Stay Strong

Words cannot express how long I have had to fight for every single smile in my life, and how difficult it has been to hold onto joy and light, thanks to crippling depression that has plagued me since childhood. Thank you to the never-ending continuation of burdens and grief. Really. Thanks. Thank you world, thank you life. I know I am dangerously close to sounding like a martyr, or maybe even a drama queen – ‘What the hell has she got to be depressed about?’ many might think – but unless you too have suffered with it, you cannot understand the agony it brings. Every day. Always. And I know there is so much I have to be thankful for, and indeed I spend every night reminding myself of this, but it is such a faint glimmer within the darkness. But a glimmer nonetheless.

And, to my dear mother, I want to apologise for all the added stress I brought you in my school days, in my teenage years, for I could not cope and I know it upset you to see me ruin myself, to fall into this unrecognisable being of burning anger. And I want to apologise for now, for still not being the daughter I wish I could be. You too have had many hardships, and right now we are both going through difficulty, and I wish I was a better, more stable person to help you somehow. Perhaps I am desperately selfish to spend my time crying and telling you how I cannot cope, burdening you, when you have had to be the strongest woman I know, raising three children alone – one of whom is disabled. You are so strong. How I look at you and think, ‘I wish I could be so wise and strong like you!’ Don’t be sad, Mum. Don’t cry. I will try to be a good daughter and friend to ease these times, though I do not know how. I wish I knew how. Maybe the knowledge of my love will do for now. And, perhaps, I should be saying all this to you in person, but we know how utterly hopeless I am at speaking my feelings aloud… Writing is my release and my solace. And so I write this, sharing with the world how wonderful I think you are. Someday, I will defeat depression once and for all, and be the girl I’m truly meant to be and the daughter I have always hoped to become.

I’ll hold your hand and we’ll scramble these rocks together, though I’m not sure how good I’ll be as support, for you have been the one to support me since forever. I’ll try, Mum. I’ll try…

Once upon a time I wrote a little rhyme… And I say this to you now, and to myself, and to anyone else out there who has silently been suffering with depression:

‘Silver moonlight in the night
shines down for all to see,
so where can the shadows hide
when even in darkness there is light?’

**

There is light, always. Stay strong ❤

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18 responses to “Stay Strong

  1. Do NOT quit fighting. The wisest words I was ever given came from my sister who told me at a particularly low point “Things change minute-to minute”. Not hour to hour or day to day, quite literally minute to minute. And belief and proof of that has kept me going during many battles.
    And now I am reaping the benefits. Oh I still get depressed, anxious and lethargic….but I know now that it is a temporary condition. I fought through long enough to now be able to start giving back. And that has been better than any drug cocktail ever prescribed to me.
    If you get a moment, stop over to my blog. Hey – it just might help. I hope it does. In the meantime I’ll be thinking of you and pulling for you.

    • Very true words. I am glad to hear you have the strength to always fight through it. and that you can now give back. People like yourself are much needed lights in the world.
      Thank you. Just thank you.

  2. Wow, I can so relate. Except that I have felt my mother was never there for me, not the mother I needed. Although the past few years have been better and she is even coming to visit me in May! Depression sucks. People think I’m okay because I’m taking 1 college class. I think that people think that if I was truly depressed that I would lay in bed every day. Well, I did that for many years, cried throughout the day. I’ve discovered I can still explore my world with the depression. It’s been my companion since I was very young. I opted for treatment that most wouldn’t, but I haven’t talked about it on my blog yet.

    • I understand that, my mother and I never used to be on speaking terms. Indeed, I had the support of no family in my childhood. I’m so glad things are getting better with your mother, though. Everyone needs a mother.
      When you’ve been depressed since childhood, you know no other way of life other than that brutal sadness of the soul, and because you know nothing else it very much becomes a part of you. ‘Cause we knew no better, right? We just grew up learning how to dress up the shadows. So many people don’t understand.
      Continue getting whatever treatment you wish, so long as it helps you overcome this and grants you the life you have always deserved. That is what matters. My heart goes out to you. Keep fighting.

  3. That’s the thing about depression dear Jenny Jen Jen, those who don’t suffer from it don’t understand that you don’t have to have something to be depressed about. It is a mental illness that strikes no matter what the circumstances. People say ‘but she can’t be depressed, she seems to be laughing and smiling and happy when I see her’. But they don’t see the utter despair that strikes her heart every time she wakes up in the mornings and the hopelessness that washes over here every single day as she struggles to just get out of bed, let alone do everything else. They don’t see the sheer exhaustion that strikes day after day and after those times of laughter, when such horrendous pain stikes in the darkness, when alone, feeling that she can’t go on another moment longer feeling this way.
    You are so blessed to have your mother and what beautiful words to bless her by as you support one another through life’s many trials.
    I know I am blessed to have my daughter; she blessed me greatly with the letter she recently wrote to me, as she urged me to look up into the light. And so we keep each other close.
    I know that as you and your dear mother hold one another’s hands and scrabble over those rocks together, you will both keep going in the joy and the strength of your love for one another, loving no matter what and knowing that a mother’s love never ends for her children. Never. And so you will keep close even when it seems you might drift, as we all do for we are human and we can lash out and say and do things that hurt those who are more dear to us than anyone. But therein lies the power of forgiveness and reconciliation and the start of a new day. The Lord’s mercies are new every morning…this is my prayer every day and I pray for you too.
    God bless you and keep you safe dear one, and filled with hope even when you feel you have none left…and know that brighter days are ahead, that yes, even in the darkness there is light, His healing light.
    Love Sherri P ❤ xxx

