The past couple months have been some of the most challenging since I had a major bout of depression 6 years ago. Thankfully, my depression hasn’t gotten as bad as it was six years ago, but living with depression, no matter how severe, is always rough. Over the years, I’ve discovered some ways that help me cope with my depression in the day to day.
Daily Living with Depression
Each day I get out of bed begrudgingly. Can’t I just stay under the covers and hide? Our newest cat child certainly doesn’t think so, and his big sister agrees (yes, we are those people). So, I regularly take a little longer to drink my coffee, eat my breakfast, argue with myself about why wearing sweats to work isn’t a good idea, and get out the door. My concentration throughout the day wanes more quickly than normal. Most of the time, my mind is in a giant fog. Most days I fight it. Some days I just can’t and hope I can make up for lost time tomorrow.
If you’ve been keeping tabs of my blog recently, you’ll know that the root of my current depression began when it seemed like all of my younger friends were having babies and yet my husband and I are still waiting for our circumstances to make room for a child. The mother within me has been dying inside daily for the lack of sticky fingers, boo-boos, and runny noses. We focus on building my husband’s brand new business and hope it survives. In the meantime, I turned 32 and begged everyone around me to not acknowledge the day.
Community Support Heals
Having a support system around me has been vital. My sweet and understanding husband has been a wonder of support despite his focus on his new auto repair shop. He urged me to reach out to a friend to talk to. As hard as it was to make the first call for help, a couple women from my church have answered my call, surrounding me with hugs, prayers, and ears for me to process my struggles. I kept hearing, “Be faithful and in God’s perfect time, He will fulfill the desires of your heart.”
I try to be faithful but it still feels like little is right in my life. My life-long dream of being a mom still hides in the darkness of the unknown. My job, which was initially going to be ideal for me once I had kids, is quickly transitioning into the opposite. Five months into my husband’s shop and we’re still waiting to see if it will be sustainable in the long-run. Nothing seems right, everything seems so uncertain, and yet I believe I’ve been called to be a mom since I was old enough to understand what that meant.
God’s Word Relates and Encourages
So many people have suggested,”You should read about Hannah. I’m sure you can identify and be comforted by her story.” I have since read it and, “plead with God for a Child” is the small morsel I’ve taken from her story. It doesn’t really bring the peace I need in my heart.
Unlike all of the childless women in the Bible, I am not barren (at least I think I’m not, for I have yet to try to conceive) so there always seems to be a disconnect for me with their stories. It’s my circumstances that are preventing fertility. Then I read a post that talked about these women in a way I actually related to. It reminded me of my love for Abraham and Sarah. No matter what I’m going through, when I’m wondering aimlessly through a rough patch in my life, I connect with their story and find hope.
Abraham and Sarah were faithful. Even though they messed up plenty, they were more faithful to God than they were unfaithful. I love that they messed up – it helps me to know my life isn’t so far off from theirs. Sarah had to wait until she was 90 years old before she birthed the child God called her to bear. These days, you don’t learn about 90 year old women having babies, but you do hear of women in their 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s and 60’s having babies. (Dear God, please don’t make me wait until I’m old enough to be a grandma!). While this understanding doesn’t lessen my desire for a child now, it helps me cope with the possibility it still may be several months, or even a couple of years, before I have one and if I am faithful to what God has called me to today, He will take care of tomorrow.
Reading a Biblical story I can relate to gives me energy when depression is endlessly sucking it away. It helps me hang on when it seems I have no hope. It reminds me that, just like He fought for these ancient people, He’s fighting for me in the here and now.
Am I still completely depressed about seeing little light in the horizon of my future? Of course I am. I cry out to God daily and today looks much the same as yesterday. However, through my support system of friends (some I didn’t even know I had) and family, and the vastness of how one story can touch my heart so deeply no matter what I’m going through, I am feeling God’s ever-loving, ever-knowing, and ever-patient presence in my life.
I recently told my husband, “I know I am not alone in painfully longing for a child, but it sure is a lonely place to be.”
Do you relate? Encourage others by sharing your story in the comments below.