Being Grateful Despite Depression
So it is Tuesday already. And time for a new topic of discussion.
Been busy responding to comments on my last post about feeling thankful despite having depression. One could contend that the two terms don't go together. But I think they can. Thanksgiving is coming and soon. Along with the turkey, there is that mandatory reflection about thankfulness served up on the platter. It can seem like a slap in the face to someone who is having a really rough time. I have been there. On many days I am still there. It is a struggle to find anything good when it seems so much is wrong.
My eldest son was born on the day after Thanksgiving some years ago. He is a teen now. I remember going to a friend's parents house for that Thanksgiving and I was bigger than the turkey...my stomach was literally bursting with child. I like to think he was waiting for his dinner before deciding to come out to greet the world.
More than several years prior I had lost a baby early on, a miscarriage. Oh how I hate that word. As though somehow it wasn't supposed to be. I mourned. I howled. I wanted to die with my baby. The holidays seemed a brutal reminder of all that I did not have. And then I experienced infertility for years. As each month passed without conceiving I became convinced that there was something wrong with me. I am not talking just physically. I mean...I became convinced that somehow I was to blame...not good enough...not worthy enough for this to happen. It is depressive thinking. As some of you may know...depressive thinking is sometimes not quite logical. Yet it rips at your core until you believe it is true.
I do not know what happened. I cannot explain it. I just remember reaching a point where I was lieing on the couch and I guess one could call it prayer. Wishful thinking? Talking to oneself and the universe. And I said, "I am ready. I am ready to love. I am ready to give." It is one of those moments which is so sacred...that once you speak about it out loud it seems...silly...far removed from reality. But I felt it. And it is real today as it was then. I made a vow to stop being and feeling so damn ungrateful no matter what happened next. In order to let the love in...or let it out...I needed to purge all that crap infesting my soul like an emotional cancer.
I am no saint. It was a bargain. It was a promise to be better...to let in the light...if I could just have this chance to have a child. But at the same time I would accept whatever happened and still try to live up to this...revelation.
Shortly after I got pregnant.
There were so many scares throughout my pregnancy...visits in the middle of the night to the emergency room when I became convinced I was losing this baby. I had multiple times where I bled. I was put on bed rest. I was so scared the whole time. When I finally was in the hospital and pushing...there was trouble there as well...I couldn't even hold him afterwards...I was whisked away because I was hemmorhaging. In another time I would have bled to death. But I didn't. And my baby was fine. Healthy. And crying his little head off.
When I finally got to hold him. My god. The word which fits...is miracle.
I just felt like...I am so damn lucky.
Have I lived up to my bargain? Hell no. Like I said...I am no saint. I am human. I get dark. Some days I feel like...what is the use of getting out of bed. There is so much pain and misery. But...there is good. I believe this to be true. I have to. I have people under my care who depend upon me. This is my truth and nobody else's...I don't have the luxury of drowning.
Do I get depressed? Oh yes. I feel it so acutely on some days. But...I have to at least try. Even if it is all some grand illusion. Maybe we are all dolls in a dollhouse in some twilight zone episode where some kid is enacting brutal fates for us all. I have no clue. Who knows what the grand scheme of things is. Maybe we don't want to know.
Depressed and grateful? Yeah I am. And I don't apologize for my mindset one bit. Maybe it takes someone to challenge what you really believe for you to feel it.
These are not just words... or some platitude... or a cliche. This feeling is very real for me.
I am thankful.
Now....about that question.
When was the last time you felt hope? When was the last time you got a glimpse of something you could not explain but it made you feel like maybe there is good in the world? Was there ever an event in your life which made you want to keep trying? I would love to hear about it.