Depression and anxiety, two conditions that go hand in hand, run in my family, leading me to believe that mental illness is genetic. Some say mental illness is often the result of a dysfunctional upbringing, which may be true in part, but inherited genes determine personality, also. Even though several in my family suffer from depression/anxiety, the level of intensity and the way in which each person deals with the disease is very different.
In my case, I am deeply aware that my cycles of sorrow, anger, worry, and despair negatively effect the people closest to me, especially my husband and sons. Because I refuse to let my misery become their misery, I work very hard to control my emotions, and when I can’t, I’m honest about my feelings, and I retreat to a place of solitude to weep and yell and pray to God. In this way, I willingly accept my depression, asking God for help to overcome my deadly thoughts. After spending time alone in prayer, I can return to my family without the wrathful anger burning inside me that, in the past, would often erupt into bitter offenses.
Throughout a lifetime, I’m learning to accept depression/anxiety as a part of my personality but it’s not who I am. I feel joy in the midst of sorrow; I suffer misery while loving my family; I have hope for tomorrow when today is hopeless; I embrace life courageously and reject death as an option. I worry about the future, but trust that God is always there, waiting for me to call out to Him.
I stand and sit, sit and stand
Wondering where I’ve been?
Pacing the floors, each pace
Wanting the pain to erase.
Instead it lingers, etched within,
The hurt remains;
I call out again!