My fifth attempt.

This is my fifth attempt at writing this piece only to erase what I’ve written to prove to myself that maybe, just maybe I’m not in this.

Stare at blank page.

Resume latest episode of “This Is Us.”

Tears birth that have nothing to do with the show.

Close laptop.

I can’t wrap my mind around the place I’m at very well and so writing about it seems absurd — silly, even. You could say it’s all of life’s major disappointments all piling up. Or you might say it’s living with an incurable disease, but then I’d tell you I’d choose my physical pain over depression any day.

Maybe it’s people’s disappointments one after the other.

The timing of it all.

It pains me that I no longer feel like a broken plate of glass, salvageable because it’s only cracked in three pieces. Maybe some people can cement their broken parts with green tea matcha and essential oils or whatever the earthy healing trend is today, but that doesn’t cut it for me.

I feel crushed. Shattered in ashes.

Dust-like.

Homesick for all I was before depression met me.

The home of my heart is vacant; every blow of life only churns the ashes round and round in my heart.

If you’re going through depression, I know you feel heavy. You make a list of different reasons to tell your friends why you can’t make the outing so they sound different each time. Maybe you have a good family, a loving spouse, even a furry friend to take away your Sunday blues, but you still feel alone. It’s not that you’re not grateful — you’re heartbroken, hopeless at the thought you’re alive and yet no matter how hard you keep trying, you can’t seem to be present.

I have a reoccurring memory of my husband stopping me in our hallway to dance with me. I started to cry, croaking, “I don’t feel like dancing.” My husband’s reply was everything when he said, “Well then, we’re gonna dance.” Though my husband was holding me, I couldn’t seem to feel him. I only felt his hands holding mine and the warmth his neck brought to my freezing nose. My tears could fill a stream. No, it’s not that I’m not grateful. I’m desperate — frantic for just a moment not to feel miles and miles away from everything and everyone I love.

Depression feels like you’re waiting for something that’s never going to happen. I don’t know how to encourage you in my pain except to tell you a short story.

In early October of this year, I got a tattoo of an olive branch. Its meaning goes deep in my veins: Olive trees surprisingly thrive in deserts and rocky soil and when these trees are pressed, they produce something called beaten oil of the highest quality.

Olive oil was used to light household lamps in the past — the very thing that came once the fruit was picked and crushed, became the thing that gave new light.

Two months later, I walked into a Christian book store and saw a book titled, “100 Things God Loves About You.”

I opened the book and landed on #22:

God loves your ashes.

Tears filled my eyes and the words became a blur. I realized my dust doesn’t have to mean the end to anything. God loves my ashes because He will use them to make something new, like He did in the beginning.

But dust was essential, you see. This heartache has a purpose. And like other seasons of my life, this will be something I’ll look back on and know exactly why it had to happen this way.

Whether it starts out as a small flicker like the day I opened that book, the household lamp of my heart will turn on.

My light is coming.

Originally published on The Mighty

55 thoughts on “When You’re Homesick For All That You Were Before Depression

  1. I always say beauty comes from ashes. We all have ashes and they come in many different forms, you are a warrior girl!!! don’t ever forget that and most of all never forget how much you are loved by God.

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  2. This is beautifully done. It really resonated with me because I understand. This was really inspiring to me as I am trying to be more vocal about my faith on my blog and in my life in general. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. I am crying with you as I read this. I feel everything that you’ve described. I even recently got a lotus tattoo for a similar reason. I was 27 when I got my first tattoo. The lotus flower grows and thrives in the worst conditions. It starts at the bottom of a murky pond, but when it reaches the surface and blooms, its petals are untouched by the mud and absolutely beautiful. I get it. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Thank you so much for the read <3
      I love the meaning of your tattoo. No matter which stage you are at in your own lotus flower, know that it's not in vain—your season has a purpose, a very big meaning. <3
      Hugs to you, fellow teacher. <3

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  4. Fellow “The Mighty” follower here. When you wrote: If you’re going through depression, I know you feel heavy. You make a list of different reasons to tell your friends why you can’t make the outing so they sound different each time……I thought of how I am running out of new excuses to lay down and sleep and tune out. My adult son is hyper vigilant about my depression and won’t let me give in. But sometimes that is all I want and feel like I need.
    I really loved this article. I would like a copy to save.

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    1. One day when I was feeling really down, my sister sent a text to me of a saying…”Whenever I think I need a miracle, I look into my son’s eyes.” Well, as you can imagine, it made me count the blessing I have in him. Kate, I’ve been going through the ups and downs of trying to keep faith for things in my life, but I know that my son has been such a blessing to me, and I count that every day. I encourage you to do the same. I know you are grateful for your son, but let that be part of your “I have” list. I’ve been doing that everyday. Forgive me if I overstepped a boundary, but I related when you mentioned your adult son. God’s blessings toward you every day.

