Autumn Sunday


Monday, May 24, 2010

There's a Certain Slant of Light...

Okay, so a couple of weeks ago, I was depressed, real depressed. Like, the kind-of depressed where you feel like nothing will ever be right ever again. The kind-of depressed where you feel like you spend the whole day trying not to cry. The kind-of depressed where you feel like you are in the middle of the sea, trying to stay afloat but are being slowly dragged under in spite of your struggle to keep your head above water.

I didn't want to be depressed... really, who wants to feel depressed? But I felt I had reason to be depressed... I mean I had left the home I loved, an awesome family, a great church, not to mention that I was exhausted, had a baby nursing 24/7, and a body that had undergone some huge changes in the last couple of years.

I mean, on the flip side, I had a lot to be grateful for. I could count my blessings-- present tense: I have an awesome husband, two beautiful, healthy children, a nice, new home, a roof over my head, and no huge financial burdens... the list could go on.

But, Emily Dickinson's poem "There's a Certain Slant of Light" articulates depression better than I can, so take a second and read it... and try to grasp the meaning of it... if you dare...

"There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons
That oppresses, like the heft
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings, are.

None may teach it anything,
'T is the seal, despair,
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death."

This poem is all too familiar to anyone who has ever been afflicted with depression. When it comes, "shadows hold their breath" and when it goes, one feels forever altered.

For me, the depression came as soon I left San Antonio. I knew that it would. San Antonio was like a vacation, and Little Rock was my new life. When I arrived, the base seemed lonely, empty. The houses on our street were empty. I kept looking out my window, tired, lonely, and hoping that things would change, and quickly. I felt like my life was a giant snow globe machine... shook up for months on end and now settling in a landscape that looked entirely different... not to mention the adjustment to having two children instead of one (for me, a huge adjustment).

A few weeks later, I feel different-- like I was rescued quickly from the pain that depression, loneliness, and isolation can bring. Just in two weeks time, I have made friends. Oddly, some of these girls feel like they have been my friends forever. My neighbor down the street is working out with me everyday. Tommy and I found a nice little church this weekend, and had lunch with some pretty awesome Air Force officers afterward. We barbecued with these friends last week, and we are again this coming Saturday. Feeling like I have found friends certainly helps the depression.

I am hoping I am "out of the woods"-- the pieces of my life are falling into place more quickly than I had imagined. But I loved Lexington, and grieving takes time. When a door closes, before a window can open, there is the space in between that is uncomfortable, depressing and deeply lonely. I felt it after college. I felt it after high school, and so I feel it now... like a question mark thrown out into the wind, awaiting an answer.

1 comment:

  1. Really touching Sheryl. I really felt struck by the line where you talked about closing a door and opening a window. Not all the time, but definitely, at times, I feel exactly that, very deeply.