Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Shadow of Depression

Many of you know I suffered the loss of my one true Love in December 2009, but what some don't know is that my mourning turned into severe depression because of it. I've gone through four of the five stages of Grief and am currently in my last one.

The first was Denial. I couldn't believe that my best friend and love of my life was gone... truly gone... forever. That I would never see his beautiful smile again, never hear his contagious laughter, never feel his arms cradling me to sleep. I thought it was a horrible nightmare I'd wake up from the next morning and everything I knew to be true, would be exactly how I left it the night before. That he'd wake me with a morning kiss, tell me how much he loved me for the millionth time and all would be right with our world. I waited many months for that day to come, but it never arrived.

My world was turned upside down. I had lost my Love and with him our home, the one place I felt safe. I lost the things that furnished our lives decorating our hearts with care. And from there I stepped into Anger. I was angry at myself for not being able to stop his death. I was angry at him for leaving me so soon, thinking we'd grow old together. And I was angry at God for taking him from me. I, soon, made peace with myself, with him and with God but not before wishing my own death to be with my Love. A few months after the anger, I moved onto Bargaining.

I bargained with God to take my life for his. To bring him back to his loved ones, to take their pain away. Maybe if I had prayed more, fasted more often, dedicated my life to helping more. Maybe if we had not moved away or stayed closer to family, maybe I could've prevented it somehow. So many whys and so many maybes.

As the days & months passed the fourth stage set in; Depression. This one lasted the longest. The feeling of being lost with a sadness and hopelessness cutting so deep, it almost vanished my existence. True, I had battled depression before. But this was different. It was more severe. It was abrupt & harsh. I spiraled down a dark abyss that no matter how much climbing I did, I couldn't get out. I felt gagged, bound and left for dead. I could see the world revolving around me, but somehow I remained in the same place, stuck in quicksand. I didn't have words, smiles, or laughter. My songs were gone with the wind. I was paralyzed in fear. I didn't know what to do, where to go or who to turn to who would understand my heartache. I was silent with God and with most of my family & friends. I was traumatized by a hurting present and confused by the unknown future.

The depression was much more than I could bear, but if not for God's strength, I surely would have died. He kept me together even when I thought I would lose my mind. Even when I thought I was undone. Even when I was disheartened, and hated being in my own skin. If not for my loving God, my dear mother, family & close friends... I surely would not be alive to tell my story.

I am now dealing with Acceptance. Yes, I have accepted he's gone, but I have not completely said my goodbyes. I'm holding on tight to a memory that knaws away at my insides. I still speak & dream of him often, think of him daily and ache to hold him again. Sometimes, I smile when no one is looking, daydreaming of little things he'd say or do, just to hear me laugh. I still haven't the slightest clue how to say goodbye. At what point do I let go and move on with my life? I am trying to let go, really I am. But when I find myself laughing more often or actually having a good day, the guilt sets in. The guilt of leaving him behind, of not deserving happiness without him. The guilt of living.

Coming out of my grief & depression, I am now in the shadow of that depression. I've been told that just before you're actually out of it, when you're more optimistic and actually want to live again, you fall back into the hole. Temporarily. The shadow pursues me wherever I go, imitating the sadness I've felt for so long, confusing me. It frightens me in thinking that I have taken several steps back. That I will fall into the darkness again and never be able to step into the light.

But God!

He is my strength & my comforter! He reminds me & I repeat to myself-  it is just a shadow. It is not real. It cannot hurt me anymore than what I've been hurt. I am a survivor. I've endured much in life, but this is the deepest heartache of them all. If I've survived this... I can survive anything! I am more than a conquerer! I am ... fearless!

© Aug 2012  Ellie Kings
Art: Desolation by Karen Koski