It feels strange to write my name on these pages. But a name – hearing it out loud – I think implies being known. Remembered. Seen.
So Angie. I am writing this letter in my dining room, having eaten my breakfast of avocados and eggs and sipping my Greek coffee. I feel the need to write this down – with tears in my eyes and my heart aching – for if you ever go through a season of darkness again. I hate to even write the words “depressive episode” because it’s stark. And so medical. But you know what I mean.
You’ve been through three so far, although you have only recently realized what they were. Life has been sprinkled with small other moments – but the biggest trigger, as far as I can see, has been change. Moving. Loss. Letting go.
Learn to recognize your triggers. And be gentle on yourself. I can’t say that enough. Don’t push yourself to be what you aren’t. There will be seasons for that, absolutely. But this is not one of them.
Sleep. Rest. Even if you don’t see life in flowers or colour – buy the flowers anyways. Sit in front of art anyways.
Don’t be afraid to seek help. Sit in her office and cry and pay the eighty dollars. Because you need to cling to hope. Even if it’s a small, weathered thread. Cling to it.
Talk about it. Don’t hide it cloaked in shame. Shame destroys enough in this life. Don’t let it destroy you.
Immerse yourself in truth. Read truth – God’s Word – even if it doesn’t make sense. It will. Be prepared to fight. Fight those damn lies in your mind with everything you’ve got. Even if it makes you exhausted, and weep, and angry. Do it like your life depends on it. Because it does.
I can’t give you a timeline and I can’t give you answers. That’s the part that is the hardest, I know. I hate that.
But what I will give you is a promise. I promise you that when you come out of it (and you will) life will be all the more beautiful. You will overflow with joy and gratitude. You will dance alone in your car again. You will smile driving by a man playing with his dog. You will feel the blades of grass under your feet and smell fresh air and not be numb to it. You will wake up each morning excited for what is to come. Not so fearful you crawl back under the covers. You’ll see it in your face, even if others don’t, when you look at your eyes and your smile. There will be joy there again.
You will feel life again. You will feel Jesus again. You will be you again.
So, so, so much love,