I have to tell myself that I’m sick and that, because I’m sick, I am depressed. Depression, however, is one of my diagnoses, along with anxiety. It doesn’t crowd into my life just when I am physically ill. I have a mental illness too.
I ask myself today: What’s it all been worth? Has my life mattered?
We, because I know that I’m not the only one feeling this today, are not defined by what we’ve made or what we have done or not done. We are more accurately defined by our relationships and any care we may have extended to another human being, or to any aspect of creation for that matter.
Some of us, growing up in the parts of creation that are violent and full of frustration and hate, cannot measure our lives always by these measures. On a day like today I feel serious pain for them. Which oddly helps me to begin to feel better. There are, too, some beautiful things that grow up through the cracks in the concrete. Love, desire, hope — these can be found wherever humans are found, no matter how desparate their sitz im leben.
I’ve really been fortunate actually. When I began typing, I felt terrible — depressed and anxious. If that’s as far as my thoughts and feelings had gone today, then I’d be worried, except worry is not something that is common for me when I feel depressed/anxious. I am rather filled with thoughts and feelings of self-harm.
I’ve been married for 4 decades. I was a minister for many years. I was a storyteller for 5 years. I was an academic librarian, helping to train more ministers and psychologists and social workers and educators for 20 years. Now I am old and I have opened my home for the last 7 years to a student from another country/culture and her daughter so they could pursue a life they could not have possibly pursued in their own country, a country where people and family members have “disappeared” within the last generation.
There’s more to say in this regard, of course, as I think about it.
The feeling is creeping in that indeed it has been worth it.