Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Tag: coping with chronic depression (page 1 of 2)

Revealed In The Impossible.

When God's Revealed in the Impossible

“This is feeling impossible!” I’m saying to myself in a fit.

My husband snores beside me, completely oblivious.

It’s 3 AM and I’m just… awake.

Thoughts, and prayers, and snores, and unresolved items, and worries surround my brain, no matter how hard I try to just be.

One of the many phantom pains that can flare with chronic depression, a physical symptom to the brain’s neurotransmitters off-kilter, sweeps along my right hip and back again, as it has all day.

And in the stillness it’s far more noticeable than during the day when I could distract myself.

“And it doesn’t help my situation any, Lord.

And I’m unsure if the latest bout of insomnia is a result of my chronic D or if it’s the first hurdle in a fresh episode of dysthymia on its way. There’s no way of knowing which one.

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Where Will You Hide?

Chronic depression has such a variety of symptoms.

On any given day, it likes to try to do its worst. Phantom pains, insomnia, anxiety over the slightest thing, zero focus, relentless sensitivity to your environment, despair.

And sometimes the worst it ever gets are the days where the bed is a magnet. You feel like it’s got this seductive hold. You can’t imagine leaving it any time soon. It’s overwhelming to say the least.

Maybe you’ve known the feeling.

Known the pull.

The day already seems too huge and too hard and you’ve only just opened your eyes.

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Eyes Up

“I’m warning you, I don’t know really how to explain it,” she began. “Let’s just say there are days- fortunately not many- when it feels as if the inside of my head is whirling like a spin dryer. I’m not very pleasant to be with then, and I don’t sleep too well either. It’s as though there’s a void in my mind, a void where there should be something, but where there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, just a deafening noise.”

I have no idea if international bestselling author Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera has ever battled chronic depression, or other mood disorders, or if the powerful quote above from the acclaimed “The Awakening of Miss Prim” was simply a method for moving the main character’s dialogue along, but I can tell you this; it is precisely what one’s head can feel like at any given time when you live with Dysthymia (chronic depression).

And it’s a brilliant way to describe it.

I stumbled upon the quote after a long day of nothing going right, and that deafening noise mentioned above, growing inside. I was curled up on the couch with her delightful book for the first time, trying to forget my day run amuck. A day with a long search for a quiet place to write, a laptop that kept resetting itself after being flooded with updates, a battery that only ran for two hours, a difficult and totally unrelated discussion over the phone, and zero energy from a sleepless dysthymic night the night previous.

And were any of those things that awful or momentous? No. Should they have had the kind of power over my soul that would make me run home and vow to never interact with another living soul ever again? No. Looking back I know that if all those things were the worst that I would face all week, then I have it pretty good.

But my disorder threatens to block a very simple act. And that’s to keep my eyes and my head up when difficulties threaten to trample me.

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Responding To The Beautiful

What’s beautiful to you today?


Something in front of you right now. Something you don’t have to chase or hunt for but is right in front of you?

I look to my left this morning and the sun is gleaming off the glossy white window sill beside my work desk. The warm light streaming in is like a balm for all the mess of the past week.

It’s beautiful.

I put my cup of tea on the counter to bring the dog inside. The piles of red and gold leaves in the backyard sing in the same light. Why worry about raking them, my head argues, when they look so content and natural tucked over my sleeping garden.

Its beauty winks at me.

May sound like a game to you, this wandering around and looking for the beauty standing right in front of you. But when did you stop this week? When did you notice all the gifts He left for you in your path so you’d know you’re always and ever important to Him.

The dust motes dancing in that one sunbeam in the dining room.

The length of your son’s hands while he uses his father’s tools to do what only his Legos used to.

The curl of steam coming from the pumpkin pie you decided to make for no reason except you love pumpkin.

The perfect vertical lines the lawn mower left in the lush lawn for what was perhaps the last time this year.

Where’s your beauty?

And did you look inside? Your kind hello every morning for the post woman. Your laugh when the dog sneezes and scares herself. The way you wanted to cry watching the events on the news.

There is beauty in each one of us, seeded by the Beautiful One himself, and it’s the Best Kind of Beautiful. We are, after all, molded in His image.

And beauty is only beautiful when you extend it to everyone you come across.

Again, the way our Father extends beauty and grace and life to each one, without reserve.

Where is your beauty?

I only ask, because I have to ask myself. I ask myself when I feel my dysthymic disorder rumbling around inside my insides. When the chronic D wants to raise its head, I ask myself, out loud, to look for the beauty. To set sights on the goodness that never disappears but just becomes easy to miss when I’m brought low.

Did you have things that made it easy this week to miss the goodness and beauty?

And not to forget, beauty in the words. His words. His Word. So much beauty waiting for our souls living in a sometimes ugly world.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

It’s beautiful to have Him in our line of sight. The One who saves. The One who celebrates your beauty with gladness and abandon. The One who soothes with His love. The One who cheers and sings a song of beauty over you, better than any song anyone else might try to entice you with.

So, the beauty is there, in case I haven’t made that clear enough, dear soul of mine.

And there’s nothing left to do but to leave our hearts with one important question…

Once we spot it, once we connect with it, once we experience it, will it change us? Improve us? Inspire us? Rewire us?

Or will its beauty be lost on us, like it has so many times before?

Will we respond to the Beautiful?

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