There. I said it.
Happy freaking New Year.
Last year really kicked my ass. Six or seven major life events and an international move seem to be catching up with me, and I’ve found, coming off a nine month adrenaline high, that I don’t really want to get out of bed. I got my kids off to school this morning and then I curled up on the couch with a blanket over my head and slept until noon, and when I finally got up it was only because my cat was sitting on my face. What?! That’s how he tells me he’s hungry. Anyway, here’s a newsflash: If you sleep more than yourcat, that may be a clue that you’ve come down with a smidge of the depression.
If I can get dressed by like 3 o’clock, it feels like a major victory. (Over-celebrating simple daily tasks? Yeah, that’s clue #2.)
This morning I shuffled around my house looking for some unknown thing, then I circled the internet in search of nothing at all for far too long, and I kept telling myself that I really needed to get my shit together. When none of that got me anywhere, I stopped and I prayed, and I kept telling God that He really needed to get my shit together. “I need to write.”, I told Him,” I need to clean this house. I need to cook. I need to buy toilet paper. This sad, sleepy, grimy, stupefied, agoraphobe thing isn’t really working for me. I don’t have time for mental illness right now — so YOU’RE gonna have to make it go away. Ok? Ok.”
But when God didn’t immediately wave a cosmic wand over my head to make me feel better, I remembered the one thing some Christians will never admit out loud…
Sometimes Jesus isn’t all you need.
Sometimes you need Zoloft.
I’ve fought with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember (seriously, like since I was a small child) and I know the things I need to do to escape this dark, foggy, ditch. For me it requires healthy food, sunshine, exercise, safe friends, and, yes, Faith in my Healer and Counselor.
But, sometimes, it also
means addressing the chemical needs of my body.
Sometimes it means popping a little bitty pill.
And that little pill? It helps me A LOT.
Because depression is not a sin.
It’s true that our own brokenness can enhance feelings of being lost and lonely and hopeless. Our transgressions, screw ups, failures, our “sins” work against us to further deepen an ongoing battle with depression. And it’s true, I believe, that we need Jesus to be whole – but, I’ll say it again, if you suffer from chronic chemical depression, Jesus is not all you need.
Sometimes you need a Doctor.
Sometimes you need medication.
Sometimes you need to be reminded that there’s really no crime in that.
The real crime would be to live your God-given life with your head under a blanket, or your face under your cat’s butt, when you could get help in the form of a pill and come back to life.
Do I need Jesus or Zoloft?
For today, I think I need need both.
Ever been depressed?
Are you a pill popper or a prayer apologist? Or both?