Nehemiah 2:2 – So the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid.
It had been a good day.
It started out with a trip to the grocery store to pick up some things for a dinner I was preparing for family who were coming over that evening. Once home, I took a once over again of the house to make sure it was tidy. Then it was off to the kitchen to start the meal.
The meal turned out just right. I was happy with it and so was my family. At dinner, we all conversed freely and spoke of funny things my grandchildren had done that week as well as a possible job promotion for one of my adult children.
After dinner, everyone helped me clean up and two of them decided it was their turn to do the dishes since I had cooked the meal. This didn’t happen very often, so I gladly took the opportunity to play with my grandchildren while things were being cleaned up and put away.
Little eyes soon started to close, so their parents bid me goodbye with hugs and “I love you.”
It had been a good day and I even had a good night’s sleep.
But upon arising the next morning, I found myself not wanting to get out of bed. I shook out the cobwebs and pulled back my covers anyway.
It took me much longer to get ready to face my day than usual, but I just chalked it up to being tired from the excitement of the day before. In fact, though I got out of bed I failed to change out of my pajamas and while eating my breakfast a feeling like an ache in the pit of my stomach started.
I tried to analyze what could be causing this downward feeling. As the day progressed my depression grew. I didn’t even want to call it depression because there was no reason for it. But there it was. And there it grew until my body was filled to the top with sad thoughts.
How did I depression sneak up on me after a good day? Could it be that I was already depressed and didn’t know it because I was so busy preparing for my family dinner? Perhaps depression hit me harder the next day, because there were no busy preparations that needed to be done. It was just an ordinary day.
Webmd.com can shed some light on why depression can sneak up on you even after a good day. In their article, “10 Signs of Depression That Can Sneak up on You,” provides us with some signs that can stop a depression spiral such as regular, everyday care and maintenance starts to drop out. On the day after the family visits you may not feel like brushing your teeth or changing out of your pajamas. Another sign is you feel guilty. You may feel like you’re a failure because you can’t get your act together and get ready for work. You may not feel like you don’t want to go to work. This sign can also happen, it’s really hard to focus. You may head to the bathroom to get your laundry to wash but don’t get past wanting to return to bed.
This part of the list of signs of depression that can sneak up on you, I experienced. By reading the rest of the list, you may find a picture of yourself. Try not to feel guilty about what you’re experiencing. It’s not your fault. You’re doing the best that you can with what you have.
You may wonder if you should even plan events like a family dinner. You may doubt that you can get through. Plan the dinner. Don’t second guess yourself. You may feel your depression stronger the day after you had such a good time but knowing what’s going on can go a long way in stemming the tide of depression’s storm.
If you look at the Bible verse above, you can see that even people in that time had depression. In this case, Nehemiah was showing signs of depression. Thankfully though Nehemiah was sad, the king took pity on him. God will help place people around you, even those who may be above you like your boss, to help ground you to stop melting into guilt. Push aside the guilt and find the courage to stand before others regardless of what they think of you. God loves you and wants to comfort you. Let him do so. It can make a difference in stopping depression’s spiral even after a good day.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.