One of the things I hate most about depression is not knowing what it means. Of course, it doesn’t have to mean anything: I’ve been short on sleep, my back hurts most of the time, and that means I can’t exercise, either. That’s a recipe for feeling crummy.
The problem with being melancholy and overanalytical, of course, is that you’ve always got to figure it out. It would be good for my humility to post some of the absurd thoughts that passed through my mind as possible explanations for my latest bout with the black dog, but I’m not prepared to be that humble, even anonymously. Maybe not even posthumously.1
A surprising amount of the ideas were religious. Well, it’s not that surprising. Apparently the whole martyrdom-complex thing is pretty common among committed Christians with SSA.2 I know this is the kind of thing that atheists love to point to as what is wrong with Christianity, why it’s the scourge of the world, torturing people with needless, neurotic guilt.
The thing is, though, this kind of self-torture has nothing in common with Christianity. This is one of those truths that I have learn over and over again. God does not want me to be miserable. He doesn’t like it when I’m miserable. He probably wants to smack me around a little bit when I come into the chapel with that pious, long-suffering look on my face. Yech.
Anyway, I’m doing better now. After getting some work done and some espresso in me, I went to the chapel for my daily visit and was surprised to find out that Jesus seemed perfectly willing to take the pain away, if I was willing to let go of it.3 Tomorrow, an anniversary dinner with old friends; the day after that, a barbecue with family; the day after that, I get to see another old friend go from postulant to novice at a convent not far away.
Blessing upon blessing, really, when you think about it.
Oh geez, now I am going to have to do something about that size of the ‘depression’ tag in the cloud over there…seriously, people are going to get the idea that being a Christian is hard.