Depression Has The Worst Timing

Joy to the world.

It’s a time for happiness.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, after all.

But what if you’re trying to feel happy and all you can feel is sad?

What if instead of joy, all you can feel is sorrow?

You want to feel anything but exhausted, achy, weepy, cranky and stuck.

More than anything else, what you feel is numb.

Depression has the worst timing.

“Cheer up!”

“It’ll be fine.”

“Watch a happy movie and you’ll feel better.”

“Listen to some good music.”

“Merry Christmas!”

“It’s the happiest time of the year so you can’t be sad right now!”

They want you to feel better but you can’t just turn it on and off.

They want you to get into the Christmas spirit but you just can’t when your own spirit feels broken.

So you put on a brave face and you do that thing you have to do.

You show up to that event you have to attend.

You smile for the photo.

You make the meal.

You do it, all the while feeling unattached and empty knowing that this showing up and this effort will take every ounce of your energy all over again.

So you exhale your frustration giving into the fact that the going through the motions is all you have to offer this year.

This revelation makes you feel worse.

You want to fix it but you can’t.

You want to turn it off but you can’t.

You want to feel joy and be joyful and give off a light into this dark world but your wick has run out.

You imagine a world where emotions are like clothes and feeling happy is as simple as changing your shirt.

In reality though, depression is paralyzing.

It’s the shirt you can’t take off until it one day decides to take itself off.

It’s the door you see in front of you and want to walk through but you physically cant.

Depression is the closed blinds.

The unanswered door.

The call that goes to voicemail.

The list items that don’t get crossed off.

The mess.

The decorations still in their boxes.

The frozen food.

The online shopping this year for gifts.

The overwhelm.

The disorganization.

The saying you’re fine and forcing the smile because if you’re honest about how you feel, you’ll fall apart 4 days before Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year and nobody wants that.

Depression has the worst timing.

And it brings shame.

You love Jesus.

You want to be happy.

You want to celebrate.

It’s what you’re supposed to do this time of year, after all.

But for some it’s impossible.

As much as you wish you could, you can’t just joy yourself into joy.

You shouldn’t feel this way right now.

You need to make their Christmas special.

This is the time for making memories.

You don’t want to disappoint them.

You hope they’ll remember the lights you strung more than your somberness this Christmas.

You hope those lights fill your home with the light that you yourself can’t bring.

And perhaps, with the Grace of God, the little bit of effort you were able to muster up will have been enough to make them feel the joy that you wish you could feel.

Depression has the worst timing.

But maybe it’s okay, this place where I’m at, remembering that Christ loves me at my worst.

When I can’t love myself.

When I don’t feel like myself.

When I can’t feel anything but sorrow.

When I’m numb.

When I want to cry instead of sing.

When I want to hide instead of show up.

When worshipping is hard.

When my prayers are short.

When I am overcome and paralyzed by emptiness.

He still loves me.

And it’s the people like me that he came for.

And I desperately need him.

Because, depression has the worst timing.

And the last thing I need right now is to hear another happy Christmas song on the radio about snowflakes and joyfullness because it all feels like a lie this year.

But I know I’m not alone.

And if you too feel empty this Christmas, instead of joy, maybe it’s okay. After all, he loves us wherever we’re at. Even broken. Perhaps, especially when we’re broken.

So Jesus, hold me tight this Christmas because I’m having a hard time holding onto you.

Hold onto all of us who are struggling when the fight feels too hard to fight.

When the songs aren’t making us feel what we’re supposed to feel.

When the plans feel more like dreaded tasks.

When the battle feels too heavy.

When the depression has the worst timing and it doesn’t care that it’s Christmas.

Hold onto me.

Remind me of who I am and to whom I belong.

Remind me that you love me when I feel unlovable.

Write your words and your promises on my heart until the lies that I believe about myself become unfamiliar and instead of feeling lost, I feel found.

Remind me that I’m not too broken or too numb for your love to shine through the cracks that I bare and lead me by your light out of this darkness when I can’t find my way.

That’s all I want for Christmas this year because depression has the worst timing.

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