My days contract and narrow. I sleep through them. Sometimes I am only awake 7 or 8 hours before I am spent. Friends write, ask how I am, what I need, and I have no answer. I just am, for now. I pace a narrow, restful, unhurried existence. This involves chocolate and a lot of television.
I think I know that I’ll tire of it soon–the sleeping and chocolate and television. Slowly it won’t be enough, and I’ll feel ready to expand my hours and days into action and relationships again. I’ll remember the formula that keeps me mostly functional and be willing to implement it. I’ll clean my living room.
But for now my living room is not clean and my humans and cats and I are all hunkered down as if waiting out a storm. We are waiting out a storm. We watch Disney movies and soak up the happy endings and I don’t do my hair or anyone else’s. Things that feel difficult are left for tomorrow and tomorrow, and everything feels difficult.
Depression dismantles the illusion that I do anything to deserve or earn God’s love. Because I can do so little right now. And He, apparently, still loves me. I wasn’t entirely sure that was true, but now I am.
Late this afternoon I thought, “I wish to be saved from dinner.” I meant thinking up dinner, making dinner, participating in the event of dinner, cleaning it up. It all seemed beyond me. And I only thought it, but it was a sort of prayer, though I didn’t imagine it was a prayer that would be answered.
And then I was in my kitchen with a memory of a brown rice casserole recipe from my childhood. I honestly had no idea what was in my refrigerator, and I doubted I had the ingredients, but there they were, mysteriously fresh, as if my mother herself had shopped for them.
I made it effortlessly, put it in the oven, still thinking Henrietta would likely turn her nose up at it and Sam wouldn’t like it much. But ah, another miracle: it was declared by Henrietta to be the yummiest thing she’d eaten and Sam loved it and I felt like I was transported to my childhood by each bite. Comfort at its deepest.
So perhaps He does save us from dinner. And perhaps He does love us and answer our needs when we can do no more than think them. And perhaps, at the heart of depression, it’s possible to find a deep, effortless comfort while we wait for better things.