Depression is a deceptive liar.
It will tell you that you are weak, that you don’t have anything to contribute to the world you live in.
It will make you believe that you are lazy and try to convince you that you are unworthy of any kind of happiness or love.
It will make you feel lonely in a room full of people, even the people that love you the most.
It will make you feel like you are in a bubble that won’t allow love, happiness, or joy to penetrate the barrier.
Its heavy gray cloud will follow you around, much like the cloud of dirt that followed Pigpen in Charlie Brown.
You will see things, touch things, and hear things, but you won’t be able to actually experience or even feel them.
Depression Is Different For Everyone
Depression is different for everyone who fights this difficult battle that has no real rules. Some will experience it after a traumatic life event. Some women will suffer from the “baby blues” after pregnancy or the birth of a child due to the fluctuation of hormones. For others, it is a lifelong battle, but no matter the shape or form of the depression you fight, it is a deceptive liar, and that fact will not change.
While every battle is different, mine is quite unique. I experienced abuse on many levels as a young girl, including verbal, mental, physical, and sexual. These events opened a wound that became fertile breeding ground for depression’s deceptive lies and would eventually grow into what is now a lifetime struggle. Over the course of my life, I went through many times of depression. I even experienced a brief bout when my first child was born, but it wasn’t until my second child was born that the full beast showed its ugly head, making me believe that I was not a good wife or mom.
Depression Lies To You and Steals From You
Depression reminds me of a shadowlike “boogie man” that sneaks around, whispering lies into our ears at vulnerable points in our journeys. It will say things that make you believe that in order to be a good mom, you have to produce, from scratch, 54 perfect cupcakes for the party in your child’s class tomorrow. It will tell you that because you didn’t lose the weight you wanted to, your vacation will be ruined and to forget any pictures you may want to take. Depression is a deceptive liar, trying to make you believe anything that will steal your joy, happiness, or even the fulfillment you may get from helping at the party in your child’s classroom, store-bought cookies in hand.
In hindsight, I can see where it began to peek out during my pregnancy, but I chalked it up to hormones. It didn’t occur to me that I had completely isolated myself. The only time I left my house was to go to church or an appointment. I was sad all the time, I was worried about something bad happening to my boys, I was always on edge with my husband and even though my boys were thriving, I thought I was a horrible mom. I muddled through the first nine months of my son’s life. Most candid pictures of me during this time shows my red-rimmed eyes either from crying or just about to cry. I didn’t know what was going on with me, I shouldn’t have been sad. My life was good, and yet I was still sad; I knew something wasn’t right. I called my doctor and got in to see a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and prescribed medication that helped tremendously.
Over the last 20 years, I have continued this battle called depression. The twists and turns and hills and valleys have been like a roller coaster at Disneyland. Heck, sometimes it’s felt more like the Tower of Terror. I have been on and off different medications, seen different psychiatrists and have done a lot of hard work through counseling, but one thing that has always been consistent is that depression is always lying to you and stealing from you.
It Will Require Grit And Grace
Like most infections, depression will burrow into your wounds, even the ones that you don’t realize you have. This is why counseling is such a huge part of working through depression. Counseling has helped me over and over identify the lies I’m believing and how they are affecting me. Often depression uses the same tactics and lies to bring us to our knees, but I am here to tell you, my friend, that you are a strong, brave, and beautiful woman.
For me, this is not something that will ever just go away. I will continually fight this battle. Sometimes I’m winning and sometimes I am knee deep in the muck and mire. Both require a bit of grit and grace. I need to regularly check in with my counselor and psychiatrist. I also need to continue to have good self-care habits, like eating well and exercising. In the fall and winter months it is often gray and dreary for long stretches of time. These seasons tend to take a toll on me, so I slather myself in sunscreen and go to the tanning salon. I also use a Happy Light during these dark months. Don’t be afraid to try things that may work for you!
Grace comes in the form of letting myself rest. I know that depression takes a toll on our bodies physically, sometimes we just need to allow ourselves to rest and recover more than others. We are all made differently, most people that I know that suffer from depression tend to be over thinkers. We need to have moments of quiet time to give ourselves a break from processing all of the daily noises. Take a walk outside, even if it is raining, the fresh air is so good for clearing your mind. Read a book, journal, pray, or listen to calming music. Whatever you do to rest, make sure you do it regularly, and remember that depression is a deceptive liar and the battle ebbs and flows, but that doesn’t make you weak or lazy or anything less than the strong woman full of grit and grace that you are.
Are you struggling with depression? You’re not alone. Check out:
To the Mom Who Has Postpartum Depression
Dear Mom: I See Your Struggle With Depression
Overcoming Shame in the Grit and Grace Life
A Woman’s Grit Is Her Biggest Asset for Success
Is Battling Depression Disappointing God?
Learning to Breathe, and Face Depression
6 Practical Tips That Have Helped Me Conquer Depression
Don’t miss these popular articles:
4 Reasons Why Being Selfish Is Best for Everyone
Ask Dr. Zoe – Help! I Can’t Do It All!
There’s No One Right Way to Feed Your Faith
13 Things I Need to Quit For Good, Right Now
From a Therapist: This Is Why Your Self-Talk Matters
How to Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse
Are You Fighting for Your Marriage? These Resources Can Help
You’ll love this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: What Are the Unexpected Gifts of Depression? With Melissa Maimone – 095!