Lately I have been more depressed than usual. Sleeping more – well in bed more, not really sleeping. Lack of energy, loss of appetite, irritable, and I complain a lot. All signs my depression is worse.
If you are in recovery depression is also a reality for you. It comes with the territory. How bad it is for you depends on many things. It can depend on our brain chemistry and hormones. Even our diet plays a factor. But having experienced trauma is likely our biggest one. Sometimes depression just hits. (On Friday you can find a post that deals more specifically with depression.)
My depression has increased because of the time of year. Memories from the past make September through January even more difficult for me. This year was even harder because I was less medicated so I felt more of my emotions.
After a very difficult Christmas I began to struggle greatly with memories of my past. The good and the bad. No matter where I go I face them. I live in the town I grew up, and though it has changed some if I leave my condo I will no doubt drive on a road, go someplace, see someone related to my past.
Struggling to know how I can have good memories with so many bad ones I decided to try to block them all out. That was a big mistake. We cannot outrun our pasts. They will always be a part of us. Many will tell us to forget the past. Some will even quote the Bible incorrectly in this.
You and I have difficult pasts. So do many others who may not want to admit to it, but you are reading this which is a great first step. Hopefully you are also getting help in your recovery. We can’t forget our past, but we can work through it so it no longer causes us the anxiety, depression, PTSD, and pain. Trauma can only be worked through to help us get better, not forgotten. To do this we need the help of professionals trained to do this.
What I realized – finally (again)– today with the help of my therapist is I cannot run from my past or my life. I said today, “My life was destroyed 10 years ago…” Correction, the life I thought I had and thought I was going to have was destroyed.
My life is today. Right now. Taking in the wonder of God’s glorious blue sky He created as I look outside while I type this. Taking in the sun my body needs to help with depression.
It is no surprise to God I am sitting here by my back door. That I am on disability working through my past. Not raising a family, or doing all the “normal” things I thought I should be doing. The only one holding me back from living my life is me. It’s not the life I imagined, but God’s plans are not our plans.
I do not believe He wanted us to be hurt, but He gave man free will and what God can do is use what we have been through to bring us closer to Him in a way we never would have imagined.
So as hard as it is today, I know what God is asking me to do. Similar to Queen Esther in the Bible who was given a royal position where she had to trust God as she spoke up to save her people; “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
We too must trust God and take in each day as it is. Stop pushing away the past that surrounds us. Work through the harsh traumas and all that comes up as we encounter each day. In doing this let God draw us closer to Him so He can use us “for such a time as this.”
What is God asking you to do in and with your recovery?
© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.