Depression & Faith

Some days, I feel more alive than others.

Some days, I feel like the walking dead.

Today, right now, life rushes through limbs to my brain, and I’m writing a poem of pain that’s, for now, gone away.

It’s a sickness, depression, and sometimes I forget that I suffer affliction beyond my consent. I have no part in it. It’s beyond my control or mind tricks. My mind games suck me in, and down I descend.

To get out of my head, even onto paper, to get out of my head and take in, nothing more, is a gift.

Days when hope in God doesn’t work like it’s magic–it never was, never is–I thank God for the faith to get food, to eat it, to pick up the phone and answer “How are you?” in some form of truth, to say that I’m blue, “but OK”, and mean it.

I remember I got through this the last time, “See?” and the time before that, before that–other moments like this one, how this has always moved like the seasons, a cycle. Someday, perhaps without reason, my head will sit above water again without craning my neck for fear I will drown. Fear I will drown. Or fear that I want to.

I still haven’t, multiple times: 100 to 0. And when the waters calm, I’ll lie on my back and float for a while, serene, and remember I can. I can… float!

It’s a sickness, depression, and sometimes I forget that I suffer affliction beyond my consent. I have no part in it.

Or do I?

Well, there is indeed a shore in this extended metaphor of depression and faith. I see people on it all around me, I think, every day. Or are they really? Or do they play, like I do in the water, saving face and numbing pangs with busyness or drugs or sex or danger still or internet? Well, to speak of me, and if I have been on the shore, it was not for long nor recent. Even though, since sweet 16, I’ve known a shore exists for me, and his name is Jesus.

One day, I will walk hand in hand with Him, feet on solid ground, He tells me. I look forward to it, even if that day won’t come till I die. He tells me I can know that now however, right now, alive, if I only turn my legs to walking for all my swimming in bursts of desperation.

I well up and I cry.

But I don’t know what life would be like out of water, Jesus!! If do, I don’t remember–
Must I walk the Earth alone? Dear God– do I… PREFER the waters as my home?!
Does this mean I CHOOSE to storm this ebb and flow….?
Will joy, deep rushing joy of soul, never be my own??

And the waters become choppy, and I beat the currents as the waves, they rise. And I am afraid again that this state, depression, could be my demise. And I wonder, loud and hot behind my eyes, ‘[How long] can I bear it this time?

It’s a sickness, depression, and sometimes I forget that I suffer affliction beyond my consent. I have no part in it, or do I?

I do have… a way out if… I believe Him?

What lies beyond the shore of my lake, where He stands?
Can I survive it?

Is it any better than being tossed by the whim of the waters?
Can I trust Him? 

I do believe it! I believe Him. Or, I believe that I can in theory, yet I don’t in practice…

For now, Lord Jesus, I do believe, in the least, when You tell me that I can float. See? I do! I can swim in the blues. I can get through, and I do…

And I thank Him for calming the waters, again.
And I thank Him for creating me buoyant.
And I thank Him for sending the boats at last moment.

And Jesus holds out his hands at the shoreline, patient and focused,
birds chirp and sun kisses assurance, as I take in the sky

and I float

Copyright © 2018 A.M. Wilsonne

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