Dear Diary, Depression and Burn Out

31 Days of Dear Diary
Read the series here.

-Transcript-

June 16, 2011

Today we went to Ketchikan and got lots of free jewelry (stones, charms, pendants). We also went on a duck tour, my first, and ate salmon fish & chips. We bought capuccino and strawberry smoothie for the free wi-fi access, but it wouldn’t connect to the internet (although it connected to their network). I was pissed. Their cap wasn’t even good. I had Brian add 3 sugar packets and it tasted better.

For dinner, we had sinigang and lumpia (a big lumpia). But I stuck with the Italian menu, only tasting the special request Filipino food. Crazy mother. Haha. She and Brian ate a lot.

Sandor, who is from Hungary, said that they use the same cut of pork in a Hungarian dish. Also, they have something similar to pata tim. Except he said Filipino dishes are sweeter, becuase Hungarian dishes have more salt and spices.

Because of the Italian night for dinner, the waiters and assistant waiters were dressed like gondola drivers! The waiters were in red & white stripes & a red bandana around their necks. The assistants waiters in green & white stripes with a green bandana around their necks. Brian said they looked like Where’s Waldo. Hahaha.

You know what I have to stop myself from thinking? About going back. We’ll be at sea tomorrow, then Victoria, Canada, and then back at sea on the way home. I don’t want to go back because I’ll start worrying about money again. I never used to. I just want to stop feeling a useless part of society. I don’t know what to do with my life, and it’s scary to think that this is it. Where’s the faith, huh? And now I feel like I have to apologize to God for my lack of faith. I feel guilty for not believing enough, but I also feel incompetent for not doing enough. Sometimes I feel like the hole is right there beside me. Like it’s one step away and I have to consciously avoid it. I don’t want to live with depression. Pastor B’s wife has depression, and I pray pray pray to God that she is healed. I told my mom that I think most of the church leaders just think that depression is this little thing you can pray away. I believe in a God that performs miracles, but I also believe He placed doctors and phyciatrists here on earth for a purpose…for illnesses like Major Depressive Disorder. I know how dark that world is. I hope she passes it and never return.

-End Transcript-

The thing with depression and burn out is that there are good days. There are extremely wonderful days. Like a few¬†days in June 2011 when I went on a cruise to Alaska with my mom and brother. Good, happy, great days. But then you go back and it’s like stepping back into the hole. That’s the thing with depression and burn out. No amount of vacation can fix it away because it’s not simple sadness or stress.

And there’s a stigma in the Christian world about people who burn out or have depression. Like they’re not Christian enough. If only they pray more. If only they have stronger faith. If only they do this or that or something else.

I totally believe in the power of God. I know He can turn lives around overnight. He changes some people instantly. They are instantly healed. They instantly stop bad habits. They are instant testimonies.

But some of us have a longer story. Like Job. Some of us have to endure. We break. We stay down. We go through the hard bits first, then we get our redemption stories. Then we get justified by the Justifier. Then we get the prize after a grueling race.

Either way, don’t give up.

In a 2008 journal entry, I wrote that depression was a thing of my past. But three years later in this entry, I wrote that I can feel it right there beside me. Like one wrong move and I’m back in the darkness. My story is a process. I don’t have depression anymore (and I’m not burnt out anymore). I don’t know which words can explain how I know. I’m just different…better, stable, stronger.

Sometimes, when a bunch of bad days are strung together, I can feel the threat to sink into myself come back. It’s getting easier to step away. To say, “Nope. Not again. Not ever.” Yet sometimes, I also worry. What if something spectacularly bad happens? And I found out that a woman who went through depression is at risk for postpartum depression, and that worries me (single now as I am).

It’s a process. It’s stepping into progress. It’s seeking help when needed. And it’s also depending on God. He makes me whole, whether instantly or grace by grace.

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