I feel normal. That has not been normal for… years.

Last fall I finally acknowledged the stormy fog in which I trudged, halted, sometimes crumbled, constantly denied. It was depression, or for those of you who shy away from psychology, it was a dark night of the soul. My dark night. My soul.

“Dark” doesn’t quite capture the howling torment of that time. How desperate I was to cling to shreds of normal. How bitterly I grasped at the pieces of a life falling apart in spite of myself. How angry I was at losing total control.

Forgotten details. Lost files. Stinging words. Heaviness that dragged even the joyful moments down. Irreparable mistakes. Accusations I cannot pull back. Unpredictable outbursts of rage.

It was as if the storm could be contained no longer, and in the explosion, shards of my pain and anguish flew onto everyone around.

In the breaking, I found freedom to face it, to work through it, to heal. God hasn’t left me shattered. He is putting me back together in such a way that I cannot claim any credit. Five months before Ellie died, Angie Smith wrote a post about what God taught her through shattering and glueing back together a pitcher. And someone recently (I apologize to whoever wrote it — I can’t remember if it was at a conference, in a book, or on a blog) pointed out that light can only shine through a lantern if holes are pierced through it.

Today, the storm has quieted for the most part. I’m learning to let Him work on me without asking too many questions or back-seat driving. It is good to feel normal again. At peace. Content.

But… I am still taking an anti-depressant.

I hope to wean myself off some day, break free of this mind-cast so necessary when resetting breaks. But when? As the nights grow long, the trees naked, and the air chilled, fear wraps cold fingers around my heart. Last winter was so dark, so stormy. I don’t want to cling to a crutch longer than is healthy, but I know newly-healed bones need time to rebuild strength. Perhaps next spring when I have many months to gain strength before another winter. So I pray for wisdom, and freedom to choose the best.

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