How can a quick glance at Instagram throw me into “the pit of despair”? And then, what I found after a mere search on Google (to see if I could come up with a suitable (or fitting) picture or video of the pit of despair to post) is educational and somewhat eye-opening, though not really surprising.
Whew! Just two sentences and yet they sum up the ceaseless thoughts that swirl in my mind and lead from one endless idea to another.
I initially was thinking of the pit of despair as described and portrayed in The Princess Bride, one of my all time favorite movies, in an effort to make light of my own despair/depression. However, the aforementioned search brought me to this video:
Like so many others who suffer with depression and ceaseless thoughts, I can totally relate to choosing comfort over food. (You must watch the short video I’ve included if you’re scratching your head at this point.) There’s no telling how many times I’ve gone nearly all day without eating anything and not because I was intentionally fasting. What is it that causes this supposed unnatural inaction? I’m left pondering the answer to that (even though a quick explanation is given in this video) but also to the question I initially proposed at the beginning of this blogpost.
Oh how I wish it were as simple as “just think happy, positive thoughts”! 🙂 Life would be so much sweeter if it were easy to turn one’s thoughts from negative, melancholy things to positive, hopeful things.
The more I read and learn about mental illness, the more I realize it is, unfortunately, not a simple or easy process to switch one’s thoughts. Perhaps it is for some people. And yet, I think that for the ones that it’s most easiest, those people do not seem to struggle with ceaseless thoughts.
Just a few minutes ago, I was looking at some sites I have bookmarked on my laptop. One of the bookmarks was a search I did to see what Myers Briggs personality type Rich Mullins was. The eighth site down on the list said, “What Myers-Briggs personality type do serial killers usually have?” (Google “picked” it up as a search result because Herbert Mullin, a serial killer from the 1970s, is in the list.) So then, I looked to see what personality types this site claimed the killers had. This led to a few other searches. (Talk about depressing!) Among other things, I discovered that one of the Columbine shooters (who took his own life as well as the lives of other innocent people) allegedly had depression and struggled with ceaseless thoughts.
All of this to say, many people who suffer with mental illnesses seem to struggle with racing thoughts and/or with incessant thinking. And, as I mentioned, the more I learn about mental illness, the more I realize and see certain patterns. Is there an answer for those of us who suffer and struggle? I wish I knew. I only hope and pray that in my deepest, darkest moments, I’m able to keep looking to Jesus.
He is truly THE only way, and it’s actually comforting to me to note that He sweated drops of blood and wept and overturned the tables in the temple. In other words, His life wasn’t all about “thinking happy thoughts.”
I’m not sure where to give credit for this image. No copyright infringement is intended. I’m “simply happy” that Jesus is portrayed as having “down” times too.
If someone could truly see inside my mind and tell me what’s going on with all of the feelings and thoughts that I have, it would be a miracle. God can see it, I know. Why He chooses to let some of us have minds that are so intricately intwined with relentless, racing thoughts and yet others seem to be able to think about nothing is beyond me. So much of me wishes to share my inner, deepest secrets or at least my journals that follow the paths of my thoughts through the years. And yet, if I did, what would the outcome be? Would anyone notice? Would anyone care? Would it matter if they did or didn’t?
Somehow I know that I’m not the only one to have ever pondered this. Here’s one of the things I just wrote in my journal,
So much of me wishes to just sell all that I have, get a camper (no matter how small), and travel North America. But, I find the idea daunting and overwhelming… despite the excitement and exhilaration of it. So, I revert to “hiding” behind a mask or screen… or fake smiles.
We’re back home from a more than 1600-mile round trip to Texas to see the newest member of our family… my niece, Sarah. She’s a doll!
I don’t know why, but when I return from these types of trips, it seems to take me awhile to get back into the swing of things. I think a lot of it may have to do with my depression. (I’ve “suffered” clinically-diagnosed depression for about 15 years.) Also, it’s my husband’s first day back on the job, so he’s not here to help motivate me. He has called to encourage me, but I seem to do better when he’s here at home.
I know I don’t have much of a readership (if any) on this blog, but maybe that’s a good thing. Then, people won’t see my rambling, journal-istic schmuta. (Not sure how to spell schmuta. I think Elaine on “Seinfeld” coined the word.)