I love music. If I'm working on things around the house, there's usually music playing in the background. I have to have music when I'm making beads, and I actually really enjoy traveling alone because I get to pick ALL the music. :-) One of my Christmas gifts this year was the latest Pentatonix album, and I've really been enjoying it. I was playing it today while I was out running some errands, and one of the songs really hit me. It's called "Light In The Hallway", and part of the chorus goes as follows: Count your blessings every day, it makes the monsters go away. That line triggered some memories for me.
I've said that I deal with depression. I try not to make a big deal of it, because - well, because that's just how it is, and I know a lot of people who have it far worse than me. That doesn't mean it's easy, and when it first started....well. Since my depression is chemical (I don't make enough serotonin), it would be reasonable to assume that there wasn't a big traumatic event that triggered it, and there wasn't. What's weird is that I remember how it started, and it was literally overnight. I was 16 years old. I'd been talking to a friend at school that day about a mutual acquaintance who was having a rough time emotionally, and we had said we hoped he wouldn't do anything drastic. The conversation moved on, we went our separate ways, the end. I went home, did my chores and homework, blah blah blah, went to bed. At some point in the middle of the night, I bolted upright in bed, wide awake and completely terrified, with one thought in my head: suicide. It was like a neon sign blinking in my brain. I dragged my mom out of bed in a panic, and she sat with me and talked to me and prayed with me until I settled down, but that was it. Something - I don't know what - had changed, and it stayed different.
Anyway, listening to that song today reminded me of those early months of trying to deal with the depression and the fear that came with it. Even though I didn't really want to kill myself, I was scared to be alone because I honestly feared that I was losing my mind and might do myself harm. So I made a point of not being alone during the day, and at night - most nights I slept on the floor in my younger sister's bedroom. I'd put down a sleeping bag and a couple blankets and tuck my Bible under my pillow. Then I'd settle down and alternate between praying, repeating Bible verses, and listing off every person I could think of who loved me. And that's what the song made me think about. For me, a big part of the depression is feeling worthless; it's like there's someone in my head telling me that I'm pointless, useless, that no-one would miss me if I was gone and anybody could fill my spot in the world better than me. So I'd lie there and fight the only way I knew how - by reminding myself of all the people in my life who I knew loved me. I counted my blessings, and it made the monsters go away. I still do that sometimes, and it still helps.
The other thing that helped me the most during that time was finding a verse that seemed meant just for me. It's Isaiah 41:10: "Fear not, I am with you; don't be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." That first phrase - "fear not, I am with you" - held me together more times than I can count. I guess you could say that's my "life verse", because God used it to keep me alive.
Anyway, all of this surfaced in my memory today because of a song. It's kind of funny how things like that happen, but I'm glad it did, because I can always use a reminder to count my blessings.