“But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” -Psalm 13:5 (NRSV)
2020 was a really hard year for my mental health. I had to have a hysterectomy in 2019 to fix a chronic issue that was messing with my immune system, and the surgery caused a change in my body that triggered severe depression and anxiety starting in January 2020. It felt like all of my depression medication had stopped working, and my doctor thankfully found a way to even everything out after some trial and error. During this time, my laptop’s keyboard also broke, and sending it to the Geek Squad repair facility meant losing something required for me to get the Lenten devotional book done. I managed to get work done on my phone and various computers in my department’s workroom, but it was one more thing that was messing with me. Add in a student-triggered panic attack, and it was a rough January and February for me. I was finally starting to get my bearings again in March when the pandemic hit, and it felt like I lost everything that was life-giving for me during the week of March 8-14 when campus shut down, church went virtual, and Daniel’s school went to remote learning. My therapist left in June, and I went through two more therapists at their agency before I landed with the one I see now.
So, with all that going on, how exactly have I pulled through? It helped in some ways that I really had no other choice but to push through. While I do live with my parents and my mom does help with Daniel, I did not have the option of pulling the covers over my head and hiding in a dark room like I wanted to at times because I had a kid who needed me to take care of him. I pushed myself to make sure he received the care he needed, and that he was able to do school online. My job helped because I had to earn money somehow. Working with my students gave me a way to use up my anxious energy, and it gave me some purpose. Having been through periods of severe depression before, I also knew that God was present with me even if I couldn’t recognize it at the time.
Gracious God, thank you for the steadfast love you show us, even in periods of anxiety or depression. Amen.