I haven't written here in some time. Since October 2014. I don't know why. I love writing. I really do. I don't pretend I''m good at it, but typing is easier than talking or any other form of communication. Rather than one on one I just throw things out there and see if people respond. If not, swell. If so, I hope it starts an interesting interaction - in written form of course.
Today I am depressed. I've shared in this blog and other places about my struggles with depression. It's been a life-long struggle, but it's harder at times than others. A lot of people still misunderstand what it is. I'm not sad. I'm not lonely. I'm not angry. I'm depressed. In my case that means I feel nothing. Just empty. Dark. Black. It's a pit of.... empty.
If I feel anything it's tired. Always just so tired. I know part of that is the other neurological things I have going on and, not least of all, my weight.
And overwhelmed. I feel overwhelmed. Which is odd because I don't work (can't work... not allowed to work a traditional job... on disability due to chronic pain) but I do a lot of volunteer stuff and I have a lot of self-created 'work' with social networking stuff. None of it is life-critical. I could just quit doing all of it, someone else would pick it up and I could just.... not do it. Who would notice? Or care?
It's summer. The kids are home. They overwhelm me. I always feel like I'm letting them down. Like I need to do more with them and for them. They don't lack for anything. But we don't go to parks or pools or much anymore because of me. Because of stuff I can't do anymore. Because at any moment a headache is going to melt my brain.
Is this a pity party? Yes. It is. It's my blog. I can be as pitiful as I choose. Don't like it? Don't read it. I'm allowed. Not because I'm better than you. Not because I'm worse than you. But because this is my struggle. Your's may be worse. Your's may be much worse. And I'm sorry. But this is mine. I'll help you with your's if I can. But right now no one is helping with mine.
Because there's not much to do. I can get around OK, with a cane. My kids are old enough to help with the dishes and the laundry and stuff - in fact they do most of the dishes and laundry and cooking. Maybe that's unfair to some, but it's not hard work and we don't ask them to do anything complicated. Do they do more than what some might call their fair share? Probably, especially other kids. But we're a large family. In a large family, everyone works. And, personally, I think it's good for them. It teaches them skills they need later in life. (Bash me if you want on this, but I stand by it.)
But still... there's not much anyone can do to help that isn't already being done. I appreciate the sympathy, so long as it's not pity (I pity myself enough), and I appreciate offers to help, but there's nothing to do. My lovely wife is the breadwinner now. Oh, I still get a little from social security, but she is making more than enough now to provide our needs. She's a teacher, so we don't have excess, but we have enough. And enough is all I really want.
Well, that's not entirely true. I want mobility. I want to be able to run to the store and do other little things. But it's too far to walk (at least for me - 3 miles) and I lost the ability to drive a while ago. Oh, I could still operate a vehicle, but there are the disorientation and vertigo and all the other terrible things that make it terribly unsafe for me to drive. I've tried to talk to my wife about maybe getting an adult tricycle and then working my way up to being able to ride into town. There's still risks with the disorientation and vertigo and all the other terrible things, but they are greatly diminished when I'm on a vehicle that weighs only 50 pounds or so and going only 4 miles an hour or so rather than a multi-ton vehicle of steel and fiberglass. I don't think my wife takes me seriously, though. Or maybe it's the thought of how I'd look on an adult trike. Or... I don't know... could be anything because she doesn't really talk to me about it.
So here I am. Generally stuck in the house. It's a nice house. Small. It's a trailer. But it's ours. I know it doesn't have any real resale value. And we don't own the land it's on. But it's ours. It's a little cluttered... well, a lot cluttered... at the moment because of all the stuff my lovely teacher wife just brought home from school. I'm encouraging her to get a storage unit, at least until she can sort it and/or take it back to school in the fall. But for now, this is where I am with all the stuff.
And I'm tired.So tired. And overwhelmed. And peering into the darkness that is depression.
But Allen, what about your faith? How can you be tired and overwhelmed and worst of all depressed while claiming to be a Christian?
Well, what of it? Like belief in something is an instant cure? Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I believe in Christ. Yes, I believe that God can cure me. And I pray, every day, for healing of my body and mind and soul. Yet it doesn't come. To many that would be enough to stop believing. But my belief is not based on what prayers of mine are answered or not. Maybe He will someday, but for now those particular prayers aren't answered.
Anyone that tells you that a real Christian isn't plagued by illness and pain and depression is lying. Lying a lot. Especially if they tell you that you just need to "pray the right way" or "name it and claim it" or do some kind of ridiculous laying on of hands from particular people or "repent of your unknown sins". I never got that one. How can you repent (literally "turn 180 degrees away from) a sin that is unknown? You can generally ask for forgiveness, but for a sin that is damaging to you (like addiction) you need to turn away from it. If you don't know you're doing it, how can you turn away? And then there's the demons and "God is punishing you because of your faithlessness" and all that other nonsense. Give me a break. Sometimes things are just what they are. In the Bible, the apostle Paul had a "thorn in his side" and prayed for it to be removed. God answered "no" and "My grace is enough". I'm not Paul, nor am I really comparing myself to him, except in this one thing. I've prayed, and maybe the answer is "grace is enough". And I can live with that, even though it's hard to live with the pain sometimes.
I'm about ranted out for now. I'm feeling a little better. My head still hurts, but then again it always does. Onward...