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Not Alone Excerpt by Joy Wilson

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Not Alone Excerpt by Joy Wilson

 

 

 

 

Depression feels like being dead while hiding in bed or walking around, breathing air but not life into the bottomless hole. For me, rarely a day goes by without tears that appear without my permission. Do you know how embarrassing that is? For people tend to ignore you, like “nothing’s happening here”. They pretend I’m invisible, because then they don’t have to get involved. I would just as soon be invisible than let them witness my pain, but still it hurts to be ignored, and reinforces my belief that isolation is better than this. What’s worse for me is the well-meant “What’s wrong?” because I can’t share that easily when caught unawares, sometimes can’t let even a tiny bit out, because I’m afraid I couldn’t control it and I would make a scene in public when “nothing’s wrong”.

Depression has to have a reason for most people to understand. You bet there’s a reason that haunts me, taunts with threats of permanent pain. Because what if it never goes away? What if healing never comes and I have to live with this the rest of my life? Oh Jesus, the thought is unbearable at times, so sometimes I’ve hushed it with too much alcohol, or lied to myself and others to keep it at way. But it helps to let my depression bleed into paper with words – a non-destructive way of venting that I used in my contribution to Not Alone.

When I was little, depression looked like a tiger in a cage that would eat me alive if I ever let it out, and then I would cease to exist, might not ever make it home again in time for dinner. This is an excerpt from my story:

So I created my own shelters where it was safe to feel my pain. My favorite was to make elaborate tent houses, built with bedspreads and blankets tethered to dining rooms chairs with encyclopedias. The Holiest of Holies was reached via a long tunnel big enough only for me. I felt safe in this wool and cotton sanctuary where it was OK to cry in despair watched by Christ-like dolls who didn’t turn away. Self-protection was crucial to avoid abandonment.

Besides lying, my strongest defensive weapon required figuring out how best to make my Significant Others pleased with me, then wear a custom-made persona for each person I loved. I created a closet full of Joys, like Barbie dresses, for them to love. So when there was rejection, IT was abandoned, not me.

Depression ate me alive the day I figured out the truth. The people I wanted to love me unconditionally loved the hand-crafted Joys I let them see, which meant they didn’t love the real me at all. I kept her hidden, because she was all I had, though in broken shards poking holes in my heart.

Last year, God nudged me through several people I trust to be vulnerable before the world – a really, really scary thing to do, because I don’t handle rejection well, and don’t want people to know the truth about me. But God laid it on my heart that if I didn’t share my story, some other people with depression might not ever make it home again in time for dinner.

So here’s the link to the book on Amazon:    Order Here>

If you read it and don’t suffer from depression, please don’t judge or reject us. If you are depressed, you already understand.

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About the Author:

I never have found a box that fits me, so I follow Jesus into the wild. My husband, Bud, and I are two life-long hippies, parents of four grown children, and live in Bartlett, TN, with six cats, two dogs, and no TV. We are voracious readers and have loaded bookshelves in every room in the house except the kitchen and bathrooms. As a wordsmith, I write in long-hand everyday and use a computer by necessity. I am part of an eclectic group of Jesus-followers called Outlaw Preachers and have a passion for prison ministry. I am also an advocate for middle-aged and senior women, and anyone who suffers from depression. My musical tastes include Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joni Mitchell, old scratchy-record blues, and the great classical sacred choral works. One other thing: dark chocolate and garlic are major food groups, but not together.

Discussion

  1. Alise  October 4, 2011

    Joy, I’m so glad that you are a part of this project. Your story is raw and powerful and will bring healing to many. Thank you!

    (reply)
    • Joy  October 4, 2011

      You’re welcome, Alise. I’m really glad I was accepted in the book.

      (reply)
  2. Jana  October 11, 2011

    Joy, I’m so touched by your honesty and transparency. I have struggled with depression for many years and know the powerful impact it can have on a person’s life. I agree with Alise – it sounds like your story will help bring healing to many. I look forward to reading the book, and I know God will bless your obedience and desire to honor Him. Thank you so much for being open to His calling.

    (reply)
    • Joy  October 11, 2011

      Thank you, Jana. Reaching people like you and me is what Not Alone is all about. Part of depression for me is the tendency to isolate, and definitely not to talk about it. I’m still waiting on my copy of the book! It was really hard to share such personal information, but doing so is part of my healing, too.

      (reply)

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