- Carrie Usmar
Treading the Waters of Depression
I get stuck. The feelings can go on for weeks, months, even years. Like a wave, I rise and fall on a daily basis. But there are times I can’t find the light. I can’t get any clarity. The days feel long, I feel alone, and yet I see people and get that period of feeling less alone, maybe I am coming out of it, and then a bunch of bad stuff happens and I get knocked down again. Or I go to the beach and feel anchored for a moment but wake up the next day only to feel lost again. I have plans to get stuff done and I get nothing done. Hopes to change the way I’ve been doing things lately and I fail. The shame game is so strong. Everyday I tell myself I hate myself. I say why can’t you do what your supposed to do? Why can’t you cook for your family? Why can’t you get stuff done? Why can’t you be happy? You’re a bad mom. You’re a bad friend. You’re a bad wife. You’re a bad human. Why do you bother writing, no one cares. You should quit now, go silent. Don’t talk about this stuff. It’s better for everyone. You are not good enough. You never will be.
I disappear for a while. I think being alone and quiet on social media is better for everyone until I am fully anchored. Perfection starts to show it’s pretty face. I agonize over every little decision. Most days I give into fear, let it take the reigns for a while, it seems easier that way. I tell myself no one wants to hear about this, they have their own issues. I plead with God for help, pray for clarity and the truth, but my prayers aren’t working, or my mind is so clogged I can’t see him working.
Is it a bout of depression? I think so. I am not a doctor. I also hate diagnoses. I hate admitting I still deal with depression. It still rears its ugly head into my life. I don’t want anyone to know because I’m scared. If I tell people they might feel bad or judge me or try to fix me. I don’t want any attention. I would rather continue listening to others, helping them, wearing my warrior mask. I don’t want to sound like I am crying wolf all the time. I don’t want to be known as the person that is always in a funk or always low. I want to be known for finding the light and seeing through the darkness. But I’m not always that person. It’s hard to share the darkness with not much light in sight.
I have bouts of depression. It pains me to admit that, I don’t want to believe it. But I have the kind of depression that doesn’t go away. Sometimes I plead with God why? There are periods of time I think it’s gone, life feels anchored, I am doing all the things I need to do to stay anchored. But eventually the waves crash down again and I’m swimming, swimming with no lifejacket, praying I won’t drown. I have to tread water and ride the waves until they die down.
Eventually they calm down, they always do. But it is so painful when you are stuck in unfamiliar water and you don’t have any idea why or what’s going to happen. I share all these feelings with you because this is me. I’m not always able to find the light, I’m not always able to hear the truth. All I can do is keep showing up. Keep sharing my scars. I have to because I know that hiding and ignoring the pain doesn’t work. I will continue to rise each day, rise above the imperfections, the fear, the judgement, and the shame. I will continue to thank God everyday for my pain and struggles because there is something he is teaching me even if I can’t see it. Right now I think he is telling me to show up. Don’t go silent, don’t hide and please don’t put on the mask. I’m going to stop telling my stories after they happen, but show them to you in these little moments. I’m treading water right now and I thank God for hope. I know I’ll get through this.