2019 was my worst year ever. It followed a string of worst years ever that may have started in 2016. Or earlier.
My first real tangle with depression was the summer of 1996. Done with my master's degree and back home to discover absolutely nothing was what I expected it to be, I went down hard. I remember the night in November I considered suicide and that line from Shawshank Redemption: get busy living or get busy dying. I chose life and spent the next two days drawing a children's book I have no intention of publishing in my lifetime.
My nervous breakdown happened in 1998. Too much stress, too little resilience, and the Turtle snapped. A job change took care of the inciting incident and I spent the next two years on St John's Wort coming back from that edge.
On it goes. Every few years I come up for air, and then down into the depths again. I'm used to it. This is the wave I ride called life.
2019 took me to new lows. December 16, 2019, I was in my van, crying, and I admitted I was powerless over my problems. I turned to my Higher Power and told Him from this point on, I would trust Him with my life. I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't control enough. I couldn't plan enough. I couldn't do enough to make myself feel safe. He had to take over.
Thank God, I made that decision before 2020. I stuck to my new guns and took one day at a time, trusting God, reading the New Testament and determining each day to practice the traits a Christ-follower is supposed to exhibit. I failed a lot, but it was better. Better to end the day knowing I was trying to be patient, gracious, kind and loving to people instead of a snapping Turtle.
I suffered my first relapse this month. God was kind, as He always is, and gave me what I needed to get back on the recovery wagon. I am an addict. I'm addicted to myself, my way, my wants. It won't do. Jesus didn't die to give me my way. He died to give me His way to live. His way is better. I want it. I will continue to get up each day and live one day at a time with the strength He gives me.
Keep the faith.
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