Once the previously mentioned downpour hits, all of my personal accomplishments and anything that makes me feel good about myself seem to become insignificant. I become so downtrodden I believe I'm not (insert any number of positive adjectives here) enough to do anything. I don't believe I'm worthy of the friends I have, and it can be a completely paralyzing thing. During these times, I want to go home and curl up in my room and avoid the world.
"Gee Sarah, that sounds an awful lot like depression."
Yes, you're right. It's something I've struggled with for a very long time. I think there is a stigma on mental health in this country, and in the world, and admitting that I suffer from depression should not be considered a sign of weakness. My depression heightens my emotions, so I feel things very strongly. Whenever I go through anything difficult, it takes me a lot to get through. I believe that because of my depression, and because of the things I've gone through in my life, I've become an incredibly strong person.
At Kanakuk Kamp when I was 11, I was initiated into the Kickapoo tribe. For those unfamiliar, Kanakuk is Christian athletic camp in southern Missouri. There are four tribes for campers - Kickapoo and Kiowa for girls, and Choctaw and Cherokee for boys.
Since it was a Christian camp, Bible verses permeated a lot of what we did. I remember a chant - "Kicks can do (clap, clap) all things (clap, clap) through Christ (clap, clap) who strengthens us!"
I now know that this chant was based on Philippians 4:13, but that chant echoes in my head whenever I'm feeling incredibly low.
Those words of hope seem to tie into what we're learning at church right now, despite the subject matter being from a B.C. origin.
For the past few months, we've been studying the life of Solomon. While he was incredibly wise, and wrote some great stuff, he was kind of a messed up dude. He violated a lot of the specific laws laid out to him pretty much directly from God, he spent more time on his palace than he did on the temple, and he had a whole mess of wives and concubines.
There's some debate on the author of the book of Ecclesiastes, but general consensus puts Solomon on the byline. There are some dark lines in Ecclesiastes 2, and since people think Solomon wrote it at the end of his life, it's probably because he was doing quite a bit of self-reflection.
In his early days, Solomon asked for wisdom from God. There were many things he could have asked for, but wisdom was what he wanted. In this self-reflection that is the book of Ecclesiastes, he's realizing that there's really not much of a difference between a wise person and a fool.
"For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind." - Ecclesiastes 2:12-17
Despite this little bit of self-loathing, there is a nice realization in the very next chapter. And no, I am not quoting The Byrds here, though that is an excellent song.
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." - Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4-5
So maybe it's OK when I feel sad and down on myself - it's natural. There is a time for it. Even the wisest man in the Bible got a little depressed.
To the nitty gritty, not so emotional stuff - I started Contrave yesterday! There were even further issues with my insurance, so I just paid out of pocket for it - about $147. However, that's a price I'm willing to pay if it helps me feel like myself again.
I've been going to the gym - I went on Monday and Tuesday last week, and then Saturday, yesterday, and this morning. It's funny, when I really get into working out, I get sorta addicted. Part of me wants to go again tonight. Contrave has anti-addiction medication in it - I hope it doesn't lessen this one!
I also made my favorite protein shake recipe after the gym today. It's super good, and fills me up for the entire morning.
Cinnamon Peanut Butter Protein Shake
- Enough unsweetened vanilla almond milk to cover the blades of your blender
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp unsweetened vanilla instant pudding powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup crushed ice
Pour the almond milk in first, to cover the blades. Add the protein powder, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, pudding powder, and cinnamon, and pulse your blender a few times.
Add the ice and blend until ice is fully crushed and shake is frothy.