Lulls of life there are in many forms. They so often creep up and emerge upon us before we realise what’s happened. Soon we are looking back from a depressive standpoint, glancing enviously at a recent past that was every bit gorgeous in comparison. What a horrible set-up that is – to be found loathing what our lives have become.
But, what we don’t realise is a short period of depression is not abnormal. Indeed, many people are cast for months into a time of anxious doubting.
There is a big difference between having a season of being depressed; days merging into weeks, and being depressed for six months or more. The psychologists in America classify depressive disorders as something that may be a constant or recurrent issue, but, importantly, anyone can recover if they’re honest and sincerely seek a way forward, and they have support.
Support is critical. That’s where the church fits in. The church should be what the world can’t be – a place to go deeper into the truth of life’s struggles. The struggles are similar for everyone. Nobody in a church environment should be pretending they have it all together. Isn’t the church a hospital? It’s no social club.
The problem of depression accepted, we are now in a place where we might plan forward of a place and time where joy more often becomes us.
Importantly, it’s about pacing ourselves. Some days we’re ahead and some we’re behind. Accepting both is about knowing when to open the curtains and embrace the sunshine and when to rug up inside and rest and cry or sleep.
There’s nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about in going by our instincts to take the day off. What we need to do, however, is strive quietly to see what can be done – and this is such a fine balance. Only we, alone, can decide what that balance is. Thankfully we are able to gain experience and subsequent depressions can be helped by what worked beforehand.
Actually sailing out of the situational depression is something that can’t be forced and shouldn’t be rushed, but, through effective support (mentors, friends, sponsors), we can expect that the voyage has already begun.
The way we think is impacted by the things we do and vice versa.
With courage, we explore the world, embrace what’s new, and speak positively to ourselves in our doubts. We determine to be grateful. Finding the little things of life that we are to be thankful for, we forget about the extent of our losses. The truth we do not deny, but we can afford an excursion if it’s good for us.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.