Things are better today. As my husband and I have come to describe it to each other, I’ve stepped back from the edge of the cliff.
One thing that helped was going away for the weekend. I took my kids to visit my brother and sister-in-law who live in a nearby city. There are lots of reasons that trip helped: being was away from home, being with people who recognize my sadness and are willing to live alongside it, sharing the responsibility of caring for my kids, being with people who are not depressed. For a couple of days, the pressing weight was lifted enough that I could breathe.
I recently read Rev. Todd Peperkorn’s helpful little book I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression. He emphasized the necessity of time and space to think and rest when coping with depression. Acknowledging that seems to have been a big step for him.
This is a struggle for me. I feel like I’m cheating, or admitting defeat, if I need extended time away from home or from my kids. I know this is crazy. I know there is a limit to how much responsibility and stress a person can deal with before being overwhelmed, but I cannot figure out how to judge what that limit is for me. Or how, perhaps, the limit is different right now than it was two years ago. If I cannot do all that I used to do, am I less than I used to be?