Depression is a sneaky ass hat. Before it ever swallows your mind and your heart, it spends months biting at your heels and breaking down your defenses.
It wraps you up in its arms and rocks you. You start to feel sleepy, so sleepy, because everything is exhausting. Adulting and Moming and Wifeing and Friending and EXERCISING OMG is hard.
Hopelessness starts to seem like a way out... like giving up would be easier than this hamster wheel. Hopelessness starts to look almost like a hope. Quit now. It's not worth the fight. Sleep it off.
Once depression has you in that tempting warm embrace, it squeezes!
Tired? Ha! Well, now you can't sleep.
It's like the hypnotists from old fashioned movies with their swaying pocket watches.... "Yooou're getting sleeeeepy..... SUCKA!!" And then the hypnotist punches you in the throat.
And since it has you all wrapped up, and weary-so-weary... your hands are tied. You are in no position to be reaching out for help. When you should be flailing and screaming, "I'm drowning!!!!" depression has you muffled and too exhausted to move. Or ashamed. "Again? I can't be that one putz who is a mess again. I'm a waste of oxygen."
There's only one way out of depression quicksand.....
You have to lay on your back and float to the top. It's this delicate balance between intentional/working rest, and gentle/persistent hopefulness.
You have to actively disbelieve the lie that giving up would be getting a break.
You have to pull your puffy eyes open a little wider, look depression in the face, and say "I don't believe you. You're not my answer. You don't own me." Then take a nap. A real one.
You can't claw your way out of this mess. That would be more exhausting. That would use up more of your finite resources and leave you gasping.
You have to rest your way out of depression.
You have to mercy your way out of depression.
But most importantly, you have to hope your way out of depression. Not a clawing, snatching hope that grabs desperately for anything and holds on with a death grip. Not Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" hope. Eck!! A quiet, patient hope that says, "I'm rising. I'm rising to the top of this. Maybe slowly... like rising through molasses, but the fresh air is coming. It's up there. We're getting closer every day."
Depression tells you, your arms are too heavy to lift. If you can lift them, let them float up to pray a prayer of release. "Father of Light, you see me, and I am burdened. But if I can keep peering through fog and spot light, I can keep moving forward. Do not let me be swallowed by the fog."
Then drop your arms and believe that rest is for you. Let his arms do the heavy lifting. The lifting of judgement. The lifting of criticism. The lifting of Not Enough. You choose hope. And let the Lord fling away those demons.
It's a hard balance. And your balance is off. So that doesn't help. But limping lambs are the strongest ones... they stagger on rocky ground, while others skip on an easier road. They haul their battered hides five feet, while others have run a mile. But when they reach the Shepherd's green pastures, they know better than any other how green the grass is here. Their struggles make them thankful. And beautiful. And wise.
This is your journey. You can do it. One moment, one hour, one day, one week... you can slip out of depressions grip and rest.