Here comes the sun, and I am so incredibly, unfathomably, unbelievably grateful.
The sun is joy incarnate in my life.
Sunshine lifts my burdens and grounds me in the present.
Today, I am standing barefoot and absorbing the nostalgic feeling of my toes on the warm concrete. My windows are wide open. I am driving with the windows down. I am turning my face to the sun, eyes closed, just feeling the rays on my cheekbones.
Texas spring is lovely for its sunshine.
Texas spring is terrible for its rain.
The sun couldn’t have come soon enough, because this past week of stormy weather nearly did me in.
I love storms, and thunder, and lightning, and pouring rain. I long for it, for the change in the weather, for the electric feeling of an incoming storm.
However, after a long week of being cooped up in the house, I was deeply unhappy.
Leben was struggling with the lack of exercise, and he was quickly becoming a terror.
He ran frantic laps around the apartment. He chewed his leash into six pieces. I have marks on my arms and legs from his antsy claws pawing at me and playing too rough.
I was frustrated, annoyed, restless, and eventually… depressed.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, it runs in my family, and I tend to be really susceptible to changes in the weather changing my mood.
My psychiatrist today referred to this past week as “Double Depression.” #truelife it really does get worse sometimes before it gets better.
Single depression is enough, thank you!
All of my red flags were flying this week:
The pile of clothes in my bedroom covered my floor.
I was hardly cooking, hardly eating more than what I could grab quickly (canned soup anyone?), always hungry.
I was stuck to my spot on the couch for hours at a time. That spot grew to feel like a prison cell.
I didn’t shower pretty much all week. Sorry if you saw me and had to experience that.. haha..
Depressed Mandi also experienced a lot of anxiety and general emotional upset this week.
I reached out to several friends with dilemmas that my disorders blew into exaggeration. I felt like a “debbie downer,” that I was always complaining to everyone.
I was even brought to tears one afternoon over a fork. A FORK.
This is why I sometimes say that my depression is funny. Because all of these things seem so silly to me. It’s like a pathetic sitcom. Sometimes I laugh about it. Sometimes I don’t.
Being more open with my mental health struggle has really changed how my daily life works.
All the people I spoke to last week got a little taste of how I was feeling– and I didn’t hide it from them. I may have beaten myself up for being a “complainer,” but I let them in. I let them see.
I posted a true-to-the-moment blog post, and my despair was documented (vaguely) online.
I was prayed over at church on Sunday because I asked for it.
It’s sort of unreal, that I can be so candid about my life with those who share it with me. Honestly, that’s how life should be. But after so long of hiding behind performed “perfection,” it feels almost wrong to be so revealing.
But coming out the other side, I am so grateful that I was authentic.
I feel a connection with those around me that I rarely felt before.
I don’t feel nearly as isolated this time.
I don’t feel like I’m the only one who knows what’s going on.
I feel comforted by the assurance that others out there in the big wide world are thinking about me, and are walking each step with me in love.
When I kept these things to myself, I didn’t have that feeling.
I feel a deep connection to the people in my life that depression could not attack.
All the same, I am very glad this week is over!
I am so joyful today in the sunshine.
I am smiling, my hair is braided, Leben has been walked, and my clothes are all clean. My dishes are put away and my fridge is full of food.
I am alive.
The sun has the power to change my entire life in an instant… and while I could think of that as a bad thing, I am more grateful than anything. I am so lucky to have a “quick fix” that works, every time.
At least, every time the weather is the problem.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5