I went to bed last night at 6 p.m.. I got out of bed at 1 p.m. this afternoon. 19 hours. Sometimes it’s longer. This time it would have been had not Briley, my 80 pound lab overpowered me with her playful bites on my hand and slobbering kisses across my face. Briley loves me very much and doesn’t want me to add to the despair of my depression by wallowing on a bed of misery.
Before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I attributed days like these to sheer laziness. I couldn’t understand why some days I was so eager to start the day that I would wake up hours before my alarm. Sometimes not sleeping at all. Then other days it was like a Sumo wrestler sat on my gut, pinning me down with no chance of escape.
How do I tell if I am buried in depression or giving into laziness? I can’t, really. Even with a diagnosis that explains why I sometimes find it next to impossible to get out of bed, I am sometimes beaten down by voices within and around me that scream hatefully, “You are just lazy.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You are good for nothing.”
Thankfully, I am paying attention to these voices less and less as I advance in recovery. But they are still there, crying out from the hollow recesses of my mind, yelling from the darkened corners of my bedroom ceiling.
But most days I can tune them out by listening to the voice of One who softly and tenderly calls me his own. The One who prepares a feast for me in the presence of these enemy voices. The One who gives my soul rest, who leads me home, far beyond the shadows of darkness and despair.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.