It's funny... I had a completely different blog post in the works for today about a completely different topic. But late last night (or rather very early this morning) as I was laying in bed and trying my very best to get some amount sleep, these words circled around in my brain on a loop until I eventually drifted off.
Remember when I said that I was going to turn this space into more of a journal and less of a traditional blog? Things are about to get heavy. If that's not for you, then please don't continue.
It baffles me that even though God is standing right beside me, shouting the truth into my ear through the loudest megaphone, that it's the quiet whispers of the devil that I hear, whose lies creep up slowly like smoke, turning everything they cover black. It tells me over and over again that I'm not good enough and that I never was and that I never will be. I freely admit that I've spent the majority of my life here, covered in darkness, trying to find my way out.
I've been pretty open in the past with my struggles with depression and anxiety. It's a pretty nasty disease that I fight with on a consistent basis. It sucks, plain and simple. At one time it even completely ruled my life. Now I have a handle on it, mostly.
I say mostly because I feel like I've spent the past few months in a fog, quiet and withdrawn. And to be perfectly honest it scares the hell out of me, because I know just how slippery of a slope it is and how very easy it can be to fall head first into that pit of utter despair. But it's that one lie that I can't seem to shake.
The truth is, I don't have a lot of friends. I have hundreds of acquaintances, most of whom who actually know my story, but only one or two close friends. And that's ok, I love those good friends dearly. I just hate that I have a hard time connecting with people. I'm shy, awkward, and am not at all eloquent. And until I'm completely comfortable with someone I usually keep to myself. Unfortunately, I don't usually get the chance to become comfortable with most people because those quirks of mine don't exactly lend themselves to being included.
I'm 29 years old and sometimes I think it hurts just as much as it did when I was 13 to be left out, just in a different way. It's not fun seeing pictures of the wonderful baby shower thrown for a friend that no one thought to invite you to. It hurts to hear all about how wonderful the food was at the person you thought you made a connection withs birthday dinner. And listing to people talk about the fun girls game night that everyone but you goes to is heartbreaking. And it's downright insulting when the only time you are included is in an effort to sell you something from this person or that person's home business.
So I did what I do best. I withdrew, retreated, tagged out, quit making an effort, whatever you want to call it. I stopped finding joy in the things I used to love. I've been nasty to my husband who has been nothing but amazing, I've stopped participating in groups that I'm involved with, I've stopped talking to people, and I've even gone as far as to stop going to church regularly. And let me be the first to say that I know that it was not the right response.
I have these feelings of inadequacy that I've never been able to let go of. I think I've always had them, from the time I was little to right this very second. And sometimes I can overcome them and sometimes I allow them to dictate how I feel and see things around me. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And I know that God loves me just as I am. But sometimes I can't fathom why that same love isn't always extended by others. It honestly hurts my heart.
And then that one lie snowballs into a million other lies. I tell myself that maybe I'm selfish or am acting entitled. Or perhaps I'm just not the kind of person that people want to be around. I get self conscious. Is it because I have nothing in common with anyone? Is it because I'm overweight? It is because I had my kids young? Is it because my hair is brown? These are all completely ridiculous notions and logically in my head I know that this is all Satan's trickery, but I still find myself falling victim to it.
Like I said, it's a slippery slope. And I may as well be running across a linoleum floor in socks for how fast I'm going.
I have this amazing testimony of how I use the love of God to overcome depression. But He is still writing my story and this is a battle that I'm pretty sure I will no doubt spend the rest of my life fighting. There is a reason that I don't see and will certainly never understand as to why I am the way that I am and why I feel the way that I do. There is a reason why I struggle with this disease. And at every turn I'm trying my very best to use it not as a crutch but as a tool to draw closer to God. Things will get better and eventually I'll get out of this funk that I'm in. It's just the part between the beginning and the end that I've got to work through.
If you think of it, please pray for me, friends.