I am feeling SUPER vulnerable and lonely and just… just crap. Depression sucks. No lie. And being constantly around people who really don’t know me nor do they understand the illness nor do I trust them to talk about it… it makes every day a panic attack waiting to happen. I don’t think I have breathed normally in two weeks. On top of that- I don’t believe in God… yeah, you can’t just tell people that. They will try to Jesus you. SO I am binge listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast. I LOVE IT! Love the one about you are not alone, you are not crazy. Love the placebo effect. Love Dogma. Love hope after faith. I have many books to buy that i will hopefully read after grad school.
It is smart, it is real, it is courteous, and it is one hell of a great comfort when you feel totally alone in the real and preverbal desert. Thanks Seth.
you can keep your god and your meds, I have sesame street
This made me smile and laugh and grin at 7:30 am. I figure if it made me smile, it might make you smile too, so I should pass it on. Anything that brings a real smile right now is rare and welcome! Not too shabby Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.
There is so much that can drag you down. Stress, pain, tragedy, loss, grief, loneliness, depression… aaaaaand religion. Sitting across from people in my professional life, I have seen the results of years of guilt and shame that religion has inflicted on people. I say religion, not faith. I should think more about that use in this context though, because I think both words apply. Religious structure has a well documented history of wreaking havoc on populations. Faith is more personal though, and less tied to one specific doctrine. But faith can still be deeply hurtful; especially when the negative aspects get turned inwards. It can stagnate your growth and development as a person (as a blogger rightly pointed out in some comments on an earlier post).
Right now, I am writing for my sanity. I am clinging to my pieces to hold myself together. And it helps. So does this community. I can’t have a community of non-believers in person yet, but I will happily accept the thoughts and input and wisdom of this online community. Gotta keep looking up. And not for a deity to fix something that is inherently broken in me- but at the blue sky, the sun, the clouds, the bigness of this amazing world. Depression lies, and I choose not to listen. I will wait patiently, and it will pass, and I will be stronger.
I haven’t blogged in a while. I haven’t felt like it. I haven’t been able to collect my thoughts. I haven’t had the energy to try. Grad school is demanding and deployments are hard, but my current problems has more to do with the struggle I have had with depression for my entire adult life. I have only recently started to think about it outside of the tiny dark hole that my mind has been hiding in. I am carefully and continuously applying all of the tools that I have been given by counselors over the years. I am methodically and grudgingly starting to remember that depression lies. And I know that I will come out of this empty black hole eventually. Mostly that just makes me feel tired rather than hopeful, but hey, that’s okay.
The thing I have begun to think about in the past few days is how faith has played a role in my experiences with depression. I have done a lot of praying, reading, and waiting for my faith to make it better. I can’t honestly say that it has. I have come out of it eventually, but looking back, I don’t see the hand of God or his guidance or anything like that. I see me and my loved ones and good counselors doing hard work. That’s it.
I had the realization a few months ago that I no longer believed anything that was part of Christian doctrine, except that there was probably a God. And then I questioned that. And then it was like the doors on my mind got blown off their hinges and the whole world came rushing in. I have learned so much in just a few months. So much about science and history, but also about myself. Most importantly, I have learned that I have a great capacity for that most beloved-by-the-Army word, resiliency.
I am a resilient person. And it is not because of the hand of a supernatural being, picking me up and puppeting me into the places he wants me to go, or magically shoring me up and teaching me lessons. I am resilient because I have worked hard, and will continue to do so. I have learned that life sucks sometimes, and that I want to make life better for other people. I have learned that depression lies. My world is not empty or hopeless without faith, it is big and amazing and full of life and wonder, and I want to be in it. And that is a pretty fucking resilient outlook.