I’m worn. (A song within depression.)

I’ve been struggling with depression again, and found this song to help me put my emotions into words. I hope it can help someone out there too. Only through God we can find strength to carry on.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” Psalm 42:11

“Worn” – Tenth Avenue North

I’m tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that You can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That You can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That You can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That You can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-3

C’est fini!

After 3 years and a few months of being on high doses of medication because of panic attacks and severe depression, I can now say “C’EST FINI”, at last, in June 2013! I hope this post helps one have a greater understanding of what it is like to be free from something like that. It may be compared to being free from alcohol or any other type of drugs.

As the medication I was taking was strong, I had to start putting it to an end in slow phases. But, my family was passing through a difficult financial time and paying for them was getting very hard. To make things worse, my doctor couldn’t see me anymore. He had been replaced by another doctor that basically shouted at me that I wasn’t making any worthy recoveries and that I wasn’t doing my best to get out of depression and there were lots of patients he had to see and I was wasting his time. Needless to say, I had a panic attack and never went back there again. We searched for other psychiatrists, but they were all too expensive or far away. I felt hopeless and scared. After 3 years of taking pills every day and basically depending on them, I had to make the step of stopping. On my own. The thing is, even by stopping slowly (taking lesser pills a day), I still felt really bad. My brain was so used to the chemicals. Not having them (or having them in less quantities) was hard to handle. I felt weak, sore and depressed. But something inside me told me I had to stop taking the medications sooner or later, and that now was the best time to do so. I had a wedding coming up (MY wedding) and wanted to start my married life committed and depending on my husband, not pills.

As I said, my family was out of money and I was needing medication. As you know, we are Christians and believe in the power of prayer. My dad was asked to preach somewhere and there, a man he never saw came up to him and said he asked someone to give him a lift home, since it was almost starting to rain and my dad had to catch a bus and walk a lot. On the way, the man told my dad he had a strange dream that he was with a pastor in a car, the sky was very cloudy and he gave him money for medication. Then my dad said, “Well, I’m a pastor, you’re driving me home, there are the clouds and here’s the prescription. My daughter really needs this medication and I had no idea how I was going to pay for it.” The man then gave him the right amount of money to pay for my last pieces of expensive medication. Praise the Lord! It had ended at the right time for the wedding preparations.

Anyway, being out of medication is a big thing for me. It feels strange, to say the least. I don’t have it in my daily routine anymore and sometimes I feel quite lost without it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact I’m finally free from it. It’s just that it’s been part of my every day life for so long that without it it feels like something’s missing. I feel liberated, but scared. Weak, but powerful. I can’t put in words all these sensations. It’s hard, and sometimes I miss taking pills, but I don’t want to go back. Oh, no!

In resume, I think that miraculous event shows how God always takes care of us, and uses human-made things (medication) for our own good. I know He is healing me and I can testify that boldly. If He had healed me, say, one week into depression, so that I didn’t have to take any pills at all, I wouldn’t have all the experiences I have today, and not be able to help others in similar situations. God’s timing is perfect. He is constantly perfecting and teaching us. We do not know His ways. Our job is to trust in Him and have faith that the best is yet to come.

You’re losing me.

I’ve lost you quite a while ago, and forgot that, although I didn’t have you, you still had me. Today I’ve found out that the process is going in the opposite direction – you’re the one who’s losing me. It hurts, doesn’t it? To lose someone you love. You tried to hug me today in three distinguish times, and in each one of them I stiffened and awkwardly went away, leaving you and you’re unsaid words just the same as you’ve left me some time ago – alone, rejected and hurt. You’ve also tried to kiss me – and did – twice today. But those kisses of yours were full of the suffering you blindfolded yourself not to see. I felt the love and pain altogether. It burnt me and felt an rubber-ended arrow pressing into the apple on top of one’s sacrifice. Sacrifice. I’d be yours whenever – even now that gravity’s pulling things to become even with one another. You were up and I was down. Or maybe we both were on the ground and didn’t know. What I wanted was you to be there for me. But you weren’t, and that has left me where I am now. Sensitively numb, full of empty feelings. For you. For me. For what we were. You’ve made you’re choice – even without noticing you did so – and pointed to the other side of my hope. Now that the tide has turned because of moonlight, you came back to me, but I’m no more. I haven’t changed, yet my mind has prioritised different things. I’ve learned to cope without you, and you’re ruining all of those lessons by reaching out to me now. After all this time. After all that’s happened. I forgive you. Trust me, I do. Except I’m not yet ready to step away from all these walls I’ve built around me and welcome you into my happiness. We’re separate now; unglued. And the band aid won’t stick as well on second time – or at least that’s what I’ve experienced thus far. But maybe, just maybe, for us it will be different. We’ll enjoy our time together once again. One day. Maybe. But not now. I’m far too comfortable sitting in this rock that permits a larger view. You’ve helped put me here, remember? You and your actions, words and fears. I need some time alone now. Alone without you, and you without me. For up to now I was the only one that lost. It’s almost cruel to like it that you’re losing too. You had me and I had you. I lost you while you still had me. I lost you and now you’re losing me. Apart we sail. Goodbye, my dear. I’ll be back once I figure where I had gone wrong and you’d gone right.

