As you may recall, just before Christmas I spoke at my church about my fight with Post partum depression 6 years ago. Preparing for the talk and doing the talk nearly put me back in the pit, to be honest. For a few weeks after I had to really pray protection over my thoughts (and my husband helped me with that) so that I didn't fall back into a new pit of lies regarding the usefulness and shamefulness of that talk.
Since then, many many people (women and men) have approached me to talk about their own experience with different forms of depression that they themselves, or loved ones, have survived. Some tell me of those loved ones who did not survive. These conversations are incredibly overwhelming to me. I find them heartwrenching, humbling, and terrifying as they almost tempt me back to that place.
Now don't get me wrong: there was NOTHING about that place that I want to revisit, nothing that I want to subject myself or my family to again. But it is such a familiar place.
Other people approach me at church and ask how I'm doing now that my baby is 3 months old...."you know, with that stuff you talked about before". And I tell them "Praise the Lord I am doing fine".
Which really is true. Except...
I feel very much like I am walking in a broad place. It is lush and green by my feet but just a wee bit off my path the landscape becomes dry, rocky and barren. And there in that barren place is a canyon. And I know what lies at the bottom. And I don't want to see it. And yet it calls to me. Somehow it has found me and is wooing me over.
But I won't go. The journey is too hard to come home and I don't want to leave this good place: it is there, though. And it isn't going away. Always at the borders of my mind. Always just darting across my horizon. Threatening to engulf me when my defenses are down. Readying itself to laugh and remind me that I really do belong there after all.
But I won't go. He who is in me is stronger than he that is in that hell of a pit. With my eyes fixed on Christ I cannot fall. It is for freedom that Christ set me free, and I will remain free indeed.
So when you ask me how I am doing, I will tell you the truth. I am doing just fine. But only by the Grace of God. I see the alternative off in the distance, waiting for me, and I say "not today".