Seasons. For Everything There is a Season, a Time for Every Activity under Heaven. Eccelsiastes 3: 1
I’ve always described my life as very seasonal. I’ve diagnosed my hiccups and episodes as seasonal, with large cycles of lows every four to five years. Major life events, just as career changes or moves, have always been quarterly. “It’s what I do.” A common thing I say. I never play the victim but I always say things are just in my nature.
For some time now, the summer has always been my moment to either completely fall into pits of deep depression or just completely go off the rails into manic episodes of bad decisions. Once even after returning from Disney World, yes the happiest place on Earth, I connected back someone I shouldn’t have and immediately fell into a dark place. (For another day, this person is someone who I had to admit was bad for my spirit and I had to cut all ties with completely.)
Stability is important. I have been working in education for seven years now. Immediately prior to that, I worked in the non-profit world and our disaster relief work focused on hurricanes, which are often late summer. Idol time, no schedules, no discipline, or stress. Those are the things of chaos for this bipolar person, as most I imagine. Even when I was teaching and that first week off hit and I gave myself an excuse. I felt I deserved a week to lay on the couch and watch TV all day. I didn’t even have to feel guilty because my child was at summer camp for a few hours, I could drop her off , go back to sleep, wake up, watch TV or waste hours online, go pick her up and we still had our afternoons and evenings. Harmless on the outside.
But on the inside, my inside, was just a wasting ground of sadness. A void was starting to open up and then I started to look for ways to fill it. My thoughts would run away to terrible places of ‘what if’, ‘why can’t I’, and ‘woe is me.’ Then, that’s where the alcohol comes in. Again, never once did I ever feel like a bad mother because the world and our culture makes it easy for us to think it okay right.
My child was safe. I lived with my parents. She never saw me drink. I would have wine after she was sleeping. I was always still a present mother. Even when I went out with that friend who couldn’t love me but I gave him my soul practically. It was after she was asleep and I would return before she was awake. Was I happy? I was miserable. I wanted to die. Literally. I would imagine moments and think of reasons why it would be so much easier to just die. That’s what depression is. The only think that kept me alive was my daughter, but there were moments that I even thought she would be better off without me.
Cycles this tragic didn’t happen that often. But, the past 10 years it was more frequent. Last year, was better. I was still walking through the changes that were happening to me though. I chose to stop my medication completely, but that of course was not the answer. Brain chemistry is not something to play with. I am healed of so much, no doubt, but still take some pretty serious medication and I don’t want to compromise my health by trying to stop everything cold turkey at once. I tried that once, because I trust God. I trust him so much, but my brain and heart are being healed from above and I can’t totally shock my brain.
This year is different though. I went in, as life has been more and more, with intention. The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me so clearly lately and I’ve just been soaking it all up and listening. It’s how I came to write today’s second entry on this blog. I wake up in the middle of the night with something on my heart and something I go write it down and go from there. Today, it was about seasons.
I’ve been quieter lately. I think often times people think I’m shy or mean or even angry. I’m just careful with my words and God’s been keeping my quiet. I’ve been healing after a few months of hurt. Things were happening my work life that really started to hurt me emotionally, so I need to stay in constant conversation with Jesus. In that, I think people have misunderstood me but today in prayer the Holy Spirit told me that he’s given me lots of words to share. Not to speak, but to write. I said this summer was for writing, and he’s holding me to it. The season of seasonal falls and lows is over. It’s time for a season of testimony praise.