– 21 April 2012

What is depression?

This is the best compressed explanation I’ve ever seen, so I wanted to share. I found it on Tumblr, but didn’t manage to find the original source. If you’ve never been through depression, you’ll never truly know what’s it’s like to be depressed, but maybe – just maybe – this’ll give you an idea:

“Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognisable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation. If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.

It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.

In other words:
1. Depressed people are sick, not stupid.
2. Depressed people need help, not judgement.
3. Depression isn’t chosen.
4. Depression isn’t a phase.

Chapter 1

This is a part of the first chapter of my book – that is, a book I want to write. I appreciate any type of comments on it. I intend to write it for people who want to understand a little bit of what goes through a person’s head when they suffer from depression, panic attacks, paranoia, ocd, autophagia, nightmare disorder¹, amnesia, grief, perfectionism, melancholia, insomnia, ednos, borderline personality, bipolarity, claustrophobia,  hypochondria, nosophobia, schizophrenia, avoidant personality, delusional disorder, bibliomania, agoraphobia and basically a bit of a lot of mental illnesses all combined.

Based on true facts (my personal experience – yes, I’ve had all the ones cited above and probably other ones I’ve forgotten to write, some more intense than others, of course). I believe God has allowed me to go through all this to help others, since I truly know what it feels like to be how they are. They are all horrific states to be in. I don’t wish for anybody to suffer from any of the symptoms I did and weep for those who do. My prayers go out to all of you who have experienced these terrible things. I’d love to help you, so please feel free to talk to me about it. I’m almost completely recovered, and you can join me on this journey towards true freedom.

I also want to write this so that people may know that there is always hope for the broken-hearted – no matter how lost they are – and that, with God’s help, recovery is possible!

 

*TRIGGER WARNING* – PLEASE DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH TRIGGERING CONTENTS.

Usually people like ending books with “and then I woke up” to surprise its reader, because the story was about a dream or nightmare. But, this narrative is quite the opposite. In fact, it starts like that.

CHAPTER 1

…and then I woke up.

Damn. I shouldn’t have. I would rather live dreaming. However, I don’t have a choice, do I? The real world awaits. Although trances are ten times more preferable than having the most boring monster of all times – routine – as a 24/7 cohort, the thought of getting stuck in a random daze in the wrong place and at the wrong time causes apprehension.

The non-sleeping life is all about planning schedules, writing them down on a paper or in your head and following its policy. Truth has to be told: the reason this is done is not to guide ourselves – it is rather to control how much time we have wasted and how much we failed by not achieving the procedure. In other words, it’s a pessimist’s way of dealing with optimism, because, to them, hope is a risky inclination they avoid to fall for.

Considering the act of being hopeful as the opposite of worrying, anxiety is faith’s antonym. The uneasy feeling people have about the past being gone, the present being now and the future becoming present and past so rapidly, has to do with lacking hope to pursue steady life-goals. The inner agitations, caused by these thoughts, create fear, and fear has a funny way of ruining everything. In fact, it’s such a funny way that’s it’s not funny at all. It’s as cruel and atrocious as the irony of the deep pleasure of having doves eat out of your hand while scratching your arm brutally until it bleeds and all the food is gone. While you stand there, static, with blood dripping from your body, you inhale the pain and smile widely, forgetting to blink once in a while. You always relive that moment in slow motion when fear passes by and welcome it once again – sometimes by just biting your lips and trenching your teeth, other times by grabbing a pointy object and sliding it across your body.

