Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Battle on the Inside

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy. 

On Monday, I felt empty and dead inside- as if there was nothing worth the effort of doing. I imagined myself giving up completely. I imagined not going to work again - not getting out of bed - not moving. I imagined my life slowly disappearing until I was an unknown sitting on the side of the street holding out a cup - not really caring if anyone noticed me. I imagined the blank look in my eyes never going away and just sitting there after having lost everything - empty. I played a Dixie Chicks (Patty Griffin) song in my head -

I came home in the evening

Sit in my chair

One night they called me for supper, but I never got up.

I stayed right there - in  my chair.

There's a whole lot of singing

That's never gonna be heard

Disappearing every day

Without so much as a word

Somehow ...

It was the first time I understood how people allow themselves to just disappear inside. I believe that it may be the first time I have truly felt depression without a good excuse. What's worse is that I didn't want to stop being depressed. I let myself wallow in the rainy place in my mind and I didn't try that hard to find the Sun.

After a day of listlessness, I wrote poetry describing the emotionless pit into which I'd fallen. I forced myself to work out and I flip-flopped between pushing myself until I could feel something and slowly dragging my feet, one foot in front of the other.

I came home and crawled in bed,  covered my face with the blankets, and found I couldn't cry. I couldn't feel anything.I skipped bible study, even though I felt (which is the most amazing thing) God pushing through my fog of depression encouraging me to go. And I just laid there. Depressed.

I am fortunate that God gave me my husband whose name, Andrew, literally means "Man-Warrior." My amazing man-warrior came and held me in his arms, teased me gently, and made me smile - fighting off the emotionless clouds that had filled my skies. He listened while I explained that I felt depressed and I didn't know why. He listened and he encouraged me, but more than that - he made me feel. As I lay there in his arms feeling loved and encouraged, I realized that most people don't have their own personal warrior to fight the battles that they've given up fighting. I wondered how many people just gave up and walked around dead inside.

Perhaps they deal with it by pushing themselves so hard that their achievements cover the emptiness they feel. Maybe they deal with it by just giving up or drinking it away.  Maybe they cover it with busyness. Maybe they deal with it in poetry or exercise or church or music or dance or decorating or cleaning or cuddling with their husband.

I'm ashamed to admit that I couldn't deal with it alone - that I was content to wallow alone in my room. I'm ashamed to admit that I rejected God's help and his prompting. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't do it on my own - that I needed Andy.

And yet, I'm learning that we need eachother and that needing one another is not a liability, but a source of strength. Perhaps if everyone in the world had someone who helped them, the world would be a healthier place. In so many ways, I feel like a failure for not going to God with this and dealing with it - just God and I. My mind makes me believe that resolving this privately with God would have been the "holier" response. And yet, our God is a God of relationships and He has given us eachother for a reason. Even more so now, I believe that God has called us to support eachother.

In many ways, if I imagined a spiritual battle where the Enemy had injured me, Andy was the comrade who pulled me back to the Healer. He was the warrior on the battlefield who fought with me and supported me when I'd fallen.

Which leads me to wonder, in the spiritual battles we all face, who are our comrades? Who do I support when they're struggling? Who am I neglecting to carry when they've been wounded? Who is walking around in my life feeling dead inside and I've not noticed?  Who do I need to carry back to the Healer who not only heals our wounds, but gives us life?

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

2nd Corinthians 12:9

Perhaps this is my call to arms. Perhaps this is the beginning of me noticing the battles that are being waged around me and choosing to support and fight alongside the warriors in my life. Perhaps dying inside is the beginning of living..

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