In times of loss, sadness can easily deepen into depression. It feels like we've fallen into a pit, and sometimes the pit can grow very dark indeed.
From the Grieving Heart:
I feel depressed. No wonder. Life is depressing right now.
I'm not myself. I used to smile. Now, smiling is just a show, a facade. I'm beginning to tire of this counterfeit lifestyle I seem to be living in public. Performing and holding it together for everyone else takes way too much energy.
There are times I want to bust out, forget what's acceptable, and shout how I really feel about all this.
"How are you?" people ask. "Well, I'm not fine. I'm angry, frustrated, and hurt. I'm sad, depressed, and lonely. I'm confused, anxious, and afraid. I'm grieving."
It would feel so good to say that. Why can't I?
I guess I think it would only make things worse. I'm already being treated like I have an infectious disease. People avoid me. It's obvious they don't know what to do with me. Honestly, I don't know what to do with myself either.
So, I hide. I keep it inside. No wonder I feel depressed.
In grief, some depression is common.
In times of loss, feeling depressed is natural and common. Our heart is feeling the extent of the loss. We're tired, even exhausted. Our emotions are heavy and oppressive. We don't feel like ourselves. We can’t function as we've become accustomed to. Putting one foot in front of the other takes more out of us than we would have ever dreamed.
We look at the past and long for it. We look ahead, and all is hazy. This may not be our first loss, but we've never been here before. Everything has changed somehow. Feeling depressed is a natural response for a shattered heart.
Perhaps we can find a little relief if we remember that most depression in grief is temporary and situational. It's not where we were or where we will be, but it's where we are now. This is part of love. We feel their absence. It hurts. Our hearts crack. Our bodies feel the tumultuous onslaught of our grief. Our souls are hit with the pain.
Accepting ourselves, even when depressed, is important. Others may not understand, which makes it even more crucial to give ourselves a break. We are where we are. As we grieve, our emotions will change over time.
I will accept myself and trust that any depression I experience is temporary and will pass with time.
Adapted from the book, Comfort for Grieving Hearts: Hope and Encouragement for Times of Loss. To watch a brief video about the book, click here.