Saturday, January 22, 2011

Depression On The Playground

I can feel it happening. 

To provide an amusing visual...picture me as the little kid climbing up the slide.  I used to do that often, because everybody could do the ladder/slide down...but not everybody could climb UP it!  I digressed again.  Back to the visual.  Now picture a whole bunch of rambunctious little kids lined up at different portions of the slide.  Shouting, pushing, laughing.  They don't play well with others.  They make a game of climbing over the rails and sliding down, sometimes two or three at a time, as I carefully set about my climb to the top.  Each one bumps into me, but I maneuver around them with my cat-like reflexes.  But afterwhile, I become fatigued by the constant bombardment of annoying kids.  I begin to focus more on them than the top of the slide.  And I allow them to cause me to slip...but I catch myself!  I cling to the sides with my hands and feet, but they just keep coming.  Now, even the lightweight kids are hard for me to dodge.  I begin to focus more on the slide and the obnoxious kids piled up underneath of me and those stacked in front of me, pushing and shoving against me.  I forget to look up, because there's a hot mess going on all around me.  That's when I slip, can't regroup, and slide backwards on my belly into the mud.

The slide = life
The obnoxious kids = my stressors
The top of the slide = God

Right now, I'm near the bottom of the slide.  I haven't fallen into the mud yet, but as I said in the beginning...I feel it happening.

When I do try to reach out and let others know how I'm feeling, they do their best to encourage me.  The typical statements I receive in response are:

1. "it could be worse"
2. "so and so is going through this and that"
3. "what would you complain about if you actually..." had that go right
4. "your problems are mostly 'abc', at least it's not...(careful pause, because they almost said 'health')...something worse"

They think it's "mostly abc", because that's all I chose to share.  I didn't tell them about d-z.  Know what's funny?  I'm sometimes the person they cite to others who are feeling down on their luck.  "Hey, look at Tina.  She's got MS!"  True story, I've witnessed it.  My reaction when that happens?  Smile and nod.  Internal questioning of, "did they really just say that in front of me?" begins.  Exit stage left.

See, I want to be the woman who "does all things without complaining", and who is "thankful in all circumstances".  I want to "count it all joy" when I face trials.  Sometimes I fall short of those qualities and when I do, I feel like I've somehow not fully appreciated the way God has worked in my life.  The guilt begins, because I am thankful for my blessings...I'm just feeling the pain of the obnoxious kids sliding into me, the heavy rain on my slide, my pressure cooker stress level, and the surprise party ms is throwing.  Before I know it, and if I'm not careful...I find myself sitting alone in the mud, drawing frownie faces with a stick.

While that "tendency to isolate" can seem like a good idea, it's a dangerous place for me to be.  I justify it in my mind, telling myself that there's safety in the Hide Out.  I've been down that road before and it's had its own slippery slopes called "bad choices".  That's why I decided to put pride aside and write this post.  Can't get that much more "out there" than this!  So there it is.  Blogger confessions.

Now I'm off to my favorite place...the grocery store!  Reminds me of that merry-go-round thing on the playground, where you hang on real tight and the biggest kid grabs onto the bars, runs as fast as he can, and jumps on?  That's where I'll be if anyone's looking for me:-)

The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.  - Psalm 37:23-24

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