And I'm not sure if I'm the only one that's struggled with figuring out if I'm extroverted or introverted. That whole Myers-Brigg thing tells me that I'm somewhere in between, but mainly extroverted. In truth, I always feel more energized after talking with a friend or being around people, ergo, yes, that seems correct. But some days, talking to people is like going to the gym: It's always a battle to get there, but when you're done you feel better.
Some friends call me the super introvert because I like to be independent and block out days in my schedule for "me-time." I say it's to re-charge, but I think there is something else going on, too.
Some days I really dread talking to people. I act busy so that I can avoid small talk. I keep my head down. In these moments I think, See! I am shy!
But I'm realizing more and more, it's not shyness. I was looking at my Facebook feed this morning and I saw someone posted an article about outgoing introverts. I read it and thought, okay, yea, I'm not an introvert. I love small talk too much.
So I started a Google search about shy extroverts ("What am I?!?!?"). And then for some reason I did a search for "depressed extroverts."
I found an article that I honestly think God was leading me to. It was the first search result and the piece was written by a Christian woman. As I was reading it I kept thinking that we were very very similar. She was so eloquent in how she described her experience with depression and I really wanted to share it.
|This is the part of the article where she talks about regular thoughts that go through her mind when she gets depressed. Source: http://www.ctghq.org/commentary/depression-confessions-how-extrovert-learned-live-clinical-depression|
I know a few people in my life who live with depression. At first I didn't really understand it, because they seem fine, or I even thought that they just weren't trying hard enough. And for those thoughts, I am so sorry.
It's a real thing! It makes you feel powerless and so so so tired. When I fall into an episode, I feel like my body is made of lead. It's not all the time, but it comes and goes in waves. Depending on the outside stressors of my life, it can be mild to severe, although you might not be able to tell. When it happens, it generally takes me much longer to gear up for the simplest things. I look for distractions. Lately, I've been running from God. And yet, even though I'm sorry that I ran, I am very glad He stayed with me through it all.
Through each valley, I've been lucky to have friends and family and my small group to just be there for me. I rarely if ever put a name to these depression episodes, because, like the author in the article, you kind of want to think that you're not like everyone else:
"Part of my embarrassment comes from the fact that it seems like everyone suffers from some sort of anxiety or depression these days and I've always prided myself on not being like everyone else. If that sounds really stupid...it is."
Some of my friends "get it" but they don't really get it. I've been yelled at by some people or told that I'm just being weak. I understand the concern and appreciate the pep talks, but words like that made me want to sink deeper into denial. And that's the wrong way to go. To deal with this, you have to face it head on and take action. If you deny that there's anything to face, how can you face it?
I super duper recommend this article to everyone. For those who have ever been depressed, it gives a voice to your struggles. For everyone else, I think it might help you understand another person's story.
[2 Corinthians 1:3-4] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
As with other hardships, I will gladly take up this cross so that I can comfort others who struggle with it, too. You are loved. You are beautiful. You're not less than human because you struggle with depression. And to God through Jesus Christ, you are perfect.
All my love,