Dear Momma Fighting Depression,

I know.

I know what it’s like when the bravest moment of the day is when you crawl out of bed.

I know what it is to stand in the shower longer than you should—willing yourself to face the day.

And when your children look at you with their soul-filled eyes, begging you to engage, but you just can’t. Your stomach wrenching because you really aren’t the mother they need today.

How many moments do I miss because the talons of darkness have clutched and ripped out the light? Maybe you ask this question too.

I understand what it is to sink into yourself, watching your spouse bear the burden of the house because you’re chained by the hopelessness in your head. Your husband doing his back-breaking-all-day-work and his fragile-soul-carrying at home.

You’re overwhelmed and overcome by the guilt, locking you up in more chains. Because the cycle is vicious, and this guilt etches itself so deep in your soul.

You want to be strong.

But you think brave is every other woman. Not you. Because you can’t even play Candy Land with your kid.

Sometimes you plaster the immovable smile on your face because great is your answer to the how-are-yous. Making sure the world never knows the days you struggle. The days every ounce of your being keeps you standing with your pasted grin. The days you make it through the motions at work because you have to, leaving you ready to crawl into a hole when you get home.

But those kids, your spouse. And their eyes. And your responsibilities.

There’s the anger that comes too. The fist clenched and shaking toward heaven. Why me?

Oh Momma, I know.

I almost didn’t write this. It’s too depressing. And then I realized, well, yeah. That’s what depression is.

It’s depressing.

It’s dark.

It’s a prison.

You need to understand, Momma. You’re not the only one craving the Light. And you’re not alone in your fight. There are so many of us. So many who ran through their list of coping skills today and not a single one worked.

You exercise. Pray. Read your Bible. Toss back your tiny pill. Surround yourself with positive people—the ones willing to hold you up by your heart-strings. You do everything you should. And still. The darkness creeps and lurks, ready to pounce.

You have nothing to complain about in your first world life. Happy children. Doting spouse. Fulfilling job. Everything in its right place. And still. The chains overwhelm and cripple. Then the guilt–because life is good–only tightens the shackles.

The world doesn’t always understand just how brave you are for getting out of bed.

But know.

I know how brave you are. How courage is one foot in front of the other in spite of the fear. How Hope can be fragile and wrapped up in your ability to breathe deep in the pitch-black. How strength builds muscles in your soul every day you face the darkness.

I wish I had answers, Momma.

Because you can love Jesus with your entire being and still fight depression. Because sometimes you run so hard to the pin-prick light in the distance only to watch it drift further away. Because some days you stay in bed.

I don’t have answers.

But I have one promise. A promise wrapped in Hope.

Echoed twice in Scripture are these words, these beautiful, Light-giving words: I will never leave you or forsake you.

We are never alone, my sisters.

Never. Ever. alone.

In our weakest moments. On our darkest days. After our courage disappears.

He is there.

Always.

I’m here too, holding tight to the hands of countless sisters.

Because we know.

Understand this—We never fight alone.

Let the words of Christ echo. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will never leave you or forsake you.

Let this be enough to gingerly lift the covers and climb out of bed, into some small, soft rays of light.

My brave, beautiful sisters. I know.

And I love you.

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7 Responses to Dear Momma Fighting Depression,

  1. Tara says:

    Thank you for the uplifting words. Needed that after a long day!

  2. Jenn Buell says:

    What beautiful words. I’m a widowed mom of four and though I have not gotten lost in depression, I have started having mini-panic attacks from the stress of it all. I’m so thankful for a CNP and good friends who told me it is OK to take something. It is OK that the things that should work sometimes don’t. God is still on his throne and I am not a failure if I need medicine to keep taking care of my precious babies. I see these words and say, “Yes!” and “Amen!” for any woman needing to read them. Good job.

    • Oh, Jenn…how my heart breaks for the pain you have gone through and ARE going through. I had a wonderful Christian doctor look at me nine years ago and tell me I needed medication. He made me see for the first time that my depression had zero to do with whether I had prayed hard enough or loved Jesus enough. I’m so grateful for him and the relief medication brought me at that time. Whether or not I’m on meds. has ebbed and flowed over the years, but I never feel guilt or weak when do. Never. In fact, to me, it takes great strength to admit help is needed. When we are weak — HE is strong. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Jenn.

  3. Ruth says:

    Our children are grown but I read your words from the perspective of being my husband’s caregiver. Some days my heart is full of hope. Other days it’s full of silence. Nights are long and time for prayer…a plea for strength. Thank you for your sensitive words!

  4. Cindy says:

    Oh my goodness. These are some of the MOST COMFORTING words I have ever read. I, too, suffer tremendously from depression. I have had two serious bouts where I thought I was losing my mind. It is so dark and scary to be in that place. I thought after recovering from my first bout 2 years ago, I was “cured.” But I guess this is a disease that one just manages and never really recovers from. It is also a dreadful disease that many people cannot relate to if they have never experienced it for themselves. I am blessed with a wonderful, supportive husband who helplessly watches as I struggle. By the Grace of God, my Christian counselor, my psychiatrist,and my medication, I am doing fine now. I will return to your powerful words here (when, and if, I slip back into the dark hole)…for ENCOURAGEMENT, STRENGTH, AND HOPE! God Bless You and THANK YOU for your LOVE and support!!!

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