Moments of Lucidity

A few weeks ago, when I found out that I failed a portion of my exam, this was the phrase used to describe it:

Crystal addresses the question directly, and there are moments of lucidity in the essay. But, overall, the essay fails to meet minimum expectations.

(Don’t worry…I retook the failed portion, and graduated with my masters degree last Saturday!)

But as I read, the phrase stuck in my mind. And it occurred to me how appropriate it is to my life.

Through my struggles with depression, I feel that “moments of lucidity,” sums it up nicely.  Most of the time, I am sad. I feel empty. There is a black cloud chasing me around. I have no energy. I have nothing good to say about myself.

But there are moments. Precious few. Moments when the world makes sense. When I can feel the joy of my life, and I live for those moments. When I have the gift of motivation and productivity, and serving my family, and serving God.

And while I regret the fact that my depression robs me of my life, most of all I regret the fact that my two boys have to live with a mother who is sick. They had no choice.  And all I can do is pray that those moments are enough. There are so many bad moments. Mood swings; sadness; raised voices; lack of patience; lack of energy; lack of will and desire to do anything.

I pray that the good moments, few as they may be sometimes, will overshadow the bad ones. That the times of playing together, baking cookies, reading…will be enough. Enough for my boys to have more happy memories than bad ones. Enough for them to know that I love them fiercely, that I tried.

God, I pray that you will help me to overcome this.  That you will help me live the abundant life that you promised.  I pray that my family would not suffer from my failures, and that my boys will know how much I love them through it all.

Comments

  1. Sabrina says

    Completely accurate. I have often thought of my life that way. Lucidity/Clarity. Brief snatches between the gray fog that i drift in. It is not a choice to feel this way, it is just part of my journey. I live for the beautiful moments along with you. You are not alone in the fog.

    • Crystal says

      Thank you, Sabrina! I’m sorry that this is a part of your journey as well, but I thank you for your words of support and encouragement. I pray that God will bless you!

  2. says

    I struggle with depression, too. Today was a rough day, but for other reasons. Your post helps give me perspective on how far I have come, though I still have a ways to go.
    Today was rough because it was busy. I did a lot with my almost 3yo daughter today (while almost 34 weeks pregnant) and pushed things past her usual nap time (which has been hit & miss lately) and she was in total meltdown mode before I finally got her to her bed. I was so frustrated & so TIRED! I was glad, however, that I’ll get to check a bunch of things off of my to-do list & I may actually be prepared with gifts & cards for those that we’ll be seeing over the holidays.
    I’ve had so many days where I felt so down that getting two meals for my daughter & myself (hubby does dinner) and maybe even actually getting dressed are all I’ve accomplished in a day.
    I hope we both grow & learn to increase our frequency of “moments of lucidity!”
    Congrats on the masters! That’s a big accomplishment, all the more so while raising a family! Kudos! Hats off to you! :)

    • says

      Reading that again, my phrase “Your post helps give me perspective on how far I have come” sounds wrong. I don’t mean to imply I’ve come further or anything… just that you got me thinking & helped me get out of my funk today.

      • Crystal says

        Monica, I didn’t think anything bad at all. I wish everyone who struggles with depression wouldn’t have to. But, glad you got out of your funk today…that’s great to hear :)

    • Crystal says

      Thanks, Monica! Definitely a feeling of accomplishment involved in that masters degree! I’ll probably post about it again, but it made me see how much sweeter something is once you’ve had to work harder for it. Sorry about your rough day! We’ve had those as well…my 3 year old almost never naps. My boys have always been terrible sleepers.

      Yes, I too have had days where feeding everyone and getting dressed are the day’s accomplishments…I pray that God blesses you and your family. Congrats on your coming little one!

    • Crystal says

      Thank you so much, Stacy! It was such a pleasure to meet you at Allume! God’s Spirit really shines through you and your kindness.

  3. says

    Well, I read this while swalllowing my anti-depressant (which has yet to take efffect) that I weaned off after several months of postpartum depression thinking I was “fine” only to have it return, so here we are again. Today is a good day, a moment of lucidity, without the heaviness or sadness or paralysis. And I too hope that my boys don’t remember this part of me, but if they do, I hope they see me trying to handle it in a godly way.

