She awakens to the sound of the birds chirping. She can feel the sunlight streaming through the windows and clearly hear the joyful chattering of her little girls playing in their room. Her husband is rummaging around in the bathroom adjacent to their bedroom as he gets ready for work, and the shower is running in the kids’ bathroom as her older children begin their day.
She doesn’t want to open her eyes. She knows that soon the question will come.
“Are you going to get up?”
She dreads that question. Its implications. Its demands.
What she really wants in this moment is to remain in bed. Pull the shades, muffle the ears, and sleep. Blessed sleep means no expectations to meet; no failures in parenting, marriage, or educating; no dealing with the overwhelm, rejection, or criticism that can daily come her way.
She struggles with feelings of anxiety, loneliness, despair, and unworthiness, yet knows that Jesus loves her. She doesn’t understand why she struggles with these things yet she continues to try to understand.
She lives a good life. Her children are mostly well-behaved and are great kids with wonderful little personalities; she has a handsome and considerate husband; she herself is calm and serene much of the time. Her home is beautiful and spacious. She has never wanted for any thing. God has provided her husband with a well-paying job and her family is well-taken care of.
But no one sees her when she cries alone in the bathroom. She moans from deep down within her over her heartache that seems to be hers alone, and there is no one there to cry with her, to hold her. Thoughts of disappearing cross her mind. She knows these are wrong thoughts, and it’s not really what she wants. Yet. Sometimes the pain inside is more than she wants or knows how to deal with. Others do not understand.
They say she should “Get over it” or ” Be thankful for what you have”.
I’ve heard no one say it better than my friend, Amy, from Mommy Scopes.
“It doesn’t matter what you have. It’s what’s going on in here [in the mind].” ~Amy @polkadotswishes on Periscope.
Yes! It is never about what she does have. It is about her inability to handle the overwhelm, the lack of understanding from others, the stigma surrounding her condition.
She knows what this is she is dealing with. It has a name. There is a stigma surrounding it and to seek help means calling herself out, dubbing herself “crazy” to some and casting doubt about herself in the minds of others. She is afraid that some may think she cannot take care of her children or that she cannot be trusted with responsibilities.
She also knows herself and is aware that there ARE limitations placed on her due to her issues. Sometimes people do not accept this truth, and she often cannot accept it about herself.
She wants to help others but is often afraid to be transparent. Transparency means vulnerability. Vulnerability means she is opening herself up to being hurt, rejected, criticized, condemned, and overwhelmed.
She feels desperate, anxious, lonely, and unworthy, and she keeps her eyes shut tight.
The question doesn’t come today.
Instead, she feels her husband kiss her lightly on the cheek. She senses he is disappointed, yet she knows he is praying for her and simply wants her to be happy. She wishes in earnest that it were that simple.
She takes just a few more minutes in bed. A couple more moments of pretending that she can stay here where there is no responsibility, no expectations, no rejection, no overwhelm, no criticism.
She is in the midst of depression. She fights against it on a daily basis, and she most often suffers alone and in silence.
She needs your support, encouragement, love, and grace.
Do you know her? Can you offer yourself ~ your support, encouragement, love, and grace to her today? You’ll be her beacon of hope if you do.
My friend Candace over at Mercy is New offers some wonderful resources for those who suffer from depression. She offers these out of her own struggles. I know you’ll be encouraged by what Candace has to offer.
Are you the parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend of a person on the autism spectrum? To connect with families who are taking the autism journey with you, come on over and check out our community page on Facebook. We would love to meet you and your family!