On Depression during a pandemic

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How are you? My therapist asked me through my computer screen; my dog snoozing under the desk at my feet.

How are any of us? I thought, willing myself to speak the truth out loud. How good can any of us be almost a year into this pandemic, with no end in sight?

Instead: I’m fine, a little tired maybe. I spent too many hours watching TikToks last night.

I’m tired. So very tired.

I’m tired of hearing about elected officials who make more than the average American could even dream about decide who qualifies for help. …

And I’m ok with that

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Let me explain.

When I left my job at the end of last year, it was going to be a good thing. 2019 saw a few things happen: A 48-hour suicide hold led to a partial hospitalization program. A partial hospitalization program led to processing my trauma in therapy. Processing some trauma in therapy led to a blog post being retweeted by a celebrity. Taking a few months off would allow more growth that wasn’t possible while working full-time.

2020 started out great: I started a new therapy group for women with PTSD; my meds were working; I wrote five…

‘I feel stupid when I pray’

I’m not supposed to isolate, so I play the “swipe game.” Swiping on apps so at least I see a human face. Maybe they’ll want to chat.

They don’t. They just want hookups.

I don’t want to be a burden to my friends.

The funny thing about depression is that it doesn’t ask for your opinion. It just gives it to you. It’s like a child with no filter, your room’s a mess; you should probably clean it. Why is your stomach so big? You should probably exercise more.

The funny thing about depression is that you don’t have the…

Living is as simple as breathing

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Breathe; my tattoo will simply read. Typewriter font reminding me of something I forget to do anytime the trauma of my past shrouds me in darkness, or, better yet, when the fear of the future sets in like a tsunami. Sometimes thinking about the future when you’re a walking billboard for chronic suicidality is terrifying. Not that I want to be a walking billboard, but hey, if the shoe fits. …

Forgiving myself for a suicide attempt ten years ago

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I feel like I lost a part of myself the night I attempted suicide, I told my therapist today during our session. I feel like I lost my innocence, and I can’t get it back.

Ten years ago, February 12, 2010, was a day like any other. Until it wasn’t. And I’ve spent the last ten years running from that night, saying it happened, but living as if it didn’t. Not accepting that it happened, not forgiving myself. Coincidentally, both are things my therapist says I have to do.

I’ve been spending the last ten years of my life running…

On growing up suicidal in the church

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I guess all I’m saying is that the church can do a lot of damage to children who are suicidal, I texted one of my pastors almost a year ago. I had just been cleared to return to work after spending two weeks in a partial-hospitalization program. I mean, we grow up hearing that heaven is this wonderful place where there is no more pain, and we’ll be with Jesus, and all the hurt will just disappear.

I remember being five-years-old and wishing that heaven would come real soon. It sounded so much better than being alive. Alive was bus…

A semi-reflection on my 48-hour suicide hold

“Time is an illusion.” — Albert Einstein

Sometimes I wonder if they didn’t let me out of the psych ward too soon. I told my therapist at our first appointment after from paternity leave almost a year ago, which is not the reason I checked myself into the psych ward, I’m sure. Although it probably didn’t help that the one person I wanted to talk to about my therapist being on paternity leave was on paternity leave. Paternity leave: good for him; terrible for me. The actual reason I checked myself into the psych ward is because I wanted to…

On the power of redemption

I wrote a piece earlier this week about the intersection of sexual assault and Christianity. This is a follow up of sorts.

It’s easy for me to doubt God. It’s easier than having faith some days. Faith is hard — it’s getting out of the boat and walking on water, trusting that you won’t drown.

It’s believing that even when bad things happen, God is right there with you. Sometimes it’s easier to be angry at God for abandoning you than it is to reconcile an all-loving God with evil.

God has this way of sneaking up on you: just…

A millennial’s perspective on church and authenticity

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There’s something that doesn’t sit right about a church when the message sounds more like an advertisement for the church than about being drawn closer to God, when worship is the best part of the morning, and the message snaps you out of the presence of God.

You’ve heard it many times before, seen the research many times: there’s an age gap missing in the church, and each year that gap grows bigger and bigger. I’ve noticed that every year, more and more of my friends stop attending church. Especially those who grew up in the church. …

On finding God inside the doubt

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I don’t remember the walk through the hospital — I was on autopilot, parking in the parking garage, taking the elevators to the hospital lobby, and then walking through the doors to the Emergency Department (backward to the way most people do it). Everything about this was backward.

“I’m suicidal,” I said to the lady behind the desk.

A nurse came over and took my pulse. “Are you on drugs,” she asked. My heart was racing because wouldn’t yours be, too, after panicking the whole way through?

And in that moment, I never felt so alone. Despite the crowd of…

Kaleigh Lynne Distaffen

Dreamer. Writer. Survivor. Becomer. Follow me over at Prozac and Faith — kldistaffen.com

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