Yesterday one of my periodic depressions landed on me. Bang. If you are a sufferer, you know. If you aren't, thankfully you can't imagine. The inability to cope, to do anything, to respond humanly - it's just what it is. There's no plaster cast, no sign. And no sympathy, please no sympathy. ("Are you feeling better?" The pressure of getting better can be terrible; there's no control, and no way of doing anything about it. You sit it out and wait. And hope you don't wait and wait and wait.)
No medication. Don't like it, and besides, I manage well: there are "closed door" days - days when for everyone's sake I stay inside! And the black days. But also just the really bad ones, and then, by God's grace, I can achieve some functionality -
Well, yesterday, when it hit, I was angry. I had too much to do. It hit in a "roadblock" kind of way. A "nothing gets past this" kind of way. So I worked out what was the least possible I needed to do (in terms of making today work, and in terms of my diary for yesterday) and then just did it, moment by moment. Working out a sermon in such conditions is far from easy, but God was kind, and both passages (morning and evening) were clear so though my thinking was not (I couldn't remember my car number plate earlier today when I visited someone in a home - still can't) it all sort of worked. I'd (mercifully) pulled the music for today together last week (unusually prescient of me) so all I had to do was pray.
God, bless people. Let there be someone today who becomes a Christian. Someone who finds you. Please.
After all, I'm thinking in basic terms here.
Depression is like thinking through treacle, and then being punched by emotion. For no good reason. And occasionally remembering to seem like a human being, cos I am the vicar.
Oh - for those of you who weren't here today, we had a huge baptism family in this morning. All outsiders. Tons of crying kids and parents talking over them at the back. Normally the kind of thing that energises me, the kind of thing I love to bits. The kind of thing I just can't handle like this. I actually asked for the noise level to come down a notch!
But someone came to me at the door, someone who has never been before, someone who was a visitor there for the occasion - and she said she was completely moved by everything, touched by the sermon, and wanted to come back next week.
I'll take this every week for that result. Every week. Though Lord, if you're listening, if there was another way, I'd be up for discussing it...