I am going to make a confession that I am not at all comfortable making. I have been struggling with depression the last two months or so. You may be wondering what this has to do with dancing. Don’t worry…I’ll get there. Anyhow, I’m not talking wake up feeling blue deperession…I am talking knock me flat on my back depression that has had me in tears night after night (and day after day if truth be told). I have struggled with depression before, but never anything remotely close to this. And the strange thing is, this didn’t come on gradually. It just hit me like a semi-truck.
I was talking to a friend a while back and mentioned to him that I haven’t felt truly passionate –good or bad – about something in a long time. In fact, in my last blog post I talked about how my emotions have been subdued, likely as a coping mechanism for the pain I felt in my marriage (pain that I’m thinking now I have never fully dealt with).
During this depression though…well, I tell you…the last few weeks my emotions have been anything but subdued! I have been feeling raw pain like I can’t remember feeling in a long time. It hurts. I feel like pieces of me are being stripped away. I think the best analogy would be a wound that has a scab over it, and has for a long time, and the scab has suddenly been ripped off, leaving an exposed and bleeding wound. Like I said, it hurts. A lot.
Tonight I decided to go outside and exercise. A good friend had told me to get some fresh air to try and help with the depression, and my ex-husband always told me that exercise is good for the emotions, so I figured it couldn’t hurt, and just about anything was better than sitting inside feeling sorry for myself.
I took my i-Pod outside and started working out. I began by running. Then when my lungs felt like they were going to explode I walked. When I bored of that I did push-ups in my driveway. And then some warrior poses and downward facing dogs. But when the Bloodhound Gang came on I started shaking my stuff (come on, who can help it?!). And then one of my current favorite songs, Every Time it Rains by Charlotte Martin, came on and I danced. I danced like no-one was watching (which likely they weren’t), like no-one cared, like I was alone in the world just me and the music. I spun and plied and leapt around my driveway. And I felt good. I felt joy.
When the song ended I lay down on my cold driveway and watched the stars as I listened to some more music. A tear rolled out of my eye, and I realized there is really a thin line between raw pain and pure joy.
Today in church a man talked about having a broken heart for God, and that literally meant we are opening our hearts completely and without any barriers. To quote from a talk by Bruce Porter (found here), “When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are.”
Isaiah 61:1 says that the Savior was sent to “bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Can I get a resounding AMEN to that?!)
I lay there thinking about this, and then God spoke to me. He told me this pain is a gift. Crazy, right? But He said He will be there for me. And you know what? I believe Him. Because with the ability to feel pain, and with the healing He is going to help me though, I will regain the ability to feel joy too, and all the other emotions in-between.
And when that happens, my friends, I will truly dance.