“Winter Song” and Depression

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the road to Crump Acres

Depression feels like you are drowning when you’re nowhere near water. Like you went to sleep in your bed, but somehow you woke up at the bottom of the ocean. And the pressure of all the water is so strong, that you contemplate just going back to sleep down there. But something inside of you, Lord-willing, tells you that you can get to the top of the water if you make just one strong push. This, of course, is a lie. It takes many more pushes and hard work to swim to the top of the ocean. Once you get that first push in, the rest is almost instinctual. But the first push is hard. It is hard to let life pile up and disappoint people. It is hard to come out of the water when you know that someone might be waiting there just to tell you how badly you swim. People throw around “this too shall pass” but it is more accurate to say “time keeps going”. Seasons keep changing and you keep drowning, but there is always life happening in the air above the depression. And you want someone to tell you that you can survive this, that they believe in your abilities and that just because you are sick today, doesn’t mean that you can’t be well tomorrow. But they just watch you fail and critique your form. Sometimes – if you’re lucky – someone good throws you a line. They help you dry off. They hold you until you stop shivering. They love you anyway. The people who love the differently-abled and mentally unstable and love them well are the true heroes. Because agreeing to be a lifeguard is noble, but agreeing to be the lifeguard for someone who drowns often is heroic. And then, on the days when you can’t even muster up the first push towards the sky and the lifeguard isn’t on duty, it’s as if an inflatable heart inside of your chest fills with air and brings you to shore on its own. And the comfort of knowing that there is a God inside of you that can bring you to dry land helps you breathe again. So, if you’re drowning, push once, as hard as you can. If you’re watching someone drown, be kind and patient. We’re scared. If you’re the lifeguard saving someone who keeps drowning, stay strong. You are so loved and so necessary. If you can’t do anything else, pray to the God in your chest to fill your lungs with air and help you keep breathing until tomorrow. Then do it all over again if you have to…every day is worth it.

This post was inspired by “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. I heard this song for the millionth time on my way to work this morning, but this time it helped me put words to my experiences with depression. Read the lyrics below or watch the music video here.

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon,
It rolls in from the sea
My voice; a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light,
To carry you to me.
Is love alive?
They say that things just cannot grow
Beneath the winter snow,
Or so I have been told.
They say we’re buried far,
Just like a distant star
I simply cannot hold.
Is love alive?
This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong
‘Cause you’re not where you belong
Inside my arms.
I still believe in summer days.
The seasons always change
And life will find a way.
I’ll be your harvester of light
And send it out tonight
So we can start again.
Is love alive?
My love; a beacon in the night
My words will be your light
To carry you to me.

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