Tag Archives: depression

Depression is a hand on the throat


Depression is a hand on the throat, around the throat, squeezing the air out of your body.   It’s a heavy, wet blanket wrapped around your head, air molecules dodging water droplets.  Breathing comes in jagged waves- gasping for air, for life, for a life saving hand as your head goes down under again.  Depression is that 20 second pause after a fall when you look up at the clear blue sky, perfectly blue, achingly blue and you wonder how you got down here.  You wonder why your ribs are crushing your lungs.  It’s the split second before you gasp and choke and suck in air like shards of glass.  It’s getting the wind knocked out of you, over and over and over again, eyes to the sky and the blue pressing down on my chest.

There are moments where it takes all my energy just to keep breathing.  I close my eyes against the dazzling blue and try to remember why I like breathing.

If there was a reason, I could find it.  If there was a problem, I could fix it.  If there was something out of place, I could readjust.  But that’s the intangible, untouchable nature of boxing with shadows.  Nothing is lost.  Nothing is wrong.  Nothing is unjust or wicked or fraudulent or negligent.  All is right in my little world, just not inside of me.  If depression is a vapor, a fog; then anger is a liquid.  Hot tears.

“See Honey, I’m just slicing an onion.  It’s just a strong onion that’s making mommy cry.”  My hand with the knife moves automatically.  Really, I wouldn’t mind just eating cereal for the third meal of the day.

My eyes don’t need to look around me, for I can sense the shame collecting in piles of clutter.  And I have forgotten which mounds of laundry are clean and which are dirty.  And the crumbs under the dinning room table sigh at me and feel overwhelming tonight.  And the dog has taken up a forbidden position on the couch pillows, yet I just can’t muster the energy to scold him, or to pet him for that matter.

Days slip through my fingers faster than my dry eyes can make fresh tears.  I coil and uncoil myself around a pillow, back to bed now up again, night and day, dusk and dawn.  The most significant moment of the day is when I close my eyes and feel the globe spinning, sucking the air out of my lungs again, and I sleep.

Reaching the World from a Rocking Chair


When I got married, I made a deal with God.  I told him, I’ll take as many babies as you want to give to me until I’m 30, then I want to be done having kids.  He didn’t directly agree to this, but at least he knew my preferences.  “You can be God for 10 years, then I’m taking over.”  Well, you know God just had to show me who’s the boss.  We had two children in 10 years and there were years of tears in between them.

Josh and I talked about my plan, but when I hit 30 he started hedging.  “Did you mean the beginning of 30 or the end of 30?” he quized.  I knew to just drop the subject at that point.  Josh wasn’t one to make hasty decisions.  Plus our life was pretty crazy at the time.  We had just landed in Costa Rica for language school and our lives were turned inside out and upside down.  Now was not the time to be thinking about having more children or closing the genetic door.

While we were in language school our youngest child, Emma, started Kindergarten.  For the last 10 years I had been a stay-home mom who home schooled during the day and held various part time evening jobs in addition to helping my husband with the youth ministry at our church.  So the idea of having both of  my children in school was really exciting to me.  I started envisioning myself with more free time in the near future.  I started making plans to be more involved in ministry on my own terms.  I started breathing again.  The future was looking bright and rosy.  Then a cloud rolled over my sunshine.

In August, I started feeling sick.  I thought I probably had a parasite.  After a few weeks, another thought occurred to me.  What… if… I’m pregnant?  There were 5 years between my two children and the youngest had just turned 5 last month.  Oh NOOOOOOO!  I didn’t want to think about being pregnant again.  I didn’t want to image morning sickness, weight gain, labor and delivery, midnight feedings, sleepless nights, groggy days, diapers, car seats, baby gear, losing the weight, and all the other hard things that make the first few years a blur in every parent’s memory.  I knew what was ahead of me (I thought) and I was terrified.  We were expecting a “bonus baby”.

I slipped quickly into a deep, deep depression.  I couldn’t bring myself to actually tell anyone that I was pregnant.  My husband, on the other hand, was elated!  He told all our relatives and friends.  He even told total strangers!  I couldn’t even smile about it.  I was going to be once again chained to a rocking chair just when I was on the brink of experiencing freedom for the first time in 10 years.  My bright future now looked gloomy and depressing.

One day I was lamenting to a missionary friend of mine that I was anticipating the bondage of a new baby instead of reveling in the freedom to be involved in ministry again.  My friend shared a story with me of a time when she too felt chained to life when she wanted to be free to work along side her husband in missions.  At a time of prayer after a church service, she poured her frustrations out to God and he answered her.  He said, “The Apostle Paul wanted to be a missionary too, but I chained him to a Roman guard so he would write the majority of the New Testament.  If it was good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for you.”  That’s when it occurred to me that God is not interested in my busyness.  He’s not impressed with what I can DO for him.  God had just given me another blessing- a child to care for and to raise and to love.  He was putting me back in the rocking chair not to punish me, but because he loves me and wanted to give me something good.  With these thoughts renewing my mind, I decided that it might be possible after all to Reach the World from a Rocking Chair.  Who knows what this child will become, and it is my privilege to be Lucy’s Mommy.