The Darkness of Depression

We are the starry-eyed, looking towards the light in the midst of the darkness of depression.

There are so many things that come to mind when I just say the word "depression":
  • post-partum
  • seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • drowning
  • suicide
  • ineptness
  • sleep
  • insomnia.
The list goes on. Some dismiss this struggle as just weakness in personality. Yet, others know this struggle intimately. They know depression is real. I am one of those people.

When I let people in on my "secret," many are surprised. However, I also find people who can sympathize. Some struggle for a short time and are able to move on with their lives. Some fight for years, only finding relief in medication or meditation. Still other fight alone, trying to strong arm their way out of the darkness. If you belong to any of those categories (like me), look to the light!

Depression is the epitome of enveloping darkness. It moves in on every side. You know the light is there, somewhere, but it feels like you are reaching and searching in vain; as if you'll never see the light again! 

Sleep can feel like light - all day, every day. Who wouldn't want to stay in jammies under the covers all days! Yet, the covers don't keep life and responsibility at bay. Even in a state of constant exhaustion you have to keep going. And when you can rest, sleep can be elusive, making the darkness that much darker.

Some are able to find light and strength within themselves. They dig down and push the darkness away. I admire these people so much! The Lord has blessed them with incredible mental will power to conquer their mind and body.

Then, there are those like me. I find light in gratitude for a more normal life because of medication. Medication does not bring light, but leads to the light of self-control. Like, glasses we wear in order to see. Often, we resent that we need glasses. After all, we used to have 20/20 vision! However, it is silly to grab blindly in the dark when a solution is available. Put on the glasses and see the light!

Extrovert that I am, I also find the light in friends! Ever read The Maze Runner? At the beginning of the book the main character is in a dark box and light floods in when someone opens the box. At first his eyes are blinded by the light, but then they adjust to perceive the new life around him. This is how I feel about friends in depression. They flood you with light. Often it's hard to adjust, but once you do, things can feel normal again. 

You can also look to your spouse and children for light in the darkness. I cannot tell you how many times I have received joy from my children in my depression. Our children remind us why we fight. They show love when we don't feel lovely. Gaze at your children's beautiful little faces. Hold your husband's strong hand. Let your family shine their light into your darkness.

Lastly but most importantly: look to Jesus Christ- He IS the light! 

He is hope.

He is love.

He is light!

Kristin Guy is an Executive Director of Household Development at Guy, Inc.  She spends her mornings planning playdates, wiping noses, and searching Pinterest for art projects for her kids; and her evenings in rehearsals for her woodwind quintet or symphony orchestra.  She is married to the most wonderful man ever, and has three adorable kids.