I’m a depressed person. It’s who I am.
My life is quite grand right now; I’m working, enjoying friends, and finally landed myself a wonderful girlfriend (Hi!). Yet, despite all that I’ve been blessed with, Thursday morning a dark cloud of sadness rolled in. Depression. Did I have a reason to be down? Not really, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. Like a tide of unpleasantness, the waves just wash over, and everything becomes tinted by a hue of wavy blue as I look up at the world from underwater.
Thursday evening, my friend KB came by and it was a great night of catching up, having a chat about relationships, and laughing hard. My spirits were lifted, and remained quite high through Friday — which is good, because that particular date night with Sydney was one of my favorite, yet, and I wouldn’t have wanted to sully it with a dour countenance. Friday night found us snuggled up in my car by the beach, just talking for hours and hours about little things and big things, and it was an incredible time of getting closer with her. Saturday morning, though, my prior mood reared its ugly head again… this time in the form of a cold, irritable attitude. If the sad side of depression colors the world blue, this side is nothing but angry red in a black void.
I’m facing a new challenge with these times, though, and that’s having a partner to go through them with. Of course, when I’m in THAT place, my perception is all extremely skewed — to the point that I feel horrible about asking someone else to be a part of this. I often express just how much I hate that this is who I am, but it IS a part of me. This leaves me with only a singular recourse… to be alone. Woah, woah, calm down… I didn’t break up with anyone or anything, don’t worry :). That’s how I view things when in the haze of depression, though. I grew up with a dad who would fall off this same wagon quite frequently, and it really hurts to know that I’m the same way… especially now that I have someone very special in my life, and the last thing that I want to do is cause her the same pain and trouble that I witnessed (and experienced) growing up.
Sydney is a fantastic gal, though, and when we chatted about my being sad, she was ready to offer me a very long hug. When we got together Saturday and I apologized for being a little distant, we talked about it and she said she was still with me all the way. It’s strange that that is both great and hard to hear — great because I know that she cares and that really is what I need, hard because I think that I’m quite unpleasant to be with at times.
I’ve started attending Sydney’s church with her, and Sunday morning, as I drove down to pick her up, I approached the breaking point of emotional callousness and got a little teary. Before church I ended up sending a message off to KB, just saying how hard it was for me to want to be this way with a wonderful woman in my life who had to bear the brunt of my issues with me. That’s why I was teary. In these low states, I really beat myself up and loathe these emotionally unstable parts. I am not a fan of who I am, despite the positives.
Early into the message during the church service, I had to excuse myself to the little boy’s room. While in there, I picked up my phone and saw a message from KB. She’s not really the most outwardly sentimental person, and it can take a lot for her to be “gushy,” but what she said in response to my previous message about depressively struggling with the idea that Sydney wanted to still be with me (in so many words) was one of the most touching things she’s ever said to me. I had to send her a message back, thanking her for making me cry in the men’s bathroom at church ;). What she said, I’ll keep for myself (and Sydney, as we talked about it all later [which was nothing short of amazing, too]), but KB spoke to my faith and how I’ve been in my friendship with her over the years, and it was so very much what I needed to hear. I returned to the service and put my arm around Sydney… thankful for the blessing God’s given me.
What fully melted my hurt/cold/angry little mood, though, came near the end of the service. The worship band played the song “Good, Good Father,” a song I am quite familiar with, but I suddenly heard the following lyrics as if for the first time:
“And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am”
It’s who I am. I cried. I am not my shortcomings. I am not defined by my depression and the burden I see it as being on others (though, as KB said in her beautiful encouragement, it never has been). I am loved by God, and that is who I am. THAT is who I am. God spoke to me first through the kind words of my sweet friend, and then through words of praise in a song. I held Sydney, kissed her head, and instead of worrying about what a travesty it is in her life that she knows me (it isn’t), I thanked God for bringing her into my world… and me into hers. Above all else, though, I thanked Him for loving me. Crazy, emotional little ol’ me. As nuts as it sounds, I am actually and totally loved by God.
It is who I am, after all.