fine. My depression disappeared overnight… as always.
Every time I have bad experiences, I try to learn from them. It comforts me to find to find lessons or blessings in unpleasant circumstances. I’ve used my struggles with depression to illustrate discussions about things like grace, compassion and the importance of a positive outlook.
Not today. I wish I had something wise to say. I’d love to wrap up this week with some neat, tidy lesson, but I can’t. It was a hard week, and God carried me through it, and that’s all there is. As much as I wish I could share some profound insight, I’ve got nothing.
I’m simply thankful today. I’m thankful my depression hasn’t ever become a permanent affliction. I’m thankful for family and warm clothes and God’s grace and rest and Batman and chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Whether or not my life seems to make perfect sense, I’m thankful to be alive.