I don't feel like blogging but I have to do something to keep from getting sucked into the hole that is depression. I've been fighting it for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. It seems like every time something goes wrong I get closer and closer to the line that separates my healthy life from depressed living. Which, I suppose isn't living at all.
I know I've been talking a lot about crafts and such lately, but really this blog started in order to help me look back and see how I've grown. Supposing that someday I grow! I'm kidding. Hopefully we all grow in some way or another.
I think I've mentioned that I used to give up and not even fight the first feelings of depression because I didn't think there was anything I could do about it. I basically kissed the next few months of my life goodbye and dissapeared from anything remotely social.
I now know there are a lot of things I can do. One of them is not to withdraw, as I automatically did in the past. And yet here I sit at home alone. My hubby is at our friend's house helping with his annual cookout. He'll cook all day so our friend can socialize and then he'll set off a huge display of fireworks and bask in the glory.
I'm not a crowd kind of girl. I love to just sit and talk with folks, but I'm not into the group party game mentality. I drove out into the country an hour away and then came back because it's just not my thing. My hubby understands, and he also probably can tell that I'm withdrawing.
Tomorrow is a big day though and I'll be at church. That means something different to me than it did in the past. And maybe it means something different to me than it does to others. Or to you. To me, being at church is hanging out with people that care about me, that understand me, that support me, that I support. Yes, it's singing and examining my heart and listening to what God is placing there, and I think a lot of people get that and a lot of people don't...but it's even more than that.
My church is rather large and has three services. I like to get there early and hang out with another woman who gets there even earlier! Then I'm on the greeting team, so I've got work to do. There are a number of entrances, so we cover a lot of doors! I go to one service, but during the other services invariably there are people hanging out that I've developed friendships with over time. I'm just now finding that I can say that though. I have been attending this church almost three years and attended a few seminars and have participated in a couple different ministries before I've gotten to the point that I can say I've been able to develop these friendships.
That's what I crave: the connection of friends. I think I used to walk into a situation and expect that there SHOULD be a connection with someone, anyone, and when there wasn't, I felt I was somehow to blame. I just am realizing right now that I used to expect that! And I was to blame. (For having that unrealistic expectation!)
I had a conversation just last week with a somewhat new friend who is really being challenged to study poverty. It is that kind of thing that makes me think, gives me a moment to consider...we challenge each other and it's good. When friends don't challenge each other, they are giving each other the excuse to keep from maturing. Have you ever noticed that as you mature, some of your friends don't mature at the same rate? (or even at all?) What happens to those friendships? Do they stay the same? Is there tension? Is there anger or misunderstanding? Is it "all good?"
Often there will at least be misunderstanding because they don't get why you've changed and you don't get how they can be so immature!
So I guess that's what I get from church. It's people that get me. It's people that challenge me. It's normal everyday sinners just like me just trying to figure it all out for themselves. And it's worship. It's examination. It's that inner challenge in the corners of your heart that knows that what that guy up on the altar is talking about strikes altogether too close to home. It's forgiveness and comfort and it's a safe place for me to be week after week. Even when I'm feeling like I'm feeling tonight.
When I started this post, I wanted to turn on the tv and watch it until I fell asleep and sleep all the way through services tomorrow because I want to withdraw, to hide in my state of depression and let the world get on without me. But then I'd miss the encouragement and cameraderie and compassion I experience every week at church. And that, if anything in my life right now, is one thing I cannot afford to miss.