I have really been struggling with depression, fatigue, anxiety and apathy. It is not unexpected, just frustrating.
Mental and Emotional Darkness
Most people assume that depression is something transient and that it will just pass. For most people this is true, but for those of us who are haunted by it, it is not. It is like a heavy blanket that blocks all light and weighs you down. The darkness that creeps into your life when you become depressed is almost impossible to explain to someone who has never felt it.
I’ve had to work hard to keep things in perspective. It seems like broken eggs could end the world and volcanos are only a nuisance. This tends to make me angry and unpleasant to be around. I often have an overwhelming need to hit someone. Not something, someone. The problem with this is that any violent action (against something inanimate) just makes me more angry.
Diminishing the Dark
Nothing, in my experience ever makes the dark go away. I have found, however, that I can disperse it through serving others. By getting out of myself and doing things for someone else I can open a window and let the light in. While the sorrows of others seem (or even may be) trivial compared to mine, a simple act of kindness can light the darkness within me.
Every day I seek to make at least one person smile and one person laugh. These two simple goals have brought so much warmth and light into my soul that my darkness is diminished. Why? Because to make someone smile also brings a smile to my lips. To make someone laugh lightens my burden. These are shared activities that connect me with the people around me.
Light the Fire
In the New Testament we are admonished not to hide our light, but to share it. It is the act of sharing light that makes our light, and the light of others, brighter and warmer. Is it easy? No, most days I’d rather pull the blankets over my head. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely.
If you are having difficulty lighting your candle, help light someone elses and yours will catch flame.