In order to understand how to deal with situations like these, it is important to understand what fear is. First of all, it must not be seen as something bad, because it is one of the various emotions humans feel to facilitate one’s awareness of a potential threat.

(…)

nightmare disorder¹ – evolved after some time, and I’ve had it for almost 3 years. The book will not mention it in the first chapter, explaining why the narrator (me) still liked sleeping.

Act fast.

She knew what would
happen.
That didn’t change
what she would
do.

The thoughts were rushing
now.
So fastly that
they stopped.

Nothing was left except
the option
that poured itself
against her
mind.

The consequences
would hurt.
Hurt like fire.
Hurt like rain.

For it’s not only bad
when it burns –
When it’s wet
it’s just as
evil.

Except it’s masked
in a perfect
disguise
she wouldn’t fall for
any more.

Too many times before.
In the past.
In the future.

But in the present, no!
This time she was
convinced.

That is was air
she was
breathing;

Lacking.

And it was blood
she was
seeing;

Smelling.

Quickly now.
There’s no more time.
There’s no more
time.

Run!

Die.

18-05-11

Writing as an expression.

Everybody has their own way of expressing themselves, escaping reality and understanding it. Some, for example, use music, photography, or painting. Others sport, dancing, or acting. Me? I like them all and use a bit of each – choosing which one to use according to my various moods and aims. But writing has always been my favourite tool, for it captivates and fascinates me in such a way that my heart seems to long for the act and even get ill because of abstaining from it. I therefore write as a hobby, as a need to do so and as it’s lover. As a bonus, I get to help others and enrol in exciting adventures. But, sometimes, I question God asking why is it that I enjoy and am reasonably good at (or so they say) writing. Why not have some other hobby? Something more people would smile at and applaud rather than roll their eyes and not be interested in?

I used to be one of the best athletes in my class! I was so good at running, doing the splits, swimming, jumping and playing all types of sports. My PE teacher was always so proud of me! But ever since I got depressed, my body felt tired and sore. And now I can’t even take a few steps without puffing and my chest aching. I look at the medals I’ve won and find it hard to believe that the child that conquered them was me, and that I was super active and a huge fan of Tarzan, wanting to be like him someday.

I used to be the class’s artist! Painting and drawing away! Everyone would look at what I had done and try to copy me, asking what my technique was and where I had learnt to do all I did. But now that all seems so far away and lost. Even though I always draw during classes and sometimes at home, I don’t like to show people what I’ve done any more. It’s not good enough. It’s crooked. Too black and white or too colourful. Too fancy or too simple. They’d laugh and hate it! Or – even worse – they’d love it, show everyone and tell me I should draw more. I just wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure.

I used to be the best actress of school. I’ve always got to get the best roles. I was nominated Princess Jasmine for the Aladdin play and told I’d be a famous actor when I grew up. Acting classes were always my favourite ones – no matter how much the teacher shouted at me for not getting my lines right. I was capable of memorising things quickly and really live the character I would perform in every way – I’d think, act and talk like them, and would sigh when I had to become myself in real life again. But now I’m too shy to even say “hello” to people, too scared of making mistakes. I can’t memorise anything any more and even thinking about having a crowd focused on my actions makes me panic.

I used to play the piano and recorder, and present to hundreds of people. I used to sing with no problem at all for I never considered how many people were hearing me. I was told I’d be a brilliant singer and should record my own CD. But nowadays I don’t like singing to people in general and it takes an awful lot of effort to sing a whole song without crying or quitting halfway. I only play the recorder and piano when nobody’s home so that they don’t tell me things I don’t want to hear – that I should practise more or that I’m good, for the tunes I play are played by my inner self without me noticing, not really by me.

Dancing makes me happy, but I’ve never been good at it. Photography is something I’ve always enjoyed, but I hate showing people what I’ve taken a picture of for they never seem to understand its meaning. I see the soul and hear its cry, feel the warmth and hear its melody. They just nod and think, “I could do better”. Knitting takes up far too much of my time and I cry when I make a mistake. And that leaves me with my old companion… Writing.

Thank you, Writing, for always being there for me. For not leaving me like all my other hobbies and gifts did. For believing in my potential and hearing all my secrets without judging me. For being the only quality I’ve had that I still am blessed to have. I have no idea why God has given me such a strong link with you and might never find out, but I don’t mind – as long as you promise to remain my friend, console me in times of trouble and laugh with me at the ironies of life.

I love you, Writing. Don’t leave me. You are all I have left.