I feel like I need to break my silence and confess some things. I am human. Yeah, I know, all fitness pages have their “I am Human” posts talking about this, that, or the other. Yes, we are human. We all have our faults and our failures. We all have our sides we really don’t want to confess to each other because it could change our ‘image.’ But, we do confess them because, in a way, it helps build our image even better. We all do it. I guess I could make this post something like that but that seems almost fake to me. I don’t want to confess my failures to you as a way to make me look better in your mind so that my popularity goes up. I also don’t want to put myself down for no good reason. That’s not healthy either.
Here’s the thing. I need to write this so I can claim it for what it is so I can move forward. By writing I give a name to what’s been going on in my life the last few months and I can move forward. This blog has been suffering for a number of months. I haven’t written for way too long and I have had my excuses for it. “I’m going to focus on my Facebook page. I don’t have anything good to write. No one reads it anyway. Why even try?” So, my blog suffers a slow and horrible death.
I have seen a similar progression with my Facebook page. My desire to keep it going is going down slowly. My love for it is dwindling and the quality of posts is suffering for it.
I have become apathetic. I do what I do because I love it but there is not a burning passion that was once there. There was a time when I couldn’t keep my fingers from typing out all kinds of writing. I had so much to say and I just couldn’t keep it in any longer. What happened to those fingers??
I’ll tell you. And I didn’t really put a name to it until recently. It took me a long time to realize what was happening. But, now that I know I can take the steps to make it better.
The Big ‘D’ word crept into my life again. DEPRESSION. Have you read my post called “How Fitness Saved Me” ? In that article I wrote about how fitness and nutrition in many ways saved me from a deep dark pit of depression. I really don’t want to think about where I would be if God had not directed my steps to this lifestyle. It is a rather scary thought, actually.
I have learned over the years that depression is my barometer. It is how I can see if I am doing what I should be doing or not. If I am not spending time in Scripture and in prayer like I should I will start the journey into the pit of depression. It happens in such a way that I don’t see or feel it happening until it is often too late and way too much time is wasted. But, Thank the Good Lord that there is hope and a way out.
Let me explain this progression for you. It is slow and it is ugly and it is wicked. They always say that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back it is so crystal clear how this happens.
Here is how it goes….
Life is good and I’m floating through. I am happy. I am excited about life. I am busy. I am fulfilled. I spend time in the Word and in prayer.
Life continues on at a good pace and I continue to be happy. What could go wrong? Everything is falling into place and if it really isn’t I have good perspective and it will still be okay. There is seemingly no need to for extra prayer and Bible time because, well, isn’t that what people in desperate need do? * cough cough * I can just ponder Scripture and pray as I go along in my day. I’ve got things to do.
Time spent in the Word and Prayer gets lower and lower priority in my day. This happens without me even noticing. It is slow and unassuming. A few minutes here and a few minutes there. My tools are falling by the wayside.
Pretty soon, I am not spending any time in the Word. But, I don’t take note of it. I just fill that time with something else. It is a rather covert operation.
Ever so slowly, my perspective on life gets a shade here and a shade there darker. It doesn’t go from rainbows and unicorns to storm clouds and disasters over night. Oh no. It takes weeks. It may be slow but it is steady.
My thoughts become darker and darker. Why? Because I have not been filling my mind with Good. The good that was left over is slowly pushed out by the dark. I have eliminated my armour and weapons and there is no fighting the invasion.
At first, as the dark thoughts creep in I can shake them off and send them packing. Then, over time, they take a foot hold. They stay. I allow myself to spend more time there. I allow myself to think about what a waste of oxygen I am. I mourn because I know God loves me but he loves me differently than his Chosen people. I am the Red Headed Step-Child. Other people have victory because God loves them more. Other people experience miracles because God thinks they deserve it more.
I come to resent God. And I hear the cackles of laughter in the background but I pay no attention to them.
Do you hear the lies of Depression? These have been my thoughts over the last few weeks/months.
This happens so very slowly that I don’t see it coming. It is like the frog in the pot of water. The water is warmed so very slowly that the frog doesn’t know he is slowly being boiled to death. My habits and eventually my thoughts change so very slowly that I don’t see it coming.
I have no desire to write. I have no desire to learn more about my career. I have no desire to exercise. I have no desire to eat right. I lost progress and a lot of my hard work from the gym and eating right. I should have taken note when my desire to workout was dwindling. That is a huge indication for me. By this point, though, I was blinded. Amazingly, I continued to run during this time and I believe that kept me from going even deeper.
I then get so deep that I feel like there is no way out whatsoever. What’s the point? Why am I even here? No one cares about me. If I were to die today would anyone even notice I was gone? Would they mourn me? God doesn’t even care about me. This hurts so much. So, why don’t I just….. (fill in the blank)?
Then by the Grace of God I get a huge slap in the face. I get a big shake and a “Snap out of it, Sarah!!! I am here! There is HOPE! You are depressed. You know what this is. It is all lies. YOU have a bigger purpose than this.”
When I can wipe the junk off my eyes and I can see clearly what has happened ever so slowly over the weeks and months I can take the steps I know will pull me out of that pit. I have been here before and I have learned what works for me.
I have committed to Scripture Memory.
I have committed to a new Workout Program and Nutrition plan.
I have committed to continue writing even when I don’t know what to write. It will come as the fog lifts. Rock on Blog!
I have committed to being more honest about my thoughts as they creep in ever so slowly so that when I don’t have the tools readily available someone else can help fight for me and share their tools.
I have committed to being vulnerable more when in the proper context. Boundaries are essential here.
I have hope, again. Will I pop out of this season like it never happened? Not in the slightest. I have healing to do. God never left me. I left Him. So many lies have crept in and I need to call them all out one at a time until they are gone. This will take time. But, there will be more and more victory as the days go by.
Will I ever learn how to prevent this from happening again? I don’t know. It seems to be happening less and less the more I learn. It seems that each time I shake out of it I am able to set up better and stronger barricades around my mind and heart. It takes longer to fall again. Amazingly, I am also thankful for these times because I come to understand myself more and I know I can be empathetic with other people.
It is a gift in many ways and I thank God for that. I have heard it said that our trials are our testimony. This is my trial and this is my testimony.
Just remember that when someone wears a smile, appears put together, and seems like life has given them the upper hand, there could be a much darker side to it all. I did not tell anyone what I was feeling . I wore my smile and held my head up high. Then I would go home and cry in despair. You often don’t know the whole story.
Maybe this will explain to my workout buddies and other friends why I am so obsessed with strength training and running. I am honestly afraid to think where I would be if exercising were not option. These things, especially running, keeps me more level even when I feel terribly unlevel.
After all that is said I am thrilled to say that I am happy again and I have hope. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Why? Because I matter.