I feel normal today. I shouldn’t, but I do. (#517 times 100!)

It is two days until the third anniversary of our daughter’s death, and one day until an important heart check-up for my son. I should be a sobbing mess, barely able to get out of bed, let alone focus on a screen and string words together.

Previous years, I have been exactly that. And a month ago, I was. The tears, inability to focus, feeling adrift, and dark thoughts were overwhelming.

But this week is different (#518). For the first time in recent memory, I feel like me… the me who has been a dusty memory for so long. I am calm, stable, and coherent (#519-521). It feels like I’ve finally deboarded the roller coaster and am walking through life again, instead of clutching whatever I could and trying not to scream because of how out-of-control it all felt.

fall leaves

I’m able to savor the memories of our last few days, and of all of Elli’s life, with us (#522). Like taking her to school late on the last Thursday because we had an appointment (#523) and picking her up early from school the last Friday she attended (#524). I didn’t normally have those extra moments with her, but we did the last week of her life (#525).

What has changed? How is this possible?

I think several things are contributing.

Many friends and family have been praying for us, and God is answering those prayers.

I’ve found a few people with whom I can share, not least of which is my husband. Our relationship has deepened and strengthened significantly over the past year, and that is a huge difference this year over the past couple. A couple in our church have listened and handed me tissues and encouraged me to take the actions necessary to help me get healthy. And a new friend here in town has called me out of the blue to pray, taken me out to breakfast, and linked arms as a fellow battler-of-depression in a way I haven’t had before.

All of those things have helped me take the big step of going back to my doctor and starting a new anti-depressant. I’ve only been taking it for a few weeks, and I’m taking vitamins and omegas and exercising regularly, but like I said at the beginning, I feel like me again.  (#526-539)

Elli would be happy. She would want me to enjoy our memories of her time in our family instead of drowning in them. She would want me to walk into the hospital tomorrow confident that whatever the doctors say is something that we can handle with God’s help. My daughter would want me to be able to enjoy fall again, and reclaim the season as one of beauty and celebration, of anniversaries and harvest, of the cycle of life and death and rebirth, instead of grief and depression. (#540-544)

I am thankful to enjoy the fall again. (#545)

What about you? What are you thankful for today? If you are battling depression, how can I pray for you?

Joy and book "Not Alone"

(And may I recommend this newly-released book of essays on living with depression? I’m reading it now and finding such encouragement in its stories.)

P.S. Don’t forget to share your latest life: unmasked post at the link-up here every Wednesday.

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