Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Handicap or Disability?

I was thinking about some of the people I've bumped into over the years who struggle with depression, anxiety and/or suicidal tendencies.

As I've been going through the counselling process with C., I've also come to realise that while it might trigger the "growing up" bit I missed, and is definitely help me link things together and providing coping techniques to override my body's now-natural patterns of worry, freak out, withdraw, not deal with issues, invert anger and stress until overload, it probably never will cure my depression spells completely. My man tries to reduce all stress levels for me wherever he can and says he thinks it can be healed, but I don't know.
Whether it is a "mental illness", (which, while I am coming to accept the term, is one I dislike due to its connotations of limited capability and inferiority) or whether it's some switch tripped by the years on the rough path, as I subconsciously recognise the symptoms of another bout starting, I'm beginning to realise that now it's here, it's possibly here to stay. And my job is to glorify God in and through it, whatever way I can. Some way. A job easier said than done. Maybe I'll find out some day. :-)

When you take part in a three legged race, your leg is tied to another person's for the duration of the race. It requires more energy, teamwork and logic to reach the end that if you were running alone. It's a handicap, but it's not a disability.
Disability is easily enough defined by splitting the word in two - "dis-abled", not able or lacking ability.

Diagnosis with depression, official or unofficial, is the same as any other handicap. It can only disable you if you allow it. You can choose for it to be a disability or an extra-ability.
Which is really hard when you're going through it, crawling, or when you're at my place now, watching it coming, too drained to try and avert, using your remaining energy to cope with the situation that may have brought you to it or its aftereffects and to brace yourself for it. It's hard to get out what I'm thinking, and for people who struggle day and night without stopping, please be aware that I'm not directing this at you with any intent to cripple you further. It's just some things that have crossed my mind.
That being said, if this isn't helping, stop reading it right now. :-)

Every time I have a bout of depression, I think about the guy with no arms or legs, going around telling his story as an inspiration and encouragement to others as what God has done in his life, how he copes, how he lives.
Bit of a difference to an internal mental illness, where sometimes we don't even recognise we're sick, but it's still a disability and it can still be used. Even if it's just to raise awareness that one can look fine outside and be anything but inside.

I guess you know by now that's one of my mottoes - use everything in life to the glory of God, or to see a picture of God's character, or His relationship with us, in it. :-)

There have been people I have met who get up every morning struggling to face another day, wishing they didn't have to, feeling life is totally empty, bleak, dark and pointless, feeling numb, feeling hopeless.
Some of these have allowed the pain to twist them, turning them against themselves and others, accepting the darkness and despair because it's too difficult to fight it.
And some others have made it a tool, the depression - it attempts to gore them, they grab it by the horns and ride it. It doesn't make their world less topsy-turvy; they make hope where there is none.
Healing hurts. Fighting it hurts. Worse than giving in. Getting up and trying again is so, so scary - despair beleaguers you with failure before you've even risen to your knees.

Talking about knees, that's the best place to be to turn a handicap into a triumph. God's strength is there, able and constant, if you only turn to Him. However, He's not a tool to the end. He is the end. Battles of this intensity will crush you or make you rise - either result will help shape your character.

Using strength when you have none is painful. There's a point you go beyond trying and He carries you. But you can do this. I'm not promising eternal happy feels. Gosh, just look at my grumpy face and snappy tongue to see that. XP But I'm promising you that you don't have to spend your life, the only one you have, behind closed doors. You can use everything in it for good.

Living with pain can make you cruel or make you kind. It's your choice what you do with it.
Circumstances never have to make your life. You can shape it with the tools you've got.
Living with depression will mean the choice between breathing day to day or living it.
I'm choosing to try and live in it. I don't enjoy handicaps, but I won't be disabled.

Hope this made some sense, as I'm half-asleep while writing! :P

Love to you. <3

In Him,
Siân

P.S. I am by no means denouncing medicine, remedies or alleviators for depression. By all means, if you have an informed choice on what's available to you, go for it!!