Reflections during the week of Thanksgiving.
Last week was Jennifer’s birthday; she would have been 35. It’s been 13 years since she died, so sometimes her birthday comes without pain or sadness. Tuesday, November 17, we decided to just eat dinner at a restaurant but did not talk about memories or Jennifer. There is comfort in doing the ordinary with the one you love.
Wednesday I spent much of the day preparing the Bible lesson I taught at church that night. Thursday IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) consumed my day. I’ll spare you those details.
Friday was filled with errands, acupuncture treatment, and then that evening I noticed I felt bad. What was this overall feeling? i ignored it for awhile, tried stretching a little, and then suddenly it was clear. Depression found its way in – not sadness, not tears or grief, just that weight on my chest, a knot in my stomach, and exhaustion.
It sneaks up on me. I can’t remember when it happened last, so I wrote an entry in my journal.
November 20, 2015
You would think that I would know when Depression was coming – or that I would recognize it right away. While buying groceries in late afternoon, I noticed my energy had disappeared. Larry helped me bring in the groceries. After I put them away, I vegetated, tired, not caring about supper, not making any plans.
I pulled out some leftover corn chowder for me and made Larry grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches with his help. By 7:00 PM I knew I was depressed.
When I went to bed, I did some reflection and remembered my neglect of keeping a daily Thanks Journal and prayer time. I started listing blessings in my journal while sitting in bed. My list was longer than usual because it had been several days since I had written.
And then the most amazing thing happened! I’ve been through a few episodes of depression in the last 13 years, but this had never happened: the weight lifted, the knot disappeared. I no longer felt the physical symptoms of my Depression.
Reeve Lindbergh says that sadness became a member of her family after the death of her son. Horror faded but this sadness was left behind. (No More Words)
My Depression visits me without an invitation; it drops in uninvited when I’m not expecting it. I can’t say I have any affection for it as Lindbergh does. It’s more like a difficult relative who makes everyone uncomfortable.
As I closed my journal I asked God to keep Depression away the next day. When I awoke? No Depression; she left without a word and has not come back. Good riddance, I say.
I’ve written many posts about the importance of giving thanks in my journey. I never want this practice to seem trite or magical, but something happens to my soul when I look for the blessings of each day, even in the hardest of situations.
Thanks be to God that Depression lifted from my heart and has not returned.
Thanks be to God for this week of giving thanks.
May your days be filled with blessings.
I pray you look for the blessings and take notice by writing or sharing with family or praying.