    • Crystal says

      Praying for you Elizabeth…I’m glad today is a good day for you. Definitely hope that they at least see that in my dealing with it as well.

  4. says

    Crystal, I wish I’d been more aware of depression as a young mother. I’ve suffered through it, my mother suffers through it, and my grandfather suffered through it. We’re pretty sure HIS mother did, too. Those “moments of lucidity” are what we live for! Besides the wonder of anti-anxiety meds, my best tip is to make time to REST. I have to be aware that there are things I HAVE to do, and things I can leave off! it took me a while to figure that one out! ;) Praying for you, my new friend!

    • Crystal says

      Thank you, Regina! I’ve been looking into the possibility of meds, but it’s kind of complicated. It’s a “family trait” for me as well that I pray every day doesn’t get passed down to my boys…Chad’s family is completely normal! lol

    • Crystal says

      Rachel, thanks so much! I have definitely been wanting to find natural things that I can do to help, but wasn’t sure where to start.

  5. Roxie says

    I too have struggled with depression for years. Medication is my friend. I am sorry that you struggle with it too. I know it is not easy. I am 60 years old, I have had depression most of my life, yet for years I was told to ‘snap out of it’ like it was easy. My family still does not understand. Congratulations on getting your master’s degree. That is amazing. Done with depression too…double amazing.
    Your children will know you do your best. Just tell them the truth…that you are doing your best. May God bless you and take the depression away.

    • Crystal says

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and kindness, Roxie! I had 2 kids in the midst of trying to finish my master’s, but yeah, the depression was the biggest obstacle. I’m sorry that you have suffered with depression as well, and I completely understand people not getting it. It’s one of the things that gives me courage to speak out, even when the Christian community as a whole isn’t very understanding about depression. Because, if I can, I want to help someone else know that it is an illness and it’s not their fault, and that someone cares. I pray you are blessed this Christmas!

  6. says

    You are right – it is an illness not a choice. I stand in agreement with you – God will help you overcome anything and everything you will face in this life. Sometimes we are our worst critic – I am sure your family & boys feel your love deeply! Praying for you.

  7. says

    While we all have regrets regarding the effect that our failings have on our families, I pray that, as you continue to be frank regarding yours, and open to the healing God is sure to bring, you will overcome. That’s His plan for us all, as you so clearly understand. God bless you, girl.

  8. says

    Hey Crystal, I don’t know what your situation is with depression, but I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and was also tested for vitamin deficiencies and found that I was very low in vitamin D and Iron – something that I read could cause extreme fatigue and even depression, that of which I have suffered from for many years. I hope I don’t offend you at all in suggesting this, but I just thought I would throw it out there that maybe you should ask your doctor to test your vitamin levels. I’m praying that God will heal you from this sickness and that through your words you will bring healing to others as well.

    • Crystal says

      I’m not offended at all. I really appreciate your suggestion, and it’s definitely something that I will look into.

  9. says

    oh I so know that feeling. all too well. I’m coming out of depression and PTSD now, but it still creeps up on me sometimes :/

    Praying God sees you through this. <3 and thankful for those precious "lucid" moments <3

  10. says

    What a profound phrase, especially in this context. I too know that feeling of having a black cloud follow you. At one point early in my marriage, that is the exact phrase I used to describe what I was feeling to my husband. My heart goes out to you!

  11. LIFEwithGQ says

    I’ve never looked at my depression that way but you are absolutely right in describing the happy times as lucid. My lucidity definitely outweighs the rest and praying that yours does one day too.

  12. BeenBlueTooLong says

    The following excerpt from your blog, could have written by me (except I have a boy and a girl living at home):

    “And while I regret the fact that my depression robs me of my life, most of all I regret the fact that my two boys have to live with a mother who is sick. They had no choice. And all I can do is pray that those moments are enough. There are so many bad moments. Mood swings; sadness; raised voices; lack of patience; lack of energy; lack of will and desire to do anything.

    I pray that the good moments, few as they may be sometimes, will overshadow the bad ones. That the times of playing together, baking cookies, reading…will be enough. Enough for my boys to have more happy memories than bad ones. Enough for them to know that I love them fiercely, that I tried.”

    I’ve actually written and talked about how angry I am that depression robs me of my life. I can barely do more than get the kids to school & back, and make meals, most days, lately.

    I’ve been on antidepressants (yes, plural — I take two together) for 5 years, this time. Last May/June, I took a turn for the worse, and became so disabled that I went on sick leave in July, and I’m still not working. I also won’t have a job to go back to, if/when I able to work again. The worsening could have been the hypothyroidism I was diagnosed with, but even with my thyroid level in the “normal” range, I’m nowhere near where I was before. I agreed to try counselling, which I’ve started, with the hopes that it will help me cope with depression.

    I thank you for sharing your experience, as it helps me feel less alone in a world that largely doesn’t understand, even when I try to explain.

    • Crystal says

      Oh, Sheila, I’m so sorry for your experience! Depression is such a sad thing. This past week I had the flu, and truly when it comes to energy level, I felt about normal. I often wish that if God were going to allow me to suffer a debilitating illness, it could have been something that others could see and understand (half-joking). Because if you don’t feel like doing something because you have the flu, people understand. But if you don’t feel like doing something because you are suffering from depression/anxiety…no one gets that. I really pray that our society can learn to understand/accept it better one day. I will be praying for you, sweet friend, because I recognize that despair! I pray that God will touch your life, because I know that He can deliver you and I pray that He will give you relief.

  13. says

    Thank you for posting this, Crystal. I can really relate. These days, my best medicine is being outdoors, in the wild. There have been a lot of studies on the effectiveness of “nature therapy” for mild to moderate depression. It really does dissipate some of the stress and pain.
    You’re a brave woman. And you’re not alone.

  14. Rosemary says

    Hi there.. I just found your blog today and I have to tell you. I have suffered from anxiety/OCD and/or depression. I’m not really sure where/ if one starts and one ends. I’ve always considered it just OCD, but after reading your posts, I’m wondering… There are days where I feel that black cloud looming and just feel paralyzed. Nevertheless… I SO admire your courage. It takes a lot to talk about this and I’m sure that you have NO clue how many people that you are helping. Thank you for that.. I have never sought treatment from professionals, just tried different natural things. I thought I would pass along to you my trial and error. I have found some relief in amino acids. Julia Ross has two books “The Mood Cure” and “The Diet Cure.” You must at least read The Mood Cure. Through the amino acids recommendations in that book, my days have been so much more “doable” if that makes sense and some have been downright great. I don’t agree completely with her diet mentality in the book but am more about Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live process…I think I “feel” better adapting some of my eating principles from him. (not the total deal). But I’m telling you…. read “The Mood Cure” It is worth a shot. I’ve also found some relief in vitamins and in Dr. Bach’s flower remedies. I hope you don’t mind me throwing this out there, but you said you were interested in hearing more about natural things that have helped others. Thank you for what you’re doing. God bless you. I’ll pray for you.

    • Crystal says

      Rosemary, yes, I have recently discovered that I have OCD as well…just not the typical manifestation, so I didn’t even realize I had it until recently. Thank you for sharing! I am very interested in natural remedies, and will look into that book. Thanks for sharing, and I will pray for you as well.

      • Rosemary says

        Thank you for your prayers — greatly appreciated. I am sorry to hear that you have that as well. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I don’t think mine is typical either. I’m so glad that you will look into the book. I hope it will make a difference for you. I saw a commenter used lemon balm as well. I use that sometimes too in the tincture form. I find it eases the anxiety

  15. jay says

    thanks for this post, I am hoping not to fall into depression, I am trying to live the right life but often times i feel like i have to balance being wife, mother, and obtaining my degree.

    • Crystal says

      Yes, it can be very tough to balance everything sometimes. Depression is a horrible thing and something I really wish no one ever had to experience.

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