Those of you who have kept ‘following’ me even though nothing has been forthcoming, thank you! While I had good intentions over the summer, I was not able to keep up with posting or, even, my research and writing. My Renewal Leave last summer was a gift for so many reasons. I was able to rest, rejuvenate, write and, perhaps most importantly, reconnect with my call to pastoral ministry.
Last October, despite my insistent denial, I had to face the fact that I was suffering from depression. Work was very stressful at the time and factors converged so that I was not able to ignore it any longer. My mother came out to stay with us for two weeks. I found a new counselor (my previous counselor having moved away last April). I saw my family physician. And I began learning about depression.
Past struggles with my mental health had always focused around anxiety ~ hyper-vigilance, insomnia, panic attacks. The depression manifested itself in a completely different way, so I was not able to identify it for quite some time. Looking back I can see that the symptoms of the depression were coming on, slowly building, for about a year before I recognized it. With the benefit of hindsight I want to say, “Duh!” but depression is an insidious thing.
Bady helped me greatly in dealing with anxiety so it was painful to realize that he didn’t offer a magical cure for depression. Certainly he was with me, but he was not able to lift my depression ~ as he had my anxiety ~ so I had to seek out alternative help. I am so glad that I did.
I am happy to report that today I am much better. I’m still figuring out this sneaky thing called depression, but for now the cloud has lifted. It is as if I see colors again for the first time in a long time. In my recovery I came to the realization that my work with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors was taking an emotional toll. I’ve had to make some changes in my outreach work in the community and in the church. Now, instead of working directly with survivors I am taking a more administrative role on my conference Response and Intervention Team. I am continuing my work in the community, but focusing more on the policy level and advocating legislation on the State level. I’m finding this transition to be rewarding and healing.
So I am pleased to be back at The Bady Partnership keyboard again. As you can see, I adjusted the name back to it’s old form and took off “for Peace” from the title. It feels more authentic to me to just be “The Bady Partnership” because my partnership with Bady has been a life changing one for me. And, in that spirit, I hope we can continue to talk about healing, relationships, wholeness and peace in this space. I am not going to make any promises about how often I will write, but I do hope it will be more frequently. Thank you for your presence here and may you live fully today!
“Being broken isn’t the worst thing. We can be mended and put together again. We don’t have to be ashamed of our past. We can embrace the history that gives us value, and see our cracks as beautiful.” ~ Anna White, Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love and Leaps of Faith