Resisting the Urge to Isolate – Beating Depression

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Can I be honest?

I’m fighting the urge to isolate myself.

Choosing an honest yet positive perspective and making the decision to remain in control of my emotions has exhausted me. I’m a born again believer and I love Yahweh with all my heart, but each of us has a struggle, a personalized opponent that knows us by name and shows up on our doorstep when we’re going through something.

I’m honestly tired of holding myself together. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of being a good person while I’m going through it. I’m tired of smiling and going in search of the bright side. I’m tired of doing my best and giving my all.

I want to disappear, to shrink, to be forgotten by everyone for just a short period of time. I don’t want to be on anyone’s radar, I don’t want to communicate. I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to be in this space where I am insignificant, shadowed, unnoticed, and alone.

I know this isn’t who I am, but it’s a part of my story. We all have a bit of darkness in our souls because we’re human. You won’t walk through this life and remain untainted. Having my hope deferred longer than I anticipated has called my personalized opponent forth, and I’m fighting.

For me, seasons of difficulty aren’t all hard all at once; it’s an ebb and flow of difficulty. Some days are pretty easy, other days feel like the pain is making up for my peaceful past days. On these days I want to stay in bed. I want to cry and fall to pieces and check out of reality. But I know from experience that once I step into that low place, being sucked down a deep, dark vortex of negativity and self- pity is almost inevitable.

I think it pictures, so whenever I’m in this head space I begin to picture an avalanche. It’s like every negative emotion I’ve ever felt is magnified by a million and rushing toward me at a hundred miles per hour. I’m standing dead in its tracks, and I have nowhere to run.

What triggers it? Burying my honest emotions. Ignoring my truth for too long. Thinking strength is avoidance (which it freaking ISN’T by the way).

For me, playing dead under tidal waves of emotions is like summoning depression and anxiety. It’s like I’m asking to be incapacitated and sick for days. I will spiral hard and fast until I’m at rock bottom and I don’t even recognize myself. And it always starts with isolation.

I’m an introvert, so being alone isn’t just something I enjoy, it’s something I crave, something I need in order to function properly. I need to be alone so I can be energized. In my time alone I usually let my brain work through thoughts or feelings I have shelved or make plans or lists. Daydreaming is a part of my daily routine, and I do a lot of prayer, reading, writing, and introspection. These things keep me sane and whole.

But when I isolate because I’m in a funk, the only thing I do is think anxious thoughts, cry and sleep. There’s nothing life- giving or restorative about that. There is a distinct different between taking time alone to sort through my emotions and get myself together, and hiding from myself and everyone else.

But honestly, I’m worn. I’m shot. I’ve kind of had it.

I’m getting licks harder and faster than I seem to be able to recover from and they’re taking a tole on me. I’ve been having a lot of realizations lately, a lot of inner conflict. I have a lot of decisions to make, and a lot of work to do. I’m kind of exhausted just thinking about it.

I need to quiet myself, of that I’m sure. But to be honest I’ve never had the strong desire to isolate and chosen not to isolate. With Yahshua’s help I’ve been noticing and overcoming a lot of negative habits I’ve adopted over the years. And this is another challenge I need to face. The last time I felt like this I did go into hiding, and it took me about a week to put my head back on straight. I didn’t spiral as badly as I have in the past, but I definitely hid from the world. I didn’t read my Bible, I didn’t pray, I didn’t tell anyone what I was experiencing, I just slept and cried. (READ: I crashed and burned for seven days.)

I know my experience isn’t unique. I know a lot of people feel the urge to hide or run away when internal pressure is too much. You start to ask yourself a bunch of questions, you start to doubt everything and everyone, you’re sick of yourself, sick of feeling this way, sick of going through the same pain again and again, sick of being strong, but also sick of feeling weak.

It sucks. And I didn’t know what it was, but I am finally able to label it now. What I am going through is the very beginning stage of a depressed state. I’ve done it enough times to know what it is, and the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to it. I can’t un-see it, or un-know that realization. I didn’t have language to put around this until this year. I never caught it fast enough to realize what was going on, so every time I found myself face down on my floor fighting for breath and suffocating beneath the weight of anxiety and overwhelming sadness, I always asked myself, ‘How did this happen?’

But now that I can see what will happen, I’m going to stop depression in its tracks. I am going to walk through this differently. I can’t promise that I won’t be low energy or a little more quiet or weepy than usual, but I will not abandon my relationships. I won’t abandon my time with Yahweh. I won’t abandon who I know I am and return to who I used to be. Familiarity isn’t worth it in this case.

I’m tired but I’m not out for the count. I’m fractured but I’m not shattered. I’m sad but I’m not hopeless. I’m still a child of Yahweh, my future is still bright, and He is still looking out for me.

So many people think that choosing to be in relationship with Yahweh means pretending to have it all together, even when you don’t. If there’s one thing I have learned in the past year, it’s that we cannot become better without being honest about who we are, where we are, and how we feel.

Life sucks you guys. It’s hard, and I’m confused almost all the time. I have no answers for anyone, I can’t explain what’s happening and I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know what I’m heading toward but I know it’s something good. That’s all I’ve got. That can be frustrating for a control freak like me. But Yahweh doesn’t want us to cover up our truth and bring Him what’s left of the good. He wants us to bring Him our brokenness, our shame, our anger and confusion and jealousy. Bring Him your depravity and watch Him put it all in perspective and use it for your good. Choose to be boldly honest with Him and watch Him heal you from the inside out.

I wish I was cheery and full of sunshine all the time but I’m not. I’m all gloom and doom some days. Some days I bring the rain and I am the thunder. Sometimes I make my own storms. And some days I just get soaked in the ones life sends at me. But I keep trying. I brush myself off and go back at it again.

That’s all we really have to do – keep trying. I’ve done it enough times to know that allowing the darkness of my circumstances to overtake me will do me all of the harm and none of the good. I’m not meant for darkness, I’m meant to seek out the light. I always, always, have to find the sun.

Sometimes looking for the sun means dragging my snotty, tear-stained face to my fluffy rug and praying in groans. Sometimes it looks like incoherent thoughts and broken moans. Sometimes it looks like an angry rant about how pissy I am that things aren’t going the way I thought they would. Sometimes it looks like expressing my disappointment in myself and admitting that I don’t have answers and it scares me.

But finding the sun always looks like telling my Father what’s really going on, and asking Him to fix it because I can’t.

I’m not completely okay, but who is? Who is 100% all of the time?

Nobody.

And I am existing in a space where I am aware of my pain and choosing to function while I feel it. I will push until it subsides, because it will subside. And who knows which people you encounter today are doing the same? Who knows how the little encouragement or good deed you do in the midst of your own storm will affect another shadowed soul?

Let’s choose to be honest with ourselves today. If you’re fighting against the weight or discouragement, depression and anxiety like I am, don’t hide. Don’t smother it. Don’t ignore it. It won’t go away.

Face it. And choose to handle it differently. If that means getting help, then go get that help. If you can’t manage it alone, then stop trying to. Obviously what you’ve been doing up to this point hasn’t been working. I know for sure my method of “give in-drown-barely come back to life-repeat” wasn’t working for me. Whether that help is a therapist, a friend, a Pastor, or some other professional, get the healthy help you need to navigate your trying time.

But as for me, I’m going to face this wave head on, with Yahweh and people who love me by my side, and see how I fare. I already know I’m going to be more than okay. I’m certain that you will be too.

 

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