In the Valley

In the Valley

*Warning: this post may contain triggers for self-harm and material which may be upsetting. Please stay safe and steer clear of this post if you have these triggers.*

I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder eight months ago. I fell into depression after discovering I was infertile, which made me unable to handle my life surrounded by pregnant friends and working at a children’s hospital. I was in so deep I was self harming (once I even got away with it during a shift) and having daily meltdowns at the end of almost every workday, unable to cope with the stressors around me. I self-medicated with alcohol to numb my feelings of worthlessness. I would come home from work and immediately chug a full glass of wine (as in, drink the whole glass in under 15 seconds) to get my head spinning so I couldn’t feel anything. Then I would pour my soul into my journal, bemoaning my very existence and wishing I weren’t alive.

I’ve been on an antidepressant for all of those eight months. Has it helped? Overall, yes. But in some ways, no. I still have bad days. Days where it’s nearly impossible to get out of bed. Days where I can’t muster a smile about anything. Days when my self-worth is completely non-existent. Days where I convince myself that everyone hates me and no one cares about me. Days where nothing and no one can get through to me to convince me otherwise.

Those days are a challenge to get through. They come around with greater frequency than I like. I wish, of course, that they wouldn’t come around at all.

Today was one of those days.

I couldn’t manage to drag myself out of bed until 2 pm. Of course, I was dizzy. I’m so sick of being dizzy. Luckily, the meds, which I have to keep on my nightstand now, kicked in relatively quickly, rather than the usual two hours I have to spend flat on my back waiting for the world to stop spinning and for my limbs to stop tingling.

Then…nothing. Was I sad about something? No. Was I happy about something? Definitely no. Was I anything about anything? Not really. I just was.

I exist, but I don’t.

I’m here, but I’m not.

The world spins on without me. Though the sun shines, my world is dark.

All I feel is pain.

I wish, but I don’t. Because what’s the point? If this surgery doesn’t work…

I fear I may remain in this valley forever. And when the floods come, I will drown with them.

And yet…

“Your recent days have been dark, and you’ve wondered if this is God’s plan for you. Oh, dear one, that isn’t so. It is God’s desire that you prosper and be in health. You wonder if you will ever get out of this valley of depression and if the tears will ever stop. Better days are ahead, though perhaps you cannot see them yet. God will wipe away every tear from your eyes, and he will remove all the pain you’ve endured.”

Dr. Michelle Bengtson, Hope Prevails

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