I’m thrilled to introduce you to Beth! Today she shares her story and thoughts about depression. Thank You Beth!
” Crazy Chicken Lady. Depression Warrior. Chronic Introvert. Beth Biggers is the lone island of estrogen in her family of four. She married her best friend at the tender age of nineteen. She is the chief entertainment, homeschool teacher, and hiney wiper for two crazy beautiful boys who call her “mom.” Well, one of them calls her mom. The other one calls her “Nar Nar.” No big deal. She abuses ellipses. She tells the truth, sometimes to a fault. She steals library books on accident. When she’s not busy chasing kids, saving lives, or Netflix binging, she uses her Big Girl words to express herself and talk urban homesteading, family, homeschooling, and Jesus-loving on her blog at www.bethbiggers.com ”
Fear Of Blooming
Spring announces itself in the green shoots of new grass and tiny leaves over the crackling browns of winter’s hibernation. Blooms burst forth in purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows. Fruit trees frost over with delicate pink and white flowers. The air gets warmer. The sun assumes a jaunty angle in the sky and the crackle of thunderstorms whisper victory over the death of winter. A seasoned gardener will have mixed emotions at this time of year. Months spent waiting in the grey cold darkness, starving for a hint of green are satisfied with those first new leaves. But the gardener knows the leaves are also fragile and tender. The newness of the blossoms and blooms feed the gardener’s soul, but they know a fear deep down – a sadness which comes from the knowledge of past experience and which robs them of the enjoyment of what they have waited so long for. A freeze is coming. There is always one final frost here in the Texas panhandle, right as Spring really gets it’s training wheels off, which inevitably kills all the delightful blooms on my apricot tree and slays any hope of reaping summer fruit from its branches. These flowers, just like the big and beautiful moments of our lives, are monocarpic: they flower once and then they die. That’s why we are told “Carpe Diem!” Seize the day!
Depression is a Thief. It steals joy, memories, hope, and in the most desperate cases, life. It has stolen the first year of my son’s life away from me. I can’t remember what his first food was or when he took his first step. I can’t remember his new baby smell or his first smile. All I can remember is fighting desperately to protect my family from the monster that came to live inside my head a few weeks after his birth. Fits of frightening uncontrollable rage have been subdued only by a slightly less frightening little white pill. The pill doesn’t make my days good, it just makes some of them less bad. After a while, even the good days became bad days because I knew they were going to end and I was going to be swept under that tide of darkness again. I began to feel like these good days were just a sick cosmic joke: like dangling a carrot in front of me only to snatch it back right as I’m about to partake. I became afraid of hope because I knew it would inevitably end in disappointment.
If these beautiful moments are spring flowers, then depression is the final freeze that causes them to wither and die.
Is there any hope for these delicate precious spring blooms? Is there any hope for Hope? Surely we have not spent months of winter waiting in vain for the Resurrection to flesh itself out in our front yards? To see the beauty of Life awakening again only to have it choked out by a freezing sudden death. What kind of promise would that be?
A good gardener knows to resist the temptation to clean out flower beds during those first few days of warmth. The rotting remnants of fall’s leaves will have blown in and covered bulbs and overwintering perennials. These leaves provide necessary nutrients to the soil as they decompose and, most importantly, protect those spring plants from the final frost which would otherwise destroy them. No matter how badly the gardener longs for those first green shoots, it is imperative that they leave the leaves until the threat of frost has passed.
Death lies thick upon me as well, but the spiritual reality is that it is not my death or even the death of my ability to enjoy life. In my hours of darkness and desperation, in my anger at what I have lost, Jesus lays down thick over me the layer of His own death. It covers and protects me. He is the great Comfort in my sorrow. He nourishes and preserves for me the beautiful moments of my life that have been stolen and I believe that in eternity I will find that not a single one will be lost. I cannot climb inside of my brain with a screwdriver and fix it. I cannot enjoy the moments of my life which bloom today and are gone tomorrow. But I can do the bravest thing: I can let Hope grow, deep down where no frost can touch it, under the only Death which can claim victory over me.
Following are some more posts from Beth.