I've dealt with diagnosed depression in my own life for at least 10 years and have blogged extensively about it. The battle against depression has been gentle and brutal and not much in between. Some seasons are better than others, but it's forever present.
I guess I thought in order to win against depression it had to be all gone. I couldn't just go a day, week or month without a high speed come apart. I had to stay perfectly balanced for the rest of my earthly life to be the champion. So, when I had a bad day without a good reason or cried myself to sleep because I felt like it, I assumed depression was back and I was losing.
It's not true.
I've realized in recent weeks that in order to survive, I have to let depression win. I suppose it's possible that at some point in my life depression will be completely gone. It's not likely. My estimated life span is significantly longer than most meds will be beneficial. I am creative and an over-thinker - double whammy in the depression department.
At the risk of sounding like a life affirmation guru - I've surrendered to depression, acknowledging that if it's going to be around we might as well try to get along.
I'm doing my part. I've done a complete life makeover in the last year. I've incorporated all the peace I can possibly manage. I've added a twice a day yoga practice, jogging, meditation, lots of prayer, scripture, and extra rest. I've eliminated things (and people!) that stress me out and offer nothing in return. I've joined a community of believers in a church that speaks life to the corners of my soul in this season. And I've nurtured relationships with friends that don't need lots of explanation.
And maybe, most importantly, I've granted myself the grace to believe that just because depression wins, doesn't mean I lose. It means we co-exist without constant strife. It means sometimes it's okay to not be okay......and that's okay. It means reminding myself that feelings pass and sitting with them is fine.
I'm not spending energy these days trying to make depression "go away." I'm absorbing the lessons it has come to offer and using them for good.
God has used depression in amazing ways in this one little life. It's made me better. It's made me stronger. And it's made me fall into total dependence on the grace I need. And for that, I'm thankful.