Saturday, April 07, 2007

Up Down

Yesterday, I woke up down. Today, I'm more deeply down than I was the day before. Tomorrow, I may be so down that I won't want to get up. The skin of my forehead is very tight, so when I lift my eyebrows, they feel as though they have been sewn to my skull. A vise is crushing my head. My energy has mutinied and when I walk, I snail along. Another episode in what feels like an eternal series. These are the kinds of times when I've said, "I've been down so long, it feels like up to me."

When the apostle Paul wrote of the depth of the Macedonian Christians' poverty (2 Corinthians 8:2), he chose the Greek word Bathos, which was commonly used to speak of extreme depth, such as the deep sea. We might readily recognize its derivative bathysphere, "a strongly built steel diving sphere used for deep-sea observation (Webster)."

Depression might be described as a "bathyspheric state of mind." That's how I'm feeling. As if I had stepped off the edge of the Mariannas Trench and I'm going down, down, down. The same brain that experienced joy last Saturday is sliding into darkness today. Why is that? How can that happen? Are the neurotransmitters in my head taking a vacation? Has Serotonin and Norepinephrine slipped into an idle mode? My brain, and what is happening in it from moment to moment, is a mystery only heaven can solve. Knowing that doesn't keep me from becoming frustrated and saddened.

I have a confession to make. I sometimes look at someone who has a physical disability and wish that I could trade. I might change my mind the moment that the trade is made, but the grass seems greener. The problem with having a mental disability is that most people can't see it. Therefore, they think that it doesn't exist. Countless times, I've had someone say to me, "You sure don't look depressed."

As people peek into the coffin of a person who has committed suicide, do they say, "He/she sure doesn't look depressed?" I had a first cousin who was 19, a straight A student, humorous, popular, and engaged to be married. One day, his fiance stopped by his apartment and found that he had shot himself. Even if they had known, people would probably have discounted his depression, because he seemed to be leading an idyllic life. According to the adage, "Looks are deceiving." Even though taken out of context, it seems that Jesus' words are still true. "Having eyes they do not see."

Sometimes the world does not see because it does not look.

["I'm so low, I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]


Neva said...

My dear friend,
I am praying for you as I write this and will continue throughout the day. Because I believe in the God of the resurrected, I am praying He will soon resurrect your joy and restore your spirit.
Prayers my friend,

Neva said...

Praying for you today.

Peace and prayers

Jen said...

I can't remember how I found your blog awhile back, but I am thankful that I did. It is amazing to hear someone, let alone a Christian, let alone a minister, talk about depression as openly and honestly as you do. My husband struggles with ongoing clinical depression, and your posts help me better understand his experience better. I sure agree with you that people often don't have eyes to see; I am a Christian who is a psychologist and sure have seen many look the other way as they pass.

I will keep you in prayer for an awareness of Jesus' presence with you. Thanks again for your words.

Neva said...

Praying today