Five minute Friday: Empty

A new blog friend wrote a beautiful post yesterday on communion and depression. In it, she said,

But Depression doesn’t just make you sad, it makes you empty. You reach for the things you need, but you can’t absorb them.

My eyes stung with recognition as I read that for the first time yesterday. She cuts through so much explanation with a metaphor so perfect it made me stop breathing for a second.

I didn’t know it yesterday, but today my body, mind, soul has been laid bare. I don’t know what happened, I can’t point to a cause, I can’t find a solution. I only know that everything seems hard. It all feels impossible. Writing, caring for my kids, making a lunch, finding my daughter’s belt. Even going to yoga, which I know I need, which I know will feed me and fill me and give perspective. It all just seems like so much work, so much meaninglessness.

How do I get here? How is it I find myself in this place today, when yesterday I felt only a little anxious, just slightly on edge? I was probably running from Depression then, trying to keep a step ahead, and today it’s caught up. And I’m under water.

I sink my head into my palms and even my words feel empty, but I say “help.” And I say “Jesus.” And I say, “I know I can’t get there without you. I can’t do today without you.”

It doesn’t help.

But I know it’s the right first step. It’s the best decision I can make now, in the depths. If all I can do is look up for a moment, at least I’m looking in the right direction.

On Fridays, I sometimes join in The Gypsy Mama’s beautiful community link-up, where bloggers write for five minutes, no back tracking, no editing, and then push “publish.” Join me there and read more five-minute inspirations today.
  • http://www.allthingshis.com Chasity

    I <3 you Kim

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thanks. I love love! (Love you, too)

  • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com Addie Zierman

    Praying peace, grace, sustenance for you today when you’re facing the powerlessness of it all. The tired and empty. The sad. May the love of others surround you and lift you toward God.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thanks friend. It is powerlessness, too, isn’t it. Just the overwhelming weight. And the lifting that others have done for me today — it’s because I wrote these words and shared them. Thank you all for your love and giving me the courage to put the morning’s weight out there.

  • http://ashleyhaupt.blogspot.com/ Ashley Haupt

    Um… this post describes me today, too. I looked at the writing prompt and my heart sunk. I don’t want to write about “Empty” because it describes too well the way I feel right now. But lifting prayers now for myself AND you, and that’s good. :)

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      I had a similar reaction, Ashley — I smiled sadly, knowing how appropriate that word was for me today. I feel your prayers this afternoon, so THANK you.

  • http://soulstops.com Dolly @ soulstops

    Oh, Kim, I have been there…you’ve taken a great 1st step just recognizing where you are…praying that you will keep looking to Him and that He will wrap His arms of love around you and give you grace to take care of yourself…exercise really helped me among other things…His Peace & Blessings to you :)

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Yes, yoga did help after all. :)

  • http://www.pohlkottepress.blogspot.com tara pohlkotte

    oh, how I’ve been there too. We need to speak these words out loud. give them less of a hold on us. Your honesty is one thing I so admire about you. You will feel full again. And until you do? I will sit beside you in the quiet.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you, Tara. That’s one reason I wrote it. At first I walked away from the writing prompt, not wanting anything to do with it. Then I came back to it because I needed to speak it. And after it was up, I could feel its hold slacken a bit. Then yoga, and prayers, and communion with my online sisters — and already it’s better.

  • http://denisejhughes.com Denise J. Hughes

    “If all I can do is look up for a moment, at least I’m looking in the right direction.” I love the way you put this. So eloquent, so true. I’ve experienced seasons where all I could pray was, “Jesus, please help. Amen.” It’s not the most eloquent prayer, but it always comes from a sincere heart. And I know He hears.

    Beautiful post.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you, Denise. I’m constantly reminded of Anne Lamott’s two prayers: Thank you thank you thank you, and Help me help me help me. Really, it’s all we need some days. Today, I prayed “help,” then I prayed I would be open to receiving it. I think both prayers were answered.

  • http://fromtheheart-anna.blogspot.com Anna

    aaaah, yes. I know it well. I want to offer some kind words /thoughts if I may. I asked a friend, “why?” “Why does it keep coming back in cycles?” She said it was like peeling thelayers of an onion. God builds in a system where we only process it as much as we can handle at that moment. Then later it comes back so we can process it a bit more. I am doing better at just embracing it. Just letting it wash over me, play praise music, do what HAS to be done and as much as possible sit with comforting tea or coffee and my bible in my lap, just letting the words soak in to the marrow of my bones. Let the truth sink in and replace what. is . not. God is faithful. He IS MY STRENGTH and my SHIELD. I continue to rest UNDER HIS WINGS. So relieved to read that prayers are being answered so quickly. Blessings~

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thanks Anna. To me, it feels less like an onion and more like a circle — through the cycles of depression and relief, I don’t really feel like I’m getting anywhere, any deeper, making any progress. I first start frantically searching my mind for some trigger, some reason I’ve slid down again, and sometimes I find one, but sometimes I don’t. And it seems even more meaningless then. Sometimes soaking in God’s truth helps, and sometimes even that feels empty. It’s the inconsistency that’s most difficult — even though I’ve been dealing with this for years, I haven’t “figured it out” yet. But I think I have learned to see it for what it is, to call out my feeble “help,” and then sometimes, though I don’t know how, the help comes. Thank you for your words.

  • http://sarahkocischeilz.wordpress.com Sarah

    Kim, I have lived exactly this in several seasons. Ironically, in the middle of it all, you’ve brought beautiful words to the pain and emptiness of it all. Praying for you, thinking of you and always happy to connect when you need a friend.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Oh, thank you Sarah. I’m always amazed at the power of just saying a thing out loud — that my words can somehow touch someone else’s wound. Thank you.

  • http://annieathome.com Annie

    Oh, Kim. Praying for your heart tonight, that you would have time for soul care, rest for your weary heart, a friend, a wise counselor to listen and love you. I have known dark days too, and those empty places do sing now, but knowing He will be faithful doesn’t alleviate the weight of it all. Thank you for sharing your heart here, Kim. You are looking in the right direction; steady on, friend.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thanks, Annie. Such truth — “knowing He will be faithful doesn’t alleviate the weight of it all.” Yes. How I wish it did, but depression is a more sinister beast than that, and won’t be dismissed with knowledge of truth. Thanks for your words of understanding. It’s always comforting to know that others have been there.

  • http://altaredspaces.com rebecca @ altared spaces

    I found you at Heather’s EO.

    Depression and emptiness. You quote says so much about the empty. As does not wanting to find a belt. That just about sums it up: Not wanting to search for a belt and not knowing why.

    It’s a flat feeling. Like someone ran over you, or let all the air out of your balloon. There’s just nothing there.