28 March 2016

Depression and Salvation

Having wireless Internet for the first time in my new house is awesome. Today I am blogging from my basement, lounging on the couch while the girls enjoy the bubble blower they got for Easter.

A few days ago, I was reading some of my old blog posts and I was struck by one major thing: I was really freakin' depressed after Eleanor was born. I could see bits of cheerful, baby-loving me peaking through the thick, gray clouds...but wow...and I thought I was doing a decent job coping.

I was doing the best I could with what I had at the time. But reading them now, it's obvious to me how desperately hard I was struggling. It's no wonder I think three kids is easier than two! When Matt went back to work after Eleanor was born, I cried. After Theodore, I practically kicked him out. "Hey, I'm feeling fine. If you want to go in next week, I'm going with that."

Reflection is an important part of growth. How I feel now, how I felt after Eleanor. Was it so obvious to you as readers?

After I started on antidepressents, lots of emotions changed for me, but the most surprising one was how much more at peace I felt with God. I just felt so much more joy over my blessings and it was easier (though still not easy) to accept the things I didn't like.

I can see how such a statement could be interpreted in a dozen different ways, namely that God is a figment of our imagination and easily manipulated by medication/brain chemistry. While I disagree and think my disordered brain chemistry was causing me to struggle with everything, including my relationship with my creator, I do really wonder how much untreated mentally ill people are responsible for their actions. It's a hot topic right now in America and obviously one that is not easily answered. We already know that we can never earn or deserve God's mercy, combine that with all the sin and struggle and mental illness around us, and I wonder how free will can play any kind of role. Aren't we all fated to struggle and fail? Why do anyone's actions mean anything? If I continued to refuse treatment and struggle with my anger toward God and the Church, how would that affect my salvation? If I can just pop a pill each night and dissolve the sin, is it really fair to penalize me for the sin? Are those who don't have access to treatment given more mercy? The same amount of mercy?

I don't have a pretty red bow for this post. No easy solution or blinding insight. I wonder about these questions, but I don't wonder about the validity of my faith. Blind faith is one of things that I'm good at. There are things I don't get or agree with, but I can still follow the voice of my Shepherd. But to draw this post back out, so as not to end in such a deep black hole, I am very thankful that my heart finally softened toward antidepressents. I am super happy that I can dependable love my life everyday, without the awfulness of depression flooding in and ruining the happiest of days.

* * * * *

I have written up a post filled with super-short survey questions that will go live Wednesday morning. I am wondering what topics you guys are most interested in reading about. My fingers are itching to do some typing and these questions will help give me some direction. Everything is anonymous, so please give me some feedback! 

No comments: