Sunday, March 27, 2016

The days of keeping company with Things 1, 2 and 3

I wouldn't say that I've battled depression my whole life.  But I've battled it enough for a lifetime. 

Depression, for me, has been like the Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat... remember when the kids stay home alone when mom goes out and the Cat in the Hat shows up to play?  And from that point on, there was no turning back.... especially when he brought in Thing 1, Thing 2 and other Things to add to the mess. 

Depression has visited me on and off from an early-ish age, I think pretty much when my mom left in spirit but stayed in body in a place she didn't want to be.  Thing 1 showed up in high school as severe stomach issues and near debilitating abdominal pain.  Every test under the sun revealed that I was stressed.  Um... I could've diagnosed that without any medical training.   

Thing 2 showed up in college as dependence on the wrong person followed by a giant dose of disappointment and heartbreak.  Plus a big ol' side of stomach pain and a doctor that tried to fix me with drugs that I refused to take.  But I was really thin and tan and those things worked well to hide the lonely. 

Thing 3 came around after the death of my sister, both my grandmothers and that whole getting robbed at gunpoint thing.  That time was probably the worst and it required a short round of an anti-depressant medication that thankfully worked a miracle in my overly distracted mind.  And finally, all the Things  joined forces to give me panic attacks a few years back.  But all that's still A-OK and I only panic when I see scary things.  

I had another birthday last week.  And with the extra year came an extra slice of perspective on several things.  It's really like looking at life from an aerial view and seeing all the pieces from above and how they've all crossed, matched up  and woven together to form the me that writes this today.  And I can honestly say that I like the way it's turning out.   It's taken me all these years to be able to say that with any confidence.  Because there were more days than I would like to admit that I looked everywhere for anything and anyone to fill the empty places in me that I couldn't manage to fill on my own.

Thankfully, I was blessed with some of the most amazing people in my life that a girl could want, and those people were a God thing if there ever was one.  Because it could've been very different had His direction not been involved.   But there were others that took advantage of a lonely person and shame on them for that.  And for a girl that more than anything in the world wanted to belong and mean something to someone, and fit into the exact Kristi shaped hole that waited for me somewhere out there, there were times and people that were knives to my heart.   

Today being Easter Sunday, I am loving how much promise this day brings.  Y'all know Easter is a season right?  Not just a day?  We are to be Easter people well past this happy, celebratory morning when we all looked pretty at church.  We're entering the season of Eastertide.... 50 days of Eastering.  But not 50 days of fried chicken and chocolate bunnies or that could be a problem.  

Y'all this is our season to faithfully and gladly and ever so loudly, live out the hope of the resurrection in our lives.  For all the world to see and want to be Easter people, too.  And this morning in church as the amazing Dr. George Mason spoke about the emptiness of the tomb, I thought about all my empty days over the years.  The days of keeping company with Things 1, 2 and 3.  Days that, if I let them, could still tear my heart into a million scarred and ugly pieces.  But what I never really considered about the emptiness of loss and the constant searching and looking  - is the opportunity for finding.  

And THAT, my sweet friends is Easter.  Going to the tomb and discovering our own emptiness.  But looking past it to find the hope of new life.   

May the joy of Easter live in each of us so others may see the light and love of Christ in us. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Wow! I am humbled and inspired by your words as I seek to fill my own emptiness. With thanksgiving and blessings to your family! -- Lynne

    1. Lynne, I learned a lot last Sunday morning. We are very fortunate to have a great teacher like George to make us think.

  2. Kristi, you are not alone in this struggle with depression. And I know that's about as comforting as "Yeah, I've got the flu, too" when you're sick as a dog under the covers with chills and sweats and body aches. But still. You're not alone.

    And what a fabulous metaphor...That's exactly the way it feels: Depression sneaking in, uninvited, and wreaking havoc on your life.

    On a lighter note: Did you notice that you and Fireman Dave were caught on camera (not) singing the Hallelujah Chorus? ;-) I am teasing you, but please don't feel bad, not even for a second. I sing in the choir, and there's a whole section that I have to skip over because I get lost!

    Happy Eastertide!!

  3. I figured that whole not singing episode would turn out to be a thing. Yep... he turned that camera around facing us and I gave it some thought - camera on or not on? ... and then I decided I still didn't know the song so I chose not to care and stick with my gut instinct on that one not to try. Sad but true state of Easter affairs up there in the balcony. Did it also show all my children not singing? If not they should've used the wide lens to get the whole Walters crew being rebels. Our 15 seconds of fame....


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