It happened slowly…the downward spiral that is. It came one curve at a time. One small twist here, another there. And before I knew it, I was on a steep decent into depression.
I haven’t talked about it a whole lot. If you read my previous post, you understand why. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I felt like a failure. But that was then, and this is now.
So why am I talking about it? Maybe it’s because I have talked to friends and family who have felt the same shame. Maybe it’s because I don’t like stigmas. Maybe it’s because “depression” shouldn’t be something people have to hide. I don’t want to live my life putting on a “good face” for people. I don’t want to walk around with my head hung low because of what others think. I don’t want anyone else to either. But maybe the most important reason is because of what I have learned, or remembered, about God. So I am talking about it. I’m letting you into what has been a very dark period in my life in hopes that those friends and family I mentioned don’t feel alone or hopeless or like they can’t be real with people or God.
The first curve came over a year and half ago when my grandfather passed away suddenly. I wrote about it all here if you are interested. The post in general is about how when you live away from tragedy, you process it differently. It wasn’t until we moved home last summer that I was able to come to terms with him not answering the door at his house, never giving me another almost too strong hug, taking the kids to see his chickens, and telling me he loves me. Almost a year had passed before this happened. I had pushed it to the back of my mind, not really dealing with it.
The next twist in my life came with the decision to move back to Italy. It was a long and difficult decision. Understand that the decision to follow Jesus wherever he would lead was not the difficult part. It was the leaving that would be difficult. You can read a little about that process here.
While in Winston-Salem I never processed the leaving. I chose to ignore, going so far as to tell my friends that I didn’t want to talk about it all summer. I wanted to have a normal summer without there being an overshadowing sadness of last moments. I did a pretty good job at ignoring it all, too, which led to a pretty steep drop in the spiral. Before I knew it the summer was gone and I was standing in an empty house with a U-Haul out front having just said goodbye to friends who had become my family during the course of four years.
I pushed all those emotions that began to surface back down. They wouldn’t get the best of me. I would not let them “win”. The spiral continued.