This year, the Christmas season hasn't been peaceful.
My rock bottom anniversary is December 27th -the day I came undone in every possible way. Years later, I heard Danny's full disclosure on December 13th. This year, my body seems to remember.
I slipped into depression without even seeing it.
Depression, for me, isn't debilitating sadness or a full inability to get out of bed. It starts out as truth.
"You're out of shape. You're past hope. You move like a 50 year old because you don't take care of yourself."
I believe it all because I sometimes I wear a blindfold and trust every voice around me. I can't see where they're leading me.
"I don't feel good," I told my husband, "Just getting my dailies done takes EVERYTHING in me. Scriptures, prayer, good food, a shower. It's all I can do and I'm maxed mentally."
"That sounds like depression," he says.
The blindfold comes off and I look around only to find myself at the bottom on a dark hole. How did I get there? I took the stairs, blindfolded and steady.
As I've been sitting in the bottom of that hole, I've also been online shopping and checking things off my list.
What else needs to be attended? attended to?
Check, check, check, check.
My husband is right -this is depression. It isn't a low low or a high high -it is a sort of numb middle ground where I can't feel the present moment. I don't think I even really want to.
Christmas is so rich with incoming stimuli -so many feelings. I feel nothing except, 'Can I go home now?'
As my blindfold comes off, I simply make a start. I start my way back up the stairs by reaching out.
"Heavenly Father, I'm down here again."
"Hey, friend... just reaching out to say I've hit a depression and need to say it out loud."
"Hey other friend, I'm reaching out because the holidays are hard and I didn't see it happening, but I've gone into depression."
Reaching out is the first and best step.
My sponsor talks to me about peace and slowing down, and as she talks, I think of what The Savior did. Someone once told me that if we're struggling, we can remember that Jesus saved the entire world in three days. I've clung to that for the last year.
"Things feel bad now, but in three days, things will feel totally different. Can you hold on until then? Just three days..."
Robert Frost tells us that nothing gold can stay, and I remind myself that the opposite is true as well: nothing bad can stay, not forever.
A friend of mine reached back to me without having known about my experience with my sponsor. She brought up the 3 days of darkness before the Savior arrived in the Americas, and I know God sent this message to me: Time is on your side, so much can happen. Hold on through the darkness, daughter.
So what does this have to do with Christmas?
I guess I feel distant from The Savior of the World, but I acknowledge and appreciate the example of SUPPORT He lived. He was surrounded with support at all times.
This isn't saying He was supported at all times.
But He had His people. His parents, and family, His 12 disciples, His friends: Mary, Martha, Lazarus.
He had support. He reached out.
"Can you not wait with me one hour?"
Next year will look different because I will set some boundaries. Three days from now, things will look differently.
I can hold on.
I can hold on while I climb back up.
I can hold on when I slip down a few steps.
Because God can for me.
Because He does.
He is my support, even if I don't always tap into that truth.
I hope your Christmas is filled with some solid support, whatever that means to you.