Every Moment Grace to Me

Every Moment Grace to Me

by Guest Blogger January 15, 2019 16 Comments

By Laura E. Creel

When the darkness came again, I was not prepared. I was doing the right things. I was taking my medicine: each night 20 milligrams of that precious antidepressant—wonder of wonders—that kept me alive nearly four years and taught me to hope again. I was practicing self-care, my savings leaking out the bank for therapy and psychiatrists and vitamins purporting to lessen the misery and devastating hopelessness of the depression.

But those things were not enough: The medicine that saved my life was no longer saving me, and so the darkness came. The summer passed. Now I am in the in-between—the interminable-seeming space where I wait for my body to adjust to new drugs, brain careening between terror and acute despair. I am in the not-knowing. Perhaps the medicine will not work at all; perhaps it will work eventually, but only after eight or ten weeks. Perhaps after several years it will fail again.

As if to make the crisis more painful, my faith—no longer strong enough to sustain the crippling cycles of relative stability followed by drops into severe depression and panic—has failed, too. Or nearly failed: I find I can’t believe in much anymore, because the only thing that feels real is the dark. Maybe I believe; maybe I don’t. I don’t know. I keep praying, or trying to pray—trying to will the implausibility of this belief back into something tenable.

And yet, I am here. Every hour that I stomach, every minute that passes as I watch the clock and pray for the panic to end is a grace. I have made it one more hour, one more minute through the thing that they tell me is a brain malfunction—the thing that the doctors and the therapists and the preachers tell me I can learn to live with. It doesn’t feel like I can learn to live with it, but I remain, grasping at the straw of the SSRIs, waiting for the pills to work. Every day, every moment—grace to me.

Every day that I make it through this god-damned sadness sucking the life out of me is a fight, and it is a grace. A thousand times an hour I have thought I can’t make it anymore. I just can’t make it anymore. But here I am, given grace to see and feel—for the briefest of moments—life. And I live.

 

________

Laura E. Creel is an emerging writer and musician living in South Florida. As artist-in-residence at CityChurch Fort Lauderdale, she practices liturgical writing and songwriting, and works to cultivate and curate local art.

 

Up next, Survival as Neighbor-Love

 

 

Photo by Marcus Dall Col on Unsplash




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16 Responses

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@LP, thank you for your sweet words, and for your friendship and understanding. Love you, friend.

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@Hannah, thank you for your love and for the many years that you have borne this burden with me and for me. I love you, my sweet friend.

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@Gillian, Thank you, thank you for your kind words. Love you so.

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@JUDITH DUPREE, thank you for your comment and for your encouragement and your kind words. I love your use of “haunted;” it’s so poignant, and so often it feels like the thorn will never go away, that I and others are haunted by this thing that we can barely name. Thank you for your kindness and support.

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@CHARMAINE DONOVAN, Thank you for your comment, and for your prayers, and for your kind words. I did submit this as creative nonfiction; I think the “Submit your short story” is because Ruminate is accepting submissions for a short story contest. Thank you again for your kindness, and I’m glad you found the writing moving.

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@BRENDA ZOOK. I don’t know you, but I am so touched by your comment. Thank you, thank you, for holding on for and with me.

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@MADELINE TWOONEY, Thank you for your kind words, and for your willingness to share a little bit of your own story. And thank you for your prayers. There’s hope: I’m climbing out of it, but (as we both know), it never feels like it’s fully gone. Grace and peace to you.

Laura Creel
Laura Creel

February 01, 2019

@Betsy Smith, thank you for your comment. Depression is a hideous thing; sometimes, if we are lucky, some light breaks through. May you and your husband and son find light and grace when you need it most.

Betsy Smith
Betsy Smith

January 28, 2019

This was heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. I am witness to my son’s and my husband’s depression, isolation and acute sadness. I can only pray they find the grace in their survival as you have. Thank you.

Madeline Twooney
Madeline Twooney

January 28, 2019

Laura, as a depressive and believer in Christ, l can totally relate to this. Thank you for sharing your story. You have a beautiful writing voice and your gratitude for living comes out like a ray of light out of the murky darkness of this mental illness. My thoughts and my prayers are with you.

Brenda Zook
Brenda Zook

January 26, 2019

“Every day I make it through…is a fight and it is a grace.” This. Thank you.

“And yet, here I am.” Yes, here you are. I’m so grateful for your presence and your courage.

And faith. Perhaps even if your faith cannot “carry you,” it can still be the soft strand of hope you find wrapped around your finger as you make your way through (through.) the dark. I will hold onto hope for/with you.

Charmaine Donovan
Charmaine Donovan

January 25, 2019

I was moved by this. I assume this is creative nonfiction. Because there is a “submit your short story” at the top of the page, I am a bit confused. For the perspective of a someone who has felt only a fraction of what this person is going through, I commend you for your ability to put your painful experience into words. I pray God will become present to you and that your mental wellness will return.

Judith Dupree
Judith Dupree

January 21, 2019

Sharing your long slog across the “desert of despair” is a rough slog, Laura. Thank you—for being honest in a quick-fix society. You bring to mind our brother Paul, and his “thorn in the flesh.” It haunted him . . . and yes, haunts us. And reminds us that faith isn’t learned easily. It is, in part, doing the thing that is right when the soul is parched. Priming the pump of His Living Water? It takes a Strength we never see when facing our own wilted self. We see it here. Yes, thank you.

Gillian
Gillian

January 21, 2019

This is so raw and honest. I think it’s hard for a lot of people to understand. What a paradox—every awful fight of a day, a grace from God. Beautifully written.

hannah
hannah

January 15, 2019

Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal.

LP
LP

January 15, 2019

This was so moving. So beautifully written it spoke right to my soul.

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