Lately I have been stirring. Nothing seems to satisfy me. I cannot quench my thirst or curb my hunger… and for what exactly… I don’t even know.
Depression is sneaky and nasty all in the same respects. One thing with depression due to brain injury, it seems to be more of a random battle rather than a consistent one. That’s the sneaky part. It feels like I get punched in the gut while looking the other way. I can be going along… seemingly in a capable rhythm… then without anything dramatic taking place, with no warning, I get in a slump… the depression swarms in, takes over, and is essentially… overwhelming.
For example, let’s just take one aspect of the day – a person’s morning routine. My “pie in the sky” daily routine would be to get up at 7:30a; walk my dogs; have an uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord; 30 minutes of toning exercises while watching the news; take a shower; get dressed and ready for the day by 10:00a…maybe even take a rest break at that moment (because that really was a lot of ‘roogaboog’ for one PCS person :))! But I’d feel okay with that break because of all the morning I had already enjoyed. Mind you, this is quite a submission on my part, being that I used to do all of the above by 7:00a and then leave for an ambitious work day. But, I think I am over being depressed about that and now willingly concede to a 7:30a beginning to my day.
Yet, even with conceding to a start time of 7:30a, post-injury I can barely make that happen. For one, to treat my injury fairly…getting up is a chore. Then, if I do manage an earlier start to my day and try for an efficient morning… chances are I will get interrupted and all of a sudden it is 2:30p and all I can do for the life of me is grab a snack and lay my weary body down in bed (and how can I be weary from not even accomplishing half of my morning routine much less anything else?). That’s the catch!
Now this sounds pathetic to those of you who are still able to work and may not be experiencing Post-Concussive Syndrome (PCS). But it might make sense as you watch a close friend or a family member struggle to fully recover from a head injury. On the other hand, to some of you it may sound ungrateful as I read many of your stories and see that it is just a challenge for you to now walk, talk, or care for yourself! …my apologies… My legs work. My arms move normally. For the most part, I can walk, talk and care for myself. But on those unpredictable days, there is that untouchable disconnect between my drive and my ability… like there is a gap in my injured brain somewhere now that wasn’t there before. It’s the Grand Canyon between desire and doing… and I think that makes me lose hope at times. It is depressing.
Isn’t this new way of life confusing? I am 6+ years into it and I still try to be the old me! In so many ways I have admitted and given into it… but there is still that old wiring in my brain that has those expectations of myself… and that desire to get the most out of each day.
”So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I have to hold onto those wise words or I will fall apart. I believe in Jesus Christ and have gratefully accepted Him as my Lord and Savior… because of this… He promises that my life has already begun an eternity with Him. So in my light and momentary afflictions, my ‘slump’… I need to read, reread, and s l o w l y digest the HUGE promises in these verses!
He is asking me to not even look at what I can see… what? Who says that?!?!
But He is right. If I look at what I see, I see a woman who has had her world turned upside down; income and future plans stripped from her; success in multiple college degrees and a passionate career – gone; an athletic body dissolved into flubber; joy in serving outwardly – gone; parenting abilities limited; social escapes – gone; the list goes on and on….
But what I can sometimes see, when I see my life through His eyes, is how much He loves and has blessed me. I am a woman who now leads a calmer life than I’ve ever led before; who has an income that has been dramatically cut, but is somehow making it financially; whose body is a bit larger, but still fairly healthy; who now finds joy in serving quietly; whose parenting, though limited now to more quiet one on one moments with my daughters, often seems all the more special because of it; social moments now mean time spent only with very close friends who understand;
And this new, unseen list, goes on and on….
The hopeless list is more apparent. I see it more easily. I feel it more often. But He says that this temporary illness is nothing in comparison to the infinity I will spend with Him in a place of no pain, no fear, no disappointments, no slumps…no NOT ONE…and that is a beautiful vision of the unseen!
Peel my eyes open today, Lord, so that I can place my HOPE in the UNSEEN and let go of what I do see! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.