Her face smiles. Her laughter is infectious. Her surface life is great. She’s been graced with gifts and talents. She is educated and seemingly accomplished. This is a performance of epic proportions because when the curtain falls and the lights go out, all she becomes is broken.
She sits in a room. The room is dark, yet the sun shines outside. Her head is swimming with thoughts of defeat. She carries so much pain – physical and mental. She is trapped in her own misery or perceived misery. She doesn’t cope well with disappointment, hurt, anger, and anguish; never did. Every “just one more thing” is internalized and slowly deteriorates and diminishes her light. She is depression and she is real, but who hears the tears?
Tears rush down her face even when she smiles. Tears flow into a pool under her chin, but no one sees it. Everyone says she’s ok. She’s a burden to those who love her because they simply don’t know how to help her. She’s swinging at life and trials are winning. She cries out to God and begs Him for help and for peace and for the moment, she believes it will all work out for her good cause that’s what the word promises, right? It says ALL things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. She loves God, but nothing is working together – in the mind of the depressed and anxious. The same bible says “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The mind…ahhhh, the mind is a peculiar thing. It can create full blown scenarios that are tall tales, myths and simply not as catastrophic as it seems. A renewed mind chooses to see things differently, but flipping that switch isn’t easy. Those on the outside looking in can sometimes make her feel like you’re just needy or seeking attention or “doing the most,” and it’s not that serious. No, she’s BROKEN and you have no clue why. Sometimes SHE doesn’t even know why!
Questioning her belief in God or her faith in God isn’t the way to approach this. Yes, prayer can change things, but depression, anxiety and the myriad of health issues that accompany them are not spiritual matters; they are diagnoses. She can love God and have a headache. She can love God and suffer within herself. She can love God and be sick. She can love God and be DEPRESSED. She wants help and wants to do what it takes to get better; have a better quality of life – that abundant life, but when it gets hard, she wants to quit and sometimes she does quit; not because she doesn’t want to do any better, but sometimes she resolves herself to the thinking that it can’t be any better. It is what it is kind of attitude. The road is not straight. It’s winding and filled with potholes, dips, bumps and sharp curves that you drive for long periods of time.
Don’t give up on those you love who may be suffering within themselves. Don’t throw up your hands and walk away. They may need you! Yes, changing their mind is on them. Fighting for themselves is on them. Wanting to get better and recognizing they need to is on them, but still don’t walk away with an “I can’t do anything else” attitude. You may be tired, but they are EXHAUSTED. It is not their intention to drain every ounce of strength from you, nor is it fair for them to do so, but know they aren’t themselves. Who hears the tears? Somewhere, the one you love is trying to dig their way to the light, but who hears the tears? Smiling – who hears the tears? Laughing – who hears the tears? Ready to release the tears…who will hear the triumph when the smiles and laughter are finally real and here to stay?