depression, faith, things that make you sad

The Deepest Silence, Part 1

For three days running now, I (Ben) have sat down to write a follow-up to Monday’s post. The response I got — online and offline — was very encouraging. Friends who I know have struggled with many of the same challenges wrote to say thanks. Three other friends who I had no idea have battled with mental illness shared their stories. After a tremendous amount of apprehension, I felt glad — and relieved — to have written the post.

On Tuesday I was faced with a choice: Continue writing about depression, or write a post about — as Matthew Leathers succinctly put it — Vincent D’Onofrio and poop. I carefully weighed the merits of both. All things being equal, I’d have preferred to write about Mr. D’Onofrio and poop. But I couldn’t do it.

So Tuesday night I sat down to write about faith and depression, since in my life the two have become so inextricably joined that I cannot talk about one without talking about the other. I couldn’t find the words though. I started three different posts, then scrapped each of them. I’d start over on my day off.

I did the same yesterday. Starting, stopping. Always running up against a wall. And, as has happened before, feeling increasingly helpless and defeated that I couldn’t shape depression into words. This, as has happened before, fueled an already dark mood.

This morning I woke up and something had lifted, slightly. I could write today, but only if I started by acknowledging why I couldn’t write before. I realized this after talking it through with Erin last night. I had a strategy now, not that different from the spiritual practice of confession, really: Name it, put it out there, and then release it. Which I have just done.

Later today I’ll post that faith and mental illness bit I’ve now written five times. Before that, I wanted to explain how I got there, and to acknowledge that while Voreblog won’t be all gloom and doom from here on out, we’ll at least follow this for now and see where it goes.

More later.


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