For those of us who struggle with serious depression life is full of dark and cloudy days. Days when we think, “If I don’t open my eyes maybe life will just go away.” These are the days when just getting out of bed can be too much to ask.
Unseen and Unknown
My depression started when I was about 10-13 years old. It just crept slowly into my life unnoticed. Not until I started my sophomore year did I notice anything. It seemed sudden and unwarranted. I woke up one morning and thought that maybe the world would be better of without me. Why? I had no idea. I was an honor student taking college prep classes and getting excellent grades. I was in the marching band at school, involved in my youth group at church. I had steady work babysitting and averaged $1,000 annually in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I have great parents and lived an upper middle class life style. What did I have to be depressed about?
I frustrated my family and friends bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. I would lay on my bed and cry for hours but didn’t know why. I was always tired and began to withdraw because I couldn’t answer the question I was constantly asked, “What’s wrong?” I knew something was wrong because I was so miserable but I didn’t know what or why.
Rain of Tears
I started walking in the rain without an umbrella because no one could tell if I was crying. The cold raindrops soothing my eyes as I walked kept them from getting red and swollen. My tears mingled with the raindrops becoming invisible to those who saw me. The cold water beating on my head, face and body seemed to wash away some of the clouds in my mind leaving me feeling better able to face my life again.
I don’t know what it is about rain. I know that it makes plants grow and flowers bloom, but it also does amazing things when liberally applied to someone struggling with depression. Maybe it is hope coming down from the clouds in droplets to soak into my skin. Maybe it is the promise of a life filled with beauty. Whatever it is, it can be life changing.
In our house we have umbrellas that are specifically for dancing in the rain. They are fun little umbrellas with designs and bright colors. When the clouds build so does the anticipation. When the rain falls the umbrellas come out and the dancing begins. Life is good when you dance in the rain.