Depression is…

25 01 2016

I wrote the follow “Depression is…” list almost two months ago, one day after my birthday, and kept it private. That was also the day I decided to re-fill a prescription after a few years to continue a medication to help me manage my depression. My depression is mild, but it hits me hard come stress and the dark days of winter.

Also this past summer, in July I decided to return to a counselor/therapist who helped me a lot and diagnosed my PMDD a few years ago. I returned because within one year’s time I had transitioned from being asked to go from full-time ministry to part-time ministry (40 hr/wk to 15 hrs/wk with children and youth and decided that also starting graduate school part-time would be a good thing. It was a good thing but it was A LOT of overwhelming transitions for myself and my family financially and schedule-wise. I’m glad I returned to see my therapist because she has been helping me get back to the core of who I am (who God made me to be) and helping me to develop skills for organizing my life as a wife, mother, minister, student, friend, daughter, and more.

So, I’m writing this now and making in public in case it might be helpful to someone in the doldrums of depression who may not realize it, and perhaps for myself in another year when I might need to read it. I hope to bring hope and peace.

Depression is… Ordering a sandwich you’ve been craving a long time via a smartphone app and holding back tears others would probably find silly when you show up and they say they are out of the ingredients.

Depression is … When you have a lot on your plate and you’re too overwhelmed by your perfectionism and paralyzed in even doing what is expected and needed because  you want to know you’ll do it right before you even begin.

Depression is … Listening to your child or a loved one through their concerns and sadness or getting up tin the middle of the night or early morning to selflessly help them even though you just want to sleep and sleep and sleep.

Depression is … Wishing you had the energy to want to do things with others and either declining because you don’t think you’re wanted (when you are) or pushing yourself extra hard to attend something.

Depression is … Not believing in your personal self worth when others have strong confidence in you.

Depression is … Thankfulness for those who wish you happy birthday and while maybe a party would be nice it is too much energy to organize. And with every person who wishes you happy birthday you smile and say thanks all the while wanting to cry and you don’t really know why – maybe because someone cares more about you than you do right now. Or you’re just tired and feel like crying, but still are thankful.

Depression is … Recognizing you are glad the form is sadness because in past years it has been In the form of anger displayed inwardly and outwardly. I would much rather have my children experience me as sad than as angry.

Depression is … turning things in late – yet again – and wondering why you can’t get out of this cycle of being a failure.

Depression is … re-reading this list a month and a half later and seeing how you’ve made it through those rough patches. Knowing that God works through therapists, medications, and a new year to show you can persevere through things even when life has you down, again.




4 responses

26 01 2016

I sit here with tears running down my face as I can identify with so much of this. It is so hard when everyone expects you to be upbeat and happy when all you want to do is hide. You cry for no reason (or at least an explainable one), and you feel guilty for not being able to rise above it. Thank you for being transparent.


26 01 2016

Depression is: Not wanting to wake up in the morning. Depression is: Not being able to get out the door when you would normally be so very social and fun. Depression is: Discounting your own worth. I get it. I’ve been there! It’s so nice to wake up in the mornings now and WANT to wake up! What a difference when we get the help we need and God helps us grow through it.


1 02 2016
Richard B. Steele

Magnificent piece of writing, Leena, and very healing to read for those of us, like me, who struggle with depression. Thank you so much for sharing!


4 02 2016

thank you for sharing… being trying to think of what to type here… I’ll go with “Ditto”. Peace, my friend.


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