I am participating in an online study of Lisa Whittle's book, Behind Those Eyes. I read it earlier in the spring but I am excited to get to study it with a group of ladies online at Lelia's. If you click the book cover, it will take you to Lelia's site. You can see her reflections and links to the other ladies participating. My posts each Tuesday will be about the study. So, here is the first one:
It's been a hard couple of months, really hard. I take medication for depression. Earlier in the summer, I discovered that two of the meds would not be covered as they originally were. Instead of tier 1 they would be tier 3. Short end of a long story: I could no longer afford the medication. But my doctor and I agree that there is a biological basis for my depression and the medication was a need and not a want.
So, the beginning of July we started tapering off the meds to go on something different. Honestly, I think the euphoria I felt from my time at She Speaks carried me through the first couple of weeks. But then I bottomed out in a big way. The funny thing is, not many people would have guessed it.
One of the things that I've learned about mental health professionals is that they often gauge how well you are doing by how well you are functioning. They love the question, "Are you still going to work?"
Hello. It's me, Amy, we're talking about. Yes, I'm going to work. Yes, I'm paying the bills. Yes, I'm doing laundry. Yes, I am functioning. (Though the house is in awful shape. With all the outside functioning, I haven't had much energy to give to that.)
I'm on the upswing of new meds at the moment. But I certainly related to Lisa's chapter, "The Great Charade." I'm so good at it, no one outside hardly guesses the emotional turmoil. In reality, most women are pretty good at this charade of life. The problem is, as Lisa points out, it doesn't meet the longings of our souls.
What is the longing of our soul? Lisa writes:
We want someone to know us from the inside out, warts and all, and not think twice about our many flaws. We want unconditional love. We desire to find purpose. We seek attention, and we crave acceptance.
I am so there on that one. Oh, that someone knew me inside and out!
But wait, there is someone who does. Pslam 139:13-16 (NIV) says, "For you created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother's womb . . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, you eyes saw my unformed body . . . ." God knows me inside and out.
Granted, sometimes I wish that when I cry He could reach out and comfort me, hold my hand, brush back my hair, and whisper "I love you. It will be okay. I LOVE you."
Ironically, God puts people in our lives to be His hands and feet and mouth. When I insist on carrying out the great charade, I choose loneliness over fellowship. Sadly, I make that choice almost without a thought.
So, now I will pray that God would stop me when I pull on my superhero cape and pretend that everything is okay. I will pray that He will help me choose authenticity over pretending.
Will you pray that too?