I think I’ve been battling a form of depression recently.
Depression takes on so many forms that I’m not sure which form I have. There is debilitating and destructive depression…I don’t have that. I would say mine would be something like distractive and disturbing depression. It’s the kind that causes you to zone out on the couch or drift off in a conversation. I feel like my brain is having a traffic jam. I feel like my sternum has a lead brick resting on it. I feel like I’m watching myself live from the corner of my living room, the back right hand corner where the walls meet the ceiling.
I feel like I’m running in my sleep frantically trying to catch up to something all the while running away from something else.
Here’s an example. This morning, I woke up in a panic and went downstairs to sleep on the couch so I wouldn’t wake up Heidi. As I laid there in the dark, I was getting all flustered about a funeral that someone wanted me to do. (Mind you, I don’t even have a funeral coming up; my brain was just making up this scenario.) Even though I knew this, I couldn’t stop my mind from fabricating a fictitious (as opposed to factitious) world of nonsense.
As I fought off this alternative storyline, I labored to rest. I was trying to talk myself into relaxation so that my body could bed down. To no avail. I wrestled with funeral plans and angry family members and forgotten details and confused pastoral protocol for a couple hours until my daughter came downstairs to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I gave her a kiss and went upstairs to try and catch some shut-eye before the day abruptly began.
The difficult part is that I’m so happy with so many aspects of my life right now. I will be having a great day and for no apparent reason my stomach will feel ulcer-infested, like large tics are burrowing into the walls of my intestines and laying eggs of angst and discontent. On the one hand, I will be cheerier than a church mouse and on the other my stomach will be knotted up like last years Christmas lights.
The expression finally makes sense: “Part of me feels…and part of me feels…” Fill in the blank. I can relate to that so much lately. Part of me is living in the best season of my life and part of my feels like I may pass away in my sleep from a heart attack. Part of me is full of love, joy and peace; and part of me if full of dread, worry and sadness. Part of me is living high on the hog; part of me is living down in the dumps. Can you relate?
So as I sit here in want of words that speak in defense of my heart, I have to wonder if this is the part of life that is very clearly East of Eden and West of Heaven. The Borderland, so to speak. The place between, the straight betwixt two as Paul spoke of it in Philippians 1. It makes me yearn for glory. For lasting and everlasting redemption. For abiding and supernal joy.
My God, how I long for You! My soul longs to attach to you, my faith yearns for sight. My eyes are open in the dark; I’m not blind, but I can’t see. I want to shed this scaly skin of mortality and clothe myself with the robes of righteousness, rightness.
But for now, until then…I feel this pit in my stomach aching for God-only-knows-what.
I believe, but help my unbelief.