    • So moved by your beautiful words there, Sherri. Thank you. How accurately you describe it all. But God knows I have my reasons for depression… It’s just no one knows these reasons, for I keep the truth locked away. It is so terribly dark. And, in a way, that makes it harder… People looking at you and questioning why you’re always depressed for ‘no apparent reason’, when really I have the most just reasons imaginable, and were they in my shoes they too would know this death of darkness. But, you know. Just gotta keep living and fighting through the only way we know how. Reasons or no, no one deserves to suffer with depression.
      My mum and I were never always so close. It is something that has certainly come with time… Though, even now, there are blocks in our relationship. Still. As you say, the love is always there regardless. It is so lovely to hear about you and your daughter, though. You bless each other deeply: always remember!

      Each new day is a blessing from God. A new time. And we may start again, and leave behind the woes of yesterday. To have His Light cleanse away the darkness as we sleep is just touching beyond words. And in our darkest times we must remember His Love. It is always there. And as we rest and let our soul go to Him, we can feel the woes of this world leave us for a time. It is only for a time, but the lifting of these many burdens shows us the hope and glory that is awaiting us. And that hope is the brightest light of all, surely? We must keep holding on.
      You will be free, someday, dear Sherri P! ❤ As will I. As will we all.

      Take care, lovely lady xx

      • Jennifer, I empathize with you as I suffer from depression, too, and have since I was about 14….40 years now! Yet, if I did not have the Lord in my life, I probably would have checked out a long time ago. And now I have my wonderful husband, two teens, and an awesome 13 year old dog! But I still struggle with these moods and feelings of listlessness every day. I’ve been on an anti-depressant for a very long time, but not sure if it is still working. May I ask if you are on any medication and if so, what is it? Thank you for sharing your heart, Jennifer! 🙂

      • Sorry to hear you have suffered so long 😦 But glory to God, for blessing you with beautiful things amongst it all. Always hold onto that! If your medication isn’t working anymore, it’s always worth going back to the doctors. They may be able to change it. I am on medication. Citalopram. It -was- working, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve got a doctors appointment this morning though!
        Thank you for your comment. Stay strong!

      • Thank you, Jennifer! I am going to make an appointment with mine. The last time I went to get more refills, he asked me if it was still working okay, and I said yes. But I wasn’t sure, because I am 54 and have been going through peri-menopause since I was about 45, and full menopause for about the last two years, so, I have been wondering if it is that, too. I am on Progesterone cream, too, and I sleep fine now, so only God knows why I still struggle with depression so much! Thanks so much for your lovely encouragement. I love your spirit and the things you share. By the way, have you heard from Steven lately? I haven’t heard from him since very early in the year! Take care! 🙂

      • Ahh, yes, you hear such horror stories with the menopause :/ I am sure that probably isn’t helping. Always worth mentioning it to your doctor though! My mother was very very fortunate with her menopause – didn’t suffer at all! In fact, she has always be very blessed, my mum, in all aspects like that. All right for some! 😉 Ohh, God only knows why we must suffer with depression so! It’s difficult. Think of Romans 5!
        Thank you, Patsy, for you kind words of my spirit. It is touching.
        As for Steven: sadly not!! 😦 I haven’t heard from him since February. I hope he’s all right :/

      • Jennifer, it sounds like you had a great “mum.” I love that word! I am from Georgia in the south of the U.S., so we always called out mom, “Mama.” Anyway, my mom went through a lot with her menopause, but different symptoms than I have. She tried Estrogen for a while, but that was in the late 60’s, and believe me when I was in my early teens I thought she had gone off her nut! 😉 She quit the hormones, though, and just suffered mostly with hot flashes which I used to have before I got on Progesterone.
        Anyway, thanks so much for the reminder of Romans 5 “….we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.” Amen to that!
        You are welcome, Jennifer. I have seen your kindness to many on your blog and especially to Steven when he was present and talking animatedly as he can. I pray he is all right also. Have you emailed him lately? I have not, but am thinking about it.

      • Ohh, are you? “Mum” does sound quite funny to those across the pond 😛 It is such a shame some women have to suffer so with the menopause. Not fair!! Hmm.
        Quite all right! It is always wonderful being reminded of passages in the Bible, especially when they hold such relevance for a situation.
        Yes, I actually emailed Steven a few weeks ago. Haven’t heard back 😦 I too pray he’s okay.

      • I have lived in Georgia and Kentucky, but have been in California since 1977. I agree; it does not seem fair at all.

        Well, I am sorry you haven’t heard from Steven yet. I am going to try to e-mail him right now. I also pray he is fine.

  4. Keep doing what you’re doing, Jenny. Keep fighting, keep moving towards the light. You have such an indomitable spirit in you. Through the struggles, the darkness, the doubts… keep believing. Believe in your potential ❤

"What does your heart tell you?" - ToO, chpt. 32

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