This morning, I didn’t want to get out of bed. The day loomed before me, dark and intimidating. No hyperbole here. The only things I have on my agenda today are ballet class, packing, a bit of reading, a bit of editing, and going to my friend’s apartment to sleepover (because we’re leaving for Budapest early the next morning).
But I might as well have been heading for a big presentation or a scary, confrontational conversation or my own execution for all the enthusiasm I felt about getting up.
I’m trying to be honest about my journey through depression and anxiety, partly because it’s a good way to heal and explore how I’m feeling and partly because there’s so much shame involved with these disorders that I want anyone who has felt this to know they aren’t alone. And that there’s hope.
Some days it’s much easier to get out of bed, and the world seems bright and full of smiley people. But many days, my bed feels like the only safe place. And I’m not just talking about that deep love most college students and other nocturnal folks have for their pillow and blankets. This is a very different feeling, a feeling that once you leave the safety of your bed, anything can happen. Things like conversations loom before you as daunting exercises in social interaction, and the thought of going to a group event or walking outside might as well be walking directly into the line of fire at a shooting range. Or at least, that’s how it feels for me.
These are the days that I have to breathe really deeply. Bryan and Katie Torwalt’s music has been particularly healing for me during this past year. Words like I breathe you in, God, for you are thick all around me and Now nothing is holding me back from you, Redeemer of my soul; now nothing can hold me back from you. Your love will never let me go. Jesus, you make all things new have breathed life into my soul.
The only stability I’ve found in my life is that Jesus understands me, knows how deeply I feel and exactly what causes those feelings. He is always working for my good, always showing me how to get past those struggles and to live in a healthy relationship with my emotions.
My only peace is when I live in community with God.
My only joy is in seeing the things He’s doing in my life, the ways He’s working, and the beautiful things He’s created in the things and people around me.
My only life is in breathing Him in every time my lungs feel tight with anxiety.
My only security is in His affection and his incredible love for me that never fails or gets tired of reassuring me of who I am to Him.
And that’s not just me. Though I don’t easily find stability, peace, joy, life, and security around me, those things truly only come from God. The best thing to come out of my depression is that I have had to cling to closely to God, the only one capable of truly satisfying those needs. Otherwise, I sink and can’t breathe.
He’s the only thing I need, yet He’s everything I need. Only and every.