Saturday, September 8, 2012

the Bell Jar

I've never been much of a home body, which I speculate is mostly a result of my rather ostentatious extravertedness. I love people. I love being around people and pursing people and gathering people together around a table or for a cause. I guess even extraverts get tired. I'm tired. There are so many things to think about, so many things to deal with or decide or work through. The past few days have just been rough. I can feel the bell jar hovering over my head ready to drop down and trap me. Most of you probably don't know what I'm talking about when I say 'bell jar'...There's this book, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It's a favorite. She uses beautiful descriptive language and metaphor to describe the experience of severe depression in a time when mental illness was gravely misunderstood. One of my favorite quotes comes when she is talking about memories. She remembers everything that has happened to her, everything good and bad, all of the cruel and inhumane "treatment" she underwent for major depressive disorder, all of the side effects and the confused looks and the lack of understanding. She says "Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, would numb and cover them. But they were part of me. They were my landscape." They were her landscape. Sometimes I wish a kind snow of forgetfulness would just come and cover all of me and my thoughts and my broken body and that I could just melt into this couch with the snow. But a wise friend once said to me as I wrestled with the "whys" of my own diagnosis of major depressive disorder, "Amy, maybe depression is just a part of your story, maybe God is going to use this experience to allow you to love and help other women someday." Maybe He will. maybe he already has in a way that I can't see. I know, deep down, that there is purpose to all of this. and even in the midst of my unbelief, I know that God is not abandoning me. It's just so hard. My heart is so weary. When I think about my landscape, it feels desolate and dark and dry. It hasn't always felt that way. Depression is a beast of a disease. It traps you in a cycle of defeat and even when you break free of the cycle, there's always this tiny fear in the background that it's coming back to devour you again. it's like being chased. always looking over your shoulder, wondering if this is the time it will catch up and engulf you. It's scary but I know I'm not stuck here. People I trust, who love me and know way more than I know, tell me everyday that I will get through this and that this is not forever. now I just have to believe them :)

I'm camping out in Psalm 139...again. The whole thing is a beautiful reminder of how God cares for his children but there's this verse that says "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." vs. 16. Guess what that means. That means that God is not surprised by me, he isn't shocked by diabetes or depression or degenerative discs (alliteration...ha!) but instead, he knew they were going to happen. He knows just how he's going to use them for his glory and my good and to further his kingdom. It's ok to struggle, it's ok to struggle, it's ok to struggle. I have a hard time believing that. I like having things figured out and analyzed and perfected. I don't like uncertainty and not knowing and brokenness and struggle and blind trust. The Lord is loving me, this is his mercy to me. and yes, I'm angry as hell. I hate this, I hate the fact that I can't take a break from diabetes or I could die. I hate that I've gained 45 pounds. I hate that I have such an unhealthy relationship with food. I hate that I am so tired all the time. I hate that I don't really look forward to leaving my bed or my couch. I hate that I don't feel like me. but God can handle my anger. it's not too much for him. I'm angry at the way things have to be and I'm working on expressing my anger (I'm not very good at that). and I'm praying that God brings something beautiful and joyful into my life that distracts me from myself and reminds me of his goodness. and that I begin to learn to really rest, knowing that his hand is guiding me and holding me fast and that he has searched me and knows me and still loves me all the way to the bottom and all the way to the top. Lord, help my unbelief.


No comments: