Drowning Emotionally When All Is “Fine”

Recently, I made it through a few days of intense emotional battles.   What was the big catalyst for this spiraling?  I’m not sure.  As I try to evaluate, I see nothing major.  Only many little things.  Yet, I felt an almost tangible cloud of depression press down upon me until I felt I would drown in despair.

beach black and white dramatic horizon
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Seriously?!  Part of me could see this made no sense.

NOTHING was wrong!  I have a pretty good life.  I have a husband that loves me (not perfectly, but well enough).  Kids that adore me (well, sometimes).  I’m in good health.  I have a home, car, food, and clothing.  Then, why in the world was this dark cloud descending on me so impenetrably???  And, more importantly, how could I make it through???

Perhaps you know what I mean and can relate…unless you are naturally emotionally stable like my husband.  He thinks I should be able to just “snap out of it” when the cloud descends.  Well, unfortunately, I’m not seeing how to just “snap out of it.”

We are, in fact, broken people in a broken place surrounded by other broken beings.  What God called good that first week of creation no longer exists.  Yet…we keep looking for that good, don’t we?  And, over and over again, we get disappointed.  Sprinkle in a few hormones especially as we get older and we’re suddenly drowning emotionally…even though everything is seemingly fine.

I know I have already written on the subject of suicide.  This post might sound similar but really I am specifically addressing that intense feeling that can descend on you when life is “fine.”  The dark cloud that seems to have formed out of nowhere and won’t just go and disappear.  A place where you can’t just “snap out of it.”  A place emotionally where you don’t want to be, don’t understand how you got there, and don’t know how to escape.

I had a frustrating mental fight the day before the cloud lifted this time which is why I’m sitting here writing this.  I’m trying to figure out what happened and how to better handle it in the future.  And, I share all this with you so that if you happen to struggle with the same thing, you will know you are not alone.

I strive to trust God daily.  I frequently read my Bible.  And, yet, there are times when the weight of simply living feels so heavy, so hard, such a fight for a day or so.  But, push through, and suddenly those feelings dissipate and it’s like the sunshine came out.  I feel calm and happy inside.  Life seems good.  The cloud is gone.

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Why does this happen???  What is wrong with me???  From talking to three ladies the last few months who can empathize, they have suggested hormones are playing a role.  If you can’t relate, perhaps this post will at least help you better understand those you interact with…perhaps live with.

While there may be a medicine or supplement that would help keep the clouds from ever forming, for now I’m seeking to see if there is a trigger in my thinking.  What am I truly feeling down about?  What am I thinking about?

Most notably, I was feeling lonely.  My friends and husband are not always able to be there for me.  (Note to singles…getting married doesn’t mean you live happily ever after.  Marriage can be great, but you can still deal with loneliness even though you wake up next to someone every morning.)   Second, I was dealing with disappointment.  My expectations and desires are not met in small matters that I’ve been dealing with over and over with for years.  Sometimes I just get tired of the constant little fight to be content with things as they are.  Third, I felt I wasn’t accomplishing anything of value with my life.  All I could see was what seemed like failures.  Last, I was rejected by someone and had the door close on that relationship for the time being.  I didn’t understand why.  Bottom line: my existence and efforts were feeling pointless.  Life wasn’t making sense to me (from my limited perspective) and all the little hurts, frustrations, and disappointments that are right there under the surface rose up to form this big huge cloud.  I was suddenly drowning emotionally.  My self-focus uninformed by God’s Word was taking me under.  Help!!!

But…quick…GOD…has…thrown…out…a…lifeline…GRAB IT!!!

photo of child reading holy bible
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GOD says in His Word that I am valuable.  GOD says in His Word that He is working all things together for good for me because I love Him.  GOD promises in His Word that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  GOD promises that He is all-knowing and understands all the whys in my life.

We are not mere advanced apes.  We are people created in God’s image.  People who God loves so much He sent His Son to die for us.  Sometimes our thoughts get all jumbled in our heads and our life feels inconsequential.  All the little things might swarm over our head and press us under, but we must bob back up.  Fight your way to the surface again.  Face another day.  Don’t give up.  Reach for the Bible.  Read Psalm 139Believe Psalm 139.  Adjust your self-focus according to God’s Word!

Fight.  FIGHT!  FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

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Live even when you don’t understand what you are accomplishing with your life.  Live even when you don’t feel you are liked, noticed, loved, or praised.  Jesus did.  He lived 33 years knowing it would end with the crucifixion.  He wasn’t focused on temporary praise and good feelings.  He was focused on accomplishing what God had called Him to do.  We are to do the same.   Our purpose is to praise Him.  Our purpose is to tell the next generation of His good works.  Our purpose is to love God and love others. Our purpose is to trust God.  We cannot give up and listen to the lies our feelings sometimes yell at us.

May your cloud of depression soon pass.  But know when it comes your way again that you will have to choose to fight once again.  You must fight, and fight, and fight, and fight every time the cloud forms.  You and I can never, ever, ever give in to despair.  God is at work.  But, Satan is too. He comes to destroy.  But, God comes to give eternal life.

If you are feeling the drowning spiraling destructive attack this moment, grab the rescue line of God’s truth and hold tightly to it till the feelings pass.  If your spouse, close friend, or co-worker is struggling emotionally, reach out to them with the lifeline of compassion even if you don’t struggle with this same battle.

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I write this for you.  But, I also write this for me.  I know another cloud will form one day in the future, and I want to be ready.  I want to weather it better than I did this past time.  Praise God, we are not alone in this journey of life. Special thanks to a dear friend of mine who made this card for me and who so often refreshes my soul with her friendship. 

Press On

Nevertheless, only you personally can keep yourself from drowning.  God has thrown the lifeline of His Word.  You have to grab hold of it and live. Will you?  Will I?  I’m very much looking forward to Heaven and the eternal rest from struggles with loneliness, disappointments, and hormones.  Till then, press on!  We CAN make it.  We WILL make it.  FIGHT!

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalm 139:23-24

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