Gravity   9 comments

For the last two months or so I have awakened each morning with a great heaviness of spirit that nothing seems to lift, a feeling of exhaustion and unhappiness.  The only thing that seems to help is going back to sleep, which I have regularly done (since I work nights, I can do that).  Just lying down, even without sleep, seems to help a good deal.  It is my way of giving my soul a rest, removing all demands and expectations for the moment.  The weight gradually lifts during the day on most days to the point that I can do something “productive” without cost to my soul.  I have no energy for the creativity, vulnerability, and/or interpersonal connection that social media involves.  My sister Mardi finds that she is pushed to express her feelings in art when she is depressed, but the opposite happens to me.  So I stop blogging.

Some folks have suggested that I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which comes out in the winter.  But my struggles come out indiscriminately throughout the seasons, probably more affected by my life circumstances.  Environment does impact my feelings significantly, cloudy days often cloud my spirit… in fact, when I can enjoy an overcast day it is a good indication that my soul is at rest.

Kimberly and I just had a week’s vacation at the beach, and it was very refreshing.  Each day was quiet, slow, soothing.  We slept in, read from a favorite author, and then talked about our thoughts and feelings; we had lunch, went for a long walk on the beach or in the woods with our dog Mazie and settled into a relaxed evening.  We take great comfort in one another’s company and our sweet Mazie is a constant delight to us (Mazie is short for Amazing, so with our surname, Amazing Grace).  I was hoping that calm would carry over into our days at home, but the personal gravity pulled me down as I rose from bed today, our first morning back.  Reminds me of John Mayer

To all those who face this: my understanding and empathy are with you.  May you find little landings of peace on the long climb, short embraces of sunlight piercing through, unexpected touches of gentleness for your battered soul… and when you need it, take a nap!


Posted January 2, 2012 by janathangrace in Personal

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9 responses to “Gravity

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  1. Hi Kent,
    Sorry to hear about your struggle with depression. I have two good friends that battled serious depression for many years and both were delivered. One (a CIU alumni) even had generational depression run in her family. I pray your day of deliverance comes soon as you trust in Him.

  2. Thanks for the hopes sent my way, Irene.

  3. Hey Kent,
    I too have struggled with depression on an off. “I know…. Susan Gordon suffering from depression doesn’t seem real”. It is real though and I see my MD every three months for refills on meds to help me manage it. If you don’t have a good Psyche MD, try to find one. There are meds that work and can improve your quality of life tremendously. Another thing I suggest is to get involved in your local NAMI chapter. National Alliance on Mental Illness. It is a wonderful organization that helps those with mental illness and their families. I have really enjoyed being a part of the organization and giving back to those who have it lots worse than I do. My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend. I have been there and felt that pain. It is hard for those not suffering or those who have not suffered from it to truly understand how debilitating it can be. Depression is real but it can be managed with meds. Hang in there! susan

  4. Susan, thanks for writing. I don’t find it in the least hard to imagine you with depression. We lost our health insurance when Kimberly left L’Arche, so I can’t really afford to go through the doc visits and trial and error. But I am currently on Prozac, and it does help. I might give NAMI a try, though the closest chapter is over an hour away. Thanks for your concern, friend. That is a blessing to me today.

  5. Kent,
    A friend of ours has struggled with depression on and off. He has not faced the valleys you describe but it is a struggle nonetheless. In the past couple of years his lifestyle has changed… more natural supplements (vitamin b and d) and a concerted effort to remove all preservatives from his diet. While the first isn’t without cost, the latter is likely what has had shown the most improvement. Its not an easy transition but the result has been worth the searching for and sticking to the “cleanest” food available. I know that these things influence each of us differently but wanted to add my 2 cents.
    In Him,
    Pam Gill

  6. Hey Kent! Long time no speak – this is Tanner. I am sorry to hear about your depression. While I may not be considered clinically depressed, I do get depressed from time to time. I will admit I am by no means an expert on this stuff … if I were, I guess I would never be depressed! Anyway, I read this fantastic article my mom sent to me a while back – I was trying to look for it, but basically it was talking about if you feel depressed, many times it is because of what has happened in the past, or what you are focusing on the future. It suggested to focus instead, on the present. I may be missing some important pieces here, but for some reason, that really helped me a lot. Setting, aiming and reaching for goals has also helped. In addition to this, finally, focusing on others pains and trying to help them has helped quite a bit too. Whether you know and/or act upon any of this, I hope and pray that you can get out of the depression rut – it completely sucks!

    • Yes, i believe Tanner’s comment on focusing on the present is important. We need to change the old “tapes” in our heads & remind ourselves of what is good. Today we woke up & if we were lucky enough to look into the eyes of someone we love, then it was a good day. If there is food in our belly’s & shelter over our heads, if we are without unbearable physical pain, we can make it a good day. We do have choices. This is another day God has given us. What are we going to do with it? It’s so easy to crawl back in bed & sleep those problems away but when wake up, they’re still there. Yeh, God will throw us a curve or 2 or 3. He will test us & we just have to put one foot in front of the other….& breath. My heart goes out to you J. Depression feels awful. It’s not easy, nothing worthwhile was ever easy…darn it! From the words of “mama Lewie” – God Bless, now & Always. Have a better 2012!

  7. Thanks to my friends who have recommended various resolutions, and I take them in the spirit of encouragement in which they are given. We all offer to others what we ourselves have found to be helpful, and I’m sure each of these ideas has benefited many folks at different times and places. In fact, I have gained help at different times from most of these suggestions I marvel at how uniquely God has made each of us, and how personally he shapes the parameters of the journey we are individually on. For me, the best approach has proven to be the one I am taking. I have a deeply anchored peace about that. I think some folks may feel unsettled by the things which I share, especially if it does not mesh well with their beliefs or experiences. Unsettled is good. It raises questions we would all do well to sit with for a while. Questions are often more important than solutions. My blessing to all of you in this new year. May you discover more of grace and truth.

  8. Sounds to me like you need a testosterone shot. Check it out with a hormone replacement Dr.. I got my blood work back and I was shocked at the results. Do your self a favor and go to the doctor.

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