I’m a reserved introvert. I also suffer from depression. The two don’t mix well… So I have learned. Since high school I’ve tried to balance the two. Needing my alone time to rejuvenate from being around people, but also trying to escape from the sweet grasp of depression that comes while I’m alone. Yes I said sweet, depression became my comfort zone, my pathetic, sweet reason to be sad.
I’ve also, for the most part, been pretty mature for my age. I know the world around me and I know how to read people. (Sometimes I think that’s why I get depressed. I feel the pain of this earth.) Having these more mature brain mechanics, I got married at a very young age. It was natural and wonderful and it was totally God. However, instead of using my early 20’s and mid 20’s to discover who I was as a person and as a daughter in Christ, I fell into a role as Marc’s wife, and took the easy way out of being a shadow, a symbol. For a long time it was easier that way. No self discovery, no hardships, no pushing myself to find out what I’m really made of.
Then my first child came. He was amazing and incredible and I disappeared even further. I eventually hit a wall. My inner self started banging on the bars of the cage inside my chest. I could no longer be just the titles of wife and mother. I needed to know who Amy was. The next couple years were dark and hurtful. I hurt myself and I hurt Marc. I struggled with who I was, feeling guilty and hating myself. Feeling like a horrible wife and a horrible mother. And honestly wanting to leave it all. But sometimes when you reach the bottom like I did, you’re finally able to feel sturdy and feel solid ground and you’re finally able to look up and see a light. I believe that light is the hope of the future in Christ. And if you’re brave enough to grasp it and hold on, it’ll pull you out.
I remember when I was engaged to Marc I had a conversation with my mom. I was reassuring her in my decision at the young age of 19 to get married for the rest of my life. I expressed to her how I thought Marc’s love was the human representation of God’s love for me. How Marc talked to me, and held me, and gave me grace, reminded me of how God loved me. Marc confirmed this feeling during these dark times for me. Sometimes he was angry or discouraged or saddened or frustrated but he never stopped giving grace and forgiveness and love and support and he showed me what a true marriage is supposed to look like. Through sickness and health. For better for worse.
This grace gave me room to learn who I was. Through forgiveness I learned that I am a broken and sinful being in need of a Savior. That all I have and all I am is because of Jesus. I have continued this journey of finding myself since those days, and it is still challenging at times. Depression still wants to find it’s home in my heart again, and some days I let it. And some days I fight it. Those days are getting more and more. I’m not only searching for who I am, but I think the biggest part is excepting what you find, and loving it without hesitation. Giving yourself grace and forgiveness and love.