      Marianne

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    2. Savannah, I’ve been meaning to touch base with you since your posted this, so I’m glad you came by for a visit…it reminded me. I know exactly what you mean when you said you miss who you used to be. I had to cut back my part time hours at the horrible job I’ve had for ten years. I was having a nervous breakdown and couldn’t even find me in all the rubble my mind and thoughts had become. But when I got sick from some food, it focused my thoughts on getting better and I was able to think more clearly than I had in some years. The not knowing what to do or how to change circumstances in the natural is the hardest part. My faith has been getting stronger, but I admit wavers at times when I can’t seem to see the light at the end of this dark career tunnel. I understand that talking about a career doesn’t seem so important, but when your work is making you mentally and physically ill, as well as keeping you in poverty, it’s a demon in its own right. I know God has something better for me, I guess which is why when I try to give up and just accept my situation, I can’t. Something keeps some little prospect of hope alive – lit inside like a tiny ember begging for the Breath of its Creator to make it flame again. So, in all of this, I wish to encourage you to keep that ember warm, keep speaking the Word of God in your mouth about whatever it is that you wish healed. It’s the hope and the glory of His divine love that gives us Life and more abundantly. I pray you find the peace that passes all understanding and the healing that God wishes to bestow on you for your wholeness. I’ve been making an”I have” list. Everyday, I say what I have instead of what I don’t have (which had become my constant complaint over the years). You speak of your loving husband and his patience and godliness in your marriage walk. Cling to those beautiful loved ones as an “I have”. Jesus said, “those who have, more will be given.” That was brought to my attention in order to change my thoughts and words. I still struggle at times – like yesterday – but for the most part I know I must continue concentrating on what “I have”. You are such a beautiful woman of God.

      Love,

      Marianne

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    3. Hi Marianne :-) thank you so much for your kind words, indeed that job situation is a demon on its own. Thank you so much for sharing I hope it gets better for you even part time. I will continue to hold onto that light amber :-) and also continuing on what I have. Thank you so much♥️…….

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  5. At 51, I decided to go back to school to get a masters in counseling. I want to be of help when called upon and I didn’t have the skills for some of what may be asked of me.
    Understanding depression has always escaped me. But I hope you don’t mind if I learn from your experiences. I love how your husband responded to you. His Bridegroom focus on you, his bride is heartwarming to see.
    Thank you for putting yourself out there. You spoke to my heart and my need for understanding.

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  6. You are not alone. He is always near.

    “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)

    Praying for you! May you find joy and peace in Him. 🙏🏻

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  7. You are not alone. God is always near.

    “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)

    Praying for you! May you find joy and peace in Him. 🙏🏻

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  8. My sister, I have not forgotten you and you and your spouse are in my prayers! Sending spiritual hugs and blessings your way! Your brother, Wendell!

    A Prayer For Healing

    You will ever be the love who sustains me
    The joy which will always enrich my soul
    You consistently will be the true happiness
    Which my spirit will always seek to know

    When troubling times try to surround me
    When in my life it seems I cannot go on
    I will wait on You Lord in constant prayer
    For my faith in You will keep me strong

    I pray to You from deep within my heart
    To take my troubling illness far away
    For I know whenever I pray to You Lord
    You’ll send your blessings without delay

    I pray for the wellness of those sick today
    As You send Your healing blessing their way
    That any sickness which tries to overcome them
    By Your amazing grace in their lives won’t stay

    Please bless all of their families this morning
    With a true healing gift which will never fade
    And we will send You many prayers of thanks
    Which will glorify Your name daily in every way

    You, Lord, are the One who provides sweet blessings
    The living God, who showers us with love each day
    And we steadfastly believe in Your awesome power
    Knowing its healing energy will nourish us always.

    Wendell A. Brown

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Many of our worldwide family members, especially
    our young children suffer many illnesses each day
    in their lives, but we can do all things through
    Him who strengthens us. Every one of you will always
    be wrapped in my daily prayers that I present before
    our Lord God each new day! Spiritual hugs and
    blessings to all of you!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Psalm 103:1-5
    Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being,
    praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all
    your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems
    your life from the pit and crowns you with love
    and compassion, who satisfies your desires with
    good things so that your youth is renewed like
    the Eagles.

    A Healing Prayer
    Lord, I believe in your word written in Jer 17:14 say the verse
    Satan it is written in Jer 17:14 say the verse
    Lord, I thank you for the healing blessing in Jer 17:14 say the verse
    This prayer should be spoken three times a day.

    Jeremiah 17:14
    Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I
    will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Photo Image Credit,
    topicstock.pantip.com.

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    1. Thank you so much sweet Wendell! Haven’t heard from you in awhile as I’ve also been MIA from the web for a little. So good to hear from you brother. Praying you are well too.

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  9. Thank you Savannah! I also noticed the same thing as R. M. and read your post in my e-mail while I am going through a difficult time here yet. Thank you for your words and Happy Holidays!

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  10. Depression is very painful. I find comfort in the Scriptures. One such verse that I use over and over is Romans 10:11 “For the Scriptures says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” I also like James 1:2-3: ” Consider it all Joy when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” I pray everyday for Jesus to come now! I will pray you get relief soon.

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  11. Your words resonate through every cell of my being. Depression deprives us of all that we love but it does get better. Keep breathing in for home to return and it will.
    Much love 💋

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  12. Thank you for sharing this. Strange thing, I don’t even remember following your blog, I must have at some point but I don’t remember doing it. Then today, while grappling with the reality of my own depression, your blog arrived in my email and was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you. Sending love to you.

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