[in hindsight] what my depression looks like

Well, I’m out of the thick of it, the latest round of my depression that is.

It’s not something that happens all that often to me, but I do realize that it is there. Depression with a capital D, which for me usually looks like this.

Some catalyst occurs in my life (in this case, being unemployed) and I start worrying and thinking negative thoughts about myself, my identity, what I’m capable of, what I’m good at, my value to the world and so on…I also over-analyze even more so; as if I have a scarlet “D” pinned to my chest for all the world to see, as if my emotions and thoughts that course through my mind are translucent and knowable to anyone who catches my gaze even for a fleeting moment.

I stay up later, I wake up later, and I become antisocial and limit my contact with friends and family. I do realize that I do want to hang out with them, but there’s a part of me that thinks “God and I have this, why do I need community?” Yet my bro Mark who has seen me in this state of mind (and body and spirit) shakes me to my senses about the value of community. In these coming-to moments I “get it” even if I don’t practice it out.

I eat…when I remember to eat. I have lost some weight now that I’ve gotten back into a routine of working out, but more weight has been lost in my time of depression than in my time of getting into shape. It’s kind of odd, but I will remember the last time I ate, but not really weigh out the ramifications of having eaten, oh, 2 days ago?

I keep to my pattern of living, but in an empty shell half-assed kind of way. I realize I take in what people have to say, but I listen half-assed, I engage in community, but what I have to bring is half-assed, which only fuels my depression a bit more since I feel as people are fully aware of my half-assedness and are judging me and whispering behind my back when it’s turned.

And stranger still in the midst of my depression, in the midst of my despair- I find God to be present and very comforting at that. I don’t read the bible all that much (though I do plan to do that very soon) any more, but I find myself at a place (despite my circumstances) where I feel wave after wave of “a peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) a pulsar-like notion that “I [God] am here…I am here…I am here”.
This doesn’t stir me from my depression, but it does help ease my pain.

***

I realize this is a part of me and that there’s no escaping it. It ultimately helps me when I’m in the throes of depression that God is there and community is there as well; I might pull back and isolate myself, but it’s there any time I need it. Even when I choose not to accept it, just knowing that it is there is reassuring.

Still I realize that I’m not alone in my depression, that there are other people who have this as well. We (who have depression) aren’t alone in our struggles, which is why I don’t feel like a hypocrite for posting this:
https://i1.wp.com/photos-d.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xaf1/10610997_750469378348947_1854187492_n.jpg
I know how to work through my depression, but please take heed to the phone numbers above and use them if you need to. Not every bout of depression produces suicidal ideations, but still you can call and share (if you want to) what you’re feeling and what you’re going through. They’re good people on the other end of the line, trust me, I worked with some of the individuals.

Onward and upward,
Nathanael

Today I am an obstacle to myself

Today I have come to a wall in my job hunting and even to a large extent my life, and that wall is myself. I am an over-analyzer, an over-thinker, and these attributes aren’t necessarily a bad thing and yet I have spent way to much fucking time dwelling on my last job and my role there. I had identity in what I did. I loved what I did. I realize that the trappings that people get bound up in when it comes to “work” weren’t issues for me and it wasn’t work per se to me, but finding ways to make the lives of others better to the best of my ability on their own terms.
But that chapter is closed, and I am somewhere between bargaining and depression when it comes to the 5 stages of loss and grief. It’s an odd thing, this up and down feeling, it exists/persists/insists one day and the next day I have the drive to give it my all when it comes to looking for work. I have looked for work today, but I admit it has been half-assed as I’m caught up in thinking about what was and is no more.

Hope is there, I get it and see it as a twinkling in the distance, that someday..hopefully soon (provided I get my ass into gear) I will be able to continue on in this line of work, as I know this is where my aptitude for work lies. Yes I will look for other types of work if it comes to it, but I know myself well, I know most of my strengths and weaknesses, and some jobs I’m not cut out for simply because of what I know about myself.

Writing has and always been a source of comfort for me. I wrote in journals when I was younger and still do time-to-time, but I also don’t mind exposing myself in writing here. It does seem that I have solace in what I have to write, and perhaps ripple effects of me-too’s will come from putting my thoughts out here…time will reveal all things, not just some things.

***

As much as I don’t read the Bible on a regular basis, I am reminded of Psalm 40, in particular the first 3 verses:
I waited and waited and waited for God.
    At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
    pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
    to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
    a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
    they enter the mystery,
    abandoning themselves to God.
(The Message)

I know I am not the audience David wrote to, but regardless I resonate with this, me too David…me too. I hurt, I ache, I “waited and waited and waited for God”; that longing, that suffering, that’s where I am now and yet I say God be praised in my suffering not despite of. Yes I will weep and wail in my own way, I will probably be an obstacle to myself yet again some other day, but God is with me in my own ditch, my own deep mud circumstances. Some days I will take hope in these words and other days I will tell David to leave me the hell alone, but through all these things I realize down to my cellular level that God is here and he loves me and he is guiding me through all this.

Somehow, someway, onward and upward!
~Nathanael~