HE stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
Before I am misunderstood, I'd like to elucidate the ending of my last post. That young lady in the psychiatrist's office that morning,was sick. I'll never know what exactly she suffered from; most likely bipolar disorder or perhaps schizophrenia. But our experience with her was not to suggest that my depression was, you know loony bin-lite. I wasn't comparing situations, or laughing AT her. We always remember that day as the first ray of light into our darkness. She caused two people who had not felt any joy in half a year, to finally exhale.
If my story should teach us all anything, it's that disease can happen to anyone, including the mental kind. I pray that my story will be your first step in eliminating your stigma when it comes to depression, bipolar disease, general anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. They do not affect people with somehow defective brains. These diseases will break into the mind of any human being, and steal everything. Remember that, and start to extend grace. I know it's not something automatic, but make the effort. We need you to. Oh how we need you to.
"There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now, hang on, you'll get over it.' Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer."
I remember the day this picture was taken. I think Tito was around three months old. It was a Sunday, and our first time back at church since his birth. We met many of our friends; there were lots of ooohs and aaahs , people carrying him in turns, we took some pictures with a couple of them. And the entire time, I was silently screaming.
My husband took this picture in the parking lot. I didn't want it, but he insisted. He said, "You're his mother, and he loves you." And I plastered on the smile I had learnt how to fake effortlessly. I've come back to this picture many times. It once made me so sad I would have to look away. Now it causes my heart to ache, but I have gained perspective.
So here I am, pulling back the curtain, peeling off the scabs...this isn't easy. It hurts to remember. It's quite late, my husband's staying up with me tonight because he knows how hard this is. I'm already crying. It frightens me to share it. But this experience has taught me that I can't be quiet...not when so many lost at sea.
Christian, wife, mom, doctor, and an alien on earth, on my way to the city of God.