I’m going through a hard time for no good reason. I can’t pinpoint why, and I can’t say for sure when it started. I have a few guesses though:
1. A result of major burn out
Even after — by God’s grace — I was let go from my job with severance in late August, I hadn’t had a break. I was already severely burnt out from my job and thank God that I had almost 2 weeks to rest before getting married (very small religious ceremony, we are having a wedding vow renewal ceremony and reception in late Feb), and due to no longer having a job I was able to travel up north to be with my new husband and spend time with him there.
But I still didn’t have a break because church needs increased, I had to seriously start planning more for our wedding in Feb, when I went to visit Jacky in NorCal we were apt hunting, then moving, then buying furniture, then putting the apartment together. It’s finally done now, but the burn out is already strong, and recovery is slow.
2. A subtle but persistent spiritual attack
Typically the onset of depressing feelings alerts me to demonic activity around me. And of course, why not? I had been entrusted with increasing serving responsibilities with youth and worship team and was also working hard to welcome newcomers. I’ve also been there before (depression), and it’s easier to relapse.
The one-off off day isn’t anything to be afraid of, but when the heaviness in my heart persists and the lies of “nobody loves me, nobody cares” don’t stop swirling in my mind it’s obvious something is wrong. Logically I know this. In my heart and in my brain I know this. But it’s like an outside force is trying to drag me down and I have to fight so hard not to internalise these thoughts. This is especially true when I go out and interact with my friends and church family who, often through no fault of their own, say or do things that hurt me deeply and end up reinforcing this lie, and, if I had somehow managed to move forward a couple of paces in this battle, these things just knock me straight back to where I started — or sometimes even a few steps further into darkness. It’s exhausting. I’m so tired. I hate being overly sensitive. I just about have the strength to fight my demons to stay afloat right now. I can’t face other people outside of this.
I’ve been going out to meet with my wedding coordinator (who’s been a life-saver in all things related to our wedding planning) and some vendors. Outside of this, maybe a conversation here and there with UK friends over the phone but I’m otherwise too drained to leave the house or even read anyone else’s messages let alone respond to them.
I haven’t been able to face my church family at all this week. I’m struggling with finding the strength to go to fellowship tomorrow. I want to go; I should go, but I don’t know if I have the strength to go. I don’t know if someone will make another off-handed snide remark or snarky joke that regularly I’d laugh along but right now can’t handle again. I’m scared. It’s sad.
3. The weather
One of the reasons I wanted to move away from UK was probably a degree of seasonal depression. Rain outside and dark days tend to get me down. It got better in LA — we don’t have many seasons outside of sunny and sunny with the occasional cloud — but it rained a lot in NorCal. That said, I wasn’t as bad in NorCal and LA has been very sunny recently, so I’m not sure this is as big a culprit. Maybe I’m just missing my hubby and the NorCal apartment space that is ours. Having him around to remind me of his infinite love (and a reminder of Christ’s love for me) made things much more bearable.
4. Lack of exercise
This one might be a bit more chicken and egg. I don’t think my depressive state is related to lack of exercising, but I have noticed a marginal improvement on my mental state after exercising (I just did a little now and finally have strength to write something here, which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time). But I need enough mental strength to push myself to do the exercise in the first place.
Either way, it’s been hard. So, I’m into dramas right now. They help me to escape. It’s not the healthiest, but it’s making it easier.
My goal is to escape into God’s Word and prayer. These two things have been lacking recently and that’s probably why I’m on the losing side of this battle right now. I was moved to pray hard yesterday against demonic attacks and for God’s protection and today I am feeling the strength of prayers (also from others, as I am sure there are at least 3 others praying for me). I thank God for them.
I’m trying to do more reading these days, but it takes a lot more effort than just sitting in front of a screen and escaping reality through entertainment and feeling the rush of happy endorphins or relieving stressful tears through empathy. Please pray for me, it’ll come slowly. Please don’t rush me, I can’t handle that right now. My mental state is weak. There’s not much more than I can bear these days. Please be patient — God’s not finished with me yet.
On the bright side, I discovered Viki’s “Learn Mode” in dramas and have actually been able to learn some Korean through it. I purchased an annual subscription because they have a 30% off sale (ends 2nd Jan, 2020) and since I have watched The Tale of Nokdu for the 6th time in a row (up to ep. 8 at least) I can now confidently have a basic conversation with you in Joseon Korean heh heh. Kidding. But not really kidding. I’m trying to watch some modern day dramas so I can actually learn some usable Korean now.
Thanks for reading, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to you recently. Please keep praying for me.