Dark Cloud on the Horizon

I received some unexpected news recently that got my world spinning. I’ve talked in the past on Midday Connection (and this blog) about my struggles with depression…well, this news brought back the invitation to the familiar and comfortable black pit. I could feel myself slipping right back into that known place and feeling right at home. I felt tired and depleted and I wanted to just ease into the dark clouds, numb out, and not fight it.

Sitting on the train, looking out the window, I felt the dark shadow wanting to take me over.  Honestly, I wanted to settle into a dark melancholy.  I did.  It felt like it would be a safe, warm, dark room that I could hide in for a bit.

I recently attended a seminar and the speaker said that self-awareness is 90% of the healing/recovery process.  That has stayed with me in a profound way.  In the past, when I felt the melancholy approach, I just sank into it and hung on for the ride – feeling that I didn’t have a choice about it at all.  But, once I became aware of this shadow in my life, I realized that I do have a choice.  I refuse to deny my feelings of sadness and disappointment and shock…but that doesn’t mean I need to settle into a dark place.

I sat in my gloom and realized that I know where that familiar dark spiral goes.  I needed to remember that I’ve gone down that path before and that old way of handling my sadness just doesn’t work for me anymore, though it may feel familiar.  God has shown me better and healthier coping mechanisms.  It took (and is still taking) much effort to keep reminding myself of where I’ve been and that I don’t want or need to go back to that pit.

I’m pretty surprised that awareness and mental reminders are helping me greatly!  Thanks be to God!

How about you?  Do some of the ways that you’ve dealt with stress, sadness, other issues still work?  Or, is God showing you a new way?