Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Depression Day 5

Earlier days have been posted. I suspect this will end up novella length. At least if it goes as I have planned.

And she woke up, but it was not quite 7am, so she lay in bed waiting to take her pill. She had two things to do today. Take her pill and go to her first appointment with a therapist. She knew she could do the first and hoped that she could do the second. But today the pill didn't seem to be helping at all. Laying in bed waiting for the clock to turn to 7:00 was all she could do.

And she took the pill.

And she went to eat breakfast.

And she went to take a shower.

And she went to the closet and stared trying to figure out what to wear. She'd never been to a therapist and thought she should look nice, but was it church dress-up or work dress-up or casual lunch or dinner with friends or what. She had been just putting on clothes in the order they came up. The just washed went in the back of the closet so that there'd be some rotation.

At least the appointment had been made from her doctor's office. She didn't have to think about which therapist and what time and where to go. Those decisions were out of her hands. She didn't have to obsess over calling someone she didn't know or even someone she knew. All she had to figure out was which clothes to wear and as she thought about it it didn't seem to matter. Whatever she put on the therapist would see her. And would the other patients matter?

But what if someone saw her on the way to the therapist? What would her clothes say? Would it look like she was out for a day of shopping? Or would it be clear from what she wore that she was in trouble and going to see a therapist? And what would the people she knew say? She was supposed to be a Christian and why would she need to go to a therapist if she was really Christian? Wouldn't she be taken care of by God if only she had faith? She wasn't supposed to be one of those who grieved as those who had no hope? She wasn't supposed to be in despair? She'd lived a good life, trying to do the best she could. She'd been faithful in attending church. She'd been faithful in tithing. And how could she as her father's daughter; how could she as her husband's wife; how could she as her son's mother; how could she be going into therapy for depression? She'd always been the one others looked to for help or an example and how could she be in this situation? And why hadn't!
she seen it coming?

And she stared into the closet awhile longer before finally taking out the clothing that was at the front of the closet. A nice pantsuit, nothing to business like but enough to show that she was a competent woman. No ruffles, but enough of a V-neck to show some cleavage, but with the jacket it was clear that she was not available. Yes, it was a good outfit, she thought, it didn't say too much or too little about who she was. She could be mother, wife, and daughter in those clothes. She was intelligent, competent, and reliable with the outfit.

She knew she wasn't what her clothes said. Not anymore. And if not now had she ever been intelligent and competent and reliable? She had been a bright little daddy's girl – winning awards, but had they been because of her dad. She had been a credit to her husband – he was envied at her compose and he always made sure she knew it. She was thought of as one of the mothers to go to for advice and her son's friends were over at her house more than their own. But she didn't know if she really had been any of those things and she knew she wasn't them at present.

And so her outfit was chosen – more by default than thought – but chosen.

And she set the alarm for an hour before her appointment and lay down.

But she didn't sleep. No one in her family had ever needed therapy. They were supposed to be the sort of people who could handle problems. And she wondered if she was worthy of her father and her husband if the death of one could send her into this state where she was supposed to take medicine and go to therapy. Her family had been turning out good church workers for generations and how could she disappoint them by going to therapy and showing that her faith wasn't as strong as theirs. She should be like Timothy in following the example of his mother and grandmother and instead she was letting down the family and going away from the faith.

But she just didn't know if she had faith. She was hanging on to the idea that things were going to come to a grand and glorious conclusion with the coming of the savior, but she couldn't see how that belief meant anything when she was in the torments of hell. Why would any good Christian be in such torments of the mind? Yes if she had been asked to stand up for her faith and meet torture, then she could say she was a good Christian but how could she believe that she was a good Christian when she was in such a mess for no good reason.

And she grew up hearing stories about how an aunt had gone to Africa and survived for twenty years at a mission station before coming back home and raising a niece and nephew who had lost their parents. And she heard stories about her great-grandfather who had pledged money to help build a church and then left the church over some doctrinal point she couldn't understand even as an adult but kept on giving his pledge and more to that church until they could build. And she remembered stories about how her grandmother had taken in hired hands even with five boys since they could always feed the hand and his family even if they didn't have any money for sugar and all that they had was beef and potatoes.

And she wondered why she was in this – depression since she now had the word – couldn't she have had some great and terrible deed with which to prove her faith instead of this agony that showed her lack of faith? Weren't Christians supposed to be joyful? And weren't they supposed to be able to get over the blues? And weren't they supposed to be glad that their loved ones were with God? And why did she go into this state after her husband's death?

If she'd had enough faith wouldn't she have overcome this – depression – without medicine and without therapy?

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