It's not depression. I just want to be seen.

I struggle with depression. But I am not depressed. Does that even make sense?

Sometimes the cold icy fingers of depression sneak up on me. They wrap their hands around me and seek to pull me down and destroy. Yes. That ugliness is true. But I don’t dwell there.

I struggle with depression. But I am not depressed.

Today, I laced up my running shoes and decided to make my way to the lighthouse. I am not a runner, but I continue to attempt this feat. I knew the distance. I knew I was capable. So off I went. Slow and steady. Reminding myself to be thankful for a body that can actually do this.

I settled into my breathing. Footsteps pounding. Slow. Steady. The grey of this day was perfect for me. I love grey days. They are moody and ethereal yet magically beautiful. I thanked God for the day. For my legs. For my breath. Slowly my head cleared. As I ran on the path alongside the beach I promised myself on the return I would on the beach, toes in sand. No matter how grey. Or how chilly.

I reached the pier already tired. But determined. Slow. Steady. Keeping my eye on the goal. The beacon of light at the end. I even quickened my steps. Why not? I asked myself. The inner athlete within me shouted, Intervals!

Goal complete. The lighthouse. Breathless. Sweaty. Light-headed. Empowered. There were very few people around. I could casual pass on a smile yet be fully with myself. I stretched. I sat. Leaning my back against the hard cement foundation at the base of the lighthouse. Feeling its stability. its strength.

depression relieved - lake michigan sunset - ludington michigan

As my muscles stretched, my breathing became soft and even once more. The wind was more intense out here and tendrils of my hair escaped my pony tail whipping across my face. I felt…alive. Every sense of my being was activated and it was glorious.

Then I had a thought. A realization. It’s not that I want to die when depression seeps in. It’s more than that. I want to feel alive. Whole. Real. And in those moments it seems so far from my grasp.

I stood and walked to the edge of the pier. I gazed into the swirling darkness of waves and foam. Could I hear the mermaids beckon me with their seductive song? Yes. I can hear their singing. I can feel the call. "Jump. Go ahead. Just do it." But I also heard this shrill strong voice, that sounded strangely like my mother, screaming, “LISA! Get away from the edge!”. And I did. Almost fearfully. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to end my life. But I so desperately want to feel fully alive.

As I pondered what that meant to me I ended up in one of my religious “stories”. I want to feel alive. I want to have significance. I want to be seen. But what I have been taught my whole life is that we find our significance in Christ. Because He is enough therefore we are enough. I get it. I do. But guess what? I’m human. I’m not God. And my human self struggles to find my place and my significance.

I don’t want to die. I don’t want to end my life. But I so desperately want to feel fully alive.

Why do we tell ourselves that’s so wrong? Why do we tell ourselves we can’t want to be seen? Why do we tell ourselves we don’t need to find significance. I call B.S. If I am on this planet for a purpose I best leave a mark. And if I hide in my church on Sunday and behind my religion I am nothing.

I WANT to be seen. I crave it.

Not how you think. I can see the judgement already. I can hear the words. “Obviously Lisa. Look at you. Colored hair. Tattoos.”

Guess what? You are wrong. Those are for me. Those are my expression of a part of me that I put aside many years ago because “you just don’t do that”. That is me embracing me. Get over it.

I want to be seen as a loving, caring, doting mother.

I want to be seen as a loyal devoted friend.

I want to be seen as a kick ass business person.

I want to be seen as beautiful sensual woman.

I want to be seen as a hard-core creative.

I want to be seen as person who will always give a smile to a stranger.

I want to be seen as fearless to others so they can face their fears.

I want to be seen as laughter and light.

I want to be seen.

I don’t think my Jesus gave me all these desires to put them in a box and pretend they don’t exist. He may allow me to rest in his arms and know at the end of the day I am enough. But he also gave me these passions and desires. He made me this way. And if He doesn’t make mistakes….then I am ok. I am.

I am not depressed. I struggle with depression. But on this day. I just want to be fully alive. And I want to be seen. And I bet. I just bet. You do too.

Guess what sweet friend? I see you.

much, much love, lisa


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