The “D” Word

No. I’m not talking divorce. 

The other “D” word.

Depression.

I have been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was a little kid. Which means that I’ve been living with chronic pain since I was a little kid. If you think that means life has been all sunshine and daises you are so very wrong.

Chronic pain is crushing weight to carry around. With it comes fun things like anger, frustration, and that “D” word. Depression.

Now, let’s stop for a sec. I am, in no way, shape, or form, an expert on depression. If you’re depressed, talk to someone – a preacher, a friend, a teacher, a doctor, a family member. Call a suicide hotline. Get help. But if you want an honest talk about depression from someone who has been there, keep on reading.

Because I’ve been dealing with depression the majority of my life I’ve been all over the board. I’ve been the crying teen secretly seeing a therapist. I’ve been the young woman staring at a bottle of pills through her tears. I won’t lie to you. I’ve wanted out of this life more than a few times. Chronic pain will do that to you. Especially when depression joins in.

In my worst moments I’ve been racked with pain, beyond the reach of my meds, crying on the floor begging God to just let me die. In my less than bad days I’ve been trying to ignore thoughts about giving up and accepting that life is just crap. There have been a lot of times that a chance phone call or visit from someone saved me by reminding me why I was fighting for.

The trick, for me, is remembering why I’m sticking this life out. I’m here for my best friend who loves me more than anyone on this earth. I’m here to watch my nephews grow into young men. I’m here to help my parents because they have always helped me. I’m here to feed my horses and my worthless goat. I’m here to play ball with my dog and to scratch my cat’s tummy. I’m here to write stories and blogs and take pictures and post stupid jokes on Facebook.

I’m here because God isn’t done with me yet.

That’s the big one. God isn’t done with me yet. When I’ve asked him to end the pain and let me come home He has quietly whispered, “Not yet.”

When I’ve woken up after begging Him to let me wake in Heaven, even in the pain and the sadness and the frustration there has been a peacefulness too. If He wanted me home, he’d call me home. I’m still here because I still have work to do. 

We all have a purpose on this earth. I’m a firm believer in that. I lost a dear friend when she was only sixteen. In that time she touched more lives than I ever knew. Nearly twenty years later, I’m still finding out about people who are better for having known her. In sixteen years, she fulfilled her purpose on this earth. We all get a different time frame to work with. My friend was larger than life. She was infectious. She was magnetic. She had to be, she had to work fast to complete her purpose.

I know that my years will hold pain and frustration and pain. But they’ll also hold a purpose. 

Dealing with depression is a fight. It is a war made up of a thousand battles. Winning is a day to day task. Today, I’m focused on my purpose. Today, there is a beautiful sunset behind my house. Today, I am winning.

© Elise Phillips

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