Depression is a strange thing. For example, in the last few weeks things have been rather difficult. So difficult that I have stopped blogging. So difficult that I want to stop writing, stop home school, stop just about everything. Some days I do not want to get out of bed. I am so worried about money that I do not want to work. Wait, what? Worried about money that I do not want to work. See, that is why I say that depression is a strange thing. Instead of saying or thinking ‘well things are difficult I will just try harder’, the more difficult things become, the harder it is to try.
I have written and re-written this post. Because I feel like I need to explain myself. I am not sure exactly how to go about doing that. You see I do not believe in depression as a disease. I firmly believe that we can control our moods, and that if I am feeling melancholy than I can change that. Generally speaking, I am a very happy person. While these last few weeks have been difficult, I can always find a moment to smile throughout the day, so I do not believe that I am suffering from depression.
To explain how I have been feeling I wrote the other day that:
It’s funny how our words and actions can make someone feel. Things that are totally overwhelming a person can also play a part in how we view simple comments made that the wrong time. Take, for example, this last week. For me, it has been one of those hard to breathe weeks. I just haven’t wanted to do anything at all. Not write, not take care of the kids, most days I do not even want to get out of bed. It has just been one of those weeks. I have been building for awhile now. Various things happening that have made it hard for me to stay focused. Things that just made it hard to breathe. Some mornings I wake up and feel like there is an elephant on my chest. I do not want to do school work with my son, or even take him bowling or do AWANA. Sunday rolled around after this long, difficult week, and we went to church. My favorite part of the day, I am blessed with three wonderful children and doubly blessed with being able to teach Sunday school to the best age group out there. Three-year-olds fill my classroom. Filled with the wonder of God, to me this is the best age. So I am in my classroom getting ready to start the lesson when the preschool director comes to get me. My two-year-old is sick, and they need me to come get him before he makes others in his class sick.
I can completely understand where she is coming from; I used to do daycare. I was careful not to take children who were infectious, I always felt a certain amount of guilt if a child in my care was sick and then others got sick. I rushed from my classroom to pick up my son only to be told by his teacher that he was fine, and I could go back to my room. There was no need; she said to pick him up. I was instantly confused, hurt and angry. They pulled me out of my classroom because they were concerned he would make others sick. Someone in his classroom was worried enough to alert the preschool director. Now I was being treated like an over protective mom. Finally after being able to convince the teacher that I was there only because I was told I had to pick him up we left church early. I felt hurt, I felt angry, and I felt now more than ever ready to quit. quit AWANA, quit teaching Sunday School, and quit the church that I love. I could do all of that and justify it in my mind. I might not be able to quit any of the other things that were bringing me down, but I could quit this.
Before people reading this get the wrong idea, I am neither depressed, by the clinical definition or planning on quitting any of my activities including church or homeschooling. I just needed to show how the struggle has been.
Life is a struggle. If it were easy anyone could do it. Struggling isn’t a bad thing; neither is quitting. When you know that you are doing too much, there is nothing wrong with saying, I need a day off today. I need to not do this activity, or that. It is perfectly okay to reassess and revisit issues. It is okay to have a bad day, bad week or even a bad month. At the end of the day, I hope this reaches someone who is also ready just to quit, and they know that it is okay to feel that way. I also hope that if you are reading this that you know it does get better. If you have depression, please do not think that I am making light of your situation, I simply do not believe that I am struggling with depression. Instead of quitting the things that I love I think I will just quit the struggle. Quit letting things I love make me miserable and start enjoying them again. Quit struggling against home-school and start loving it. Quitting the struggle just makes more sense than quitting anything else.