I was talking with D, a dear friend of mine, about depression, about how alone I felt, about how friendships and community and love seemed so very far away. I was already doing the other things D suggested–talking with my husband, seeing a therapist, taking my antidepressants regularly–and I said that it was so difficult to maintain my connection to Judaism, to G-d, to everything that flowed from that, when I was in the midst of this pain.
I mean, things in my life are actually going really well. Better than they have in quite some time. There’s no reason for me to feel the way that I do, except that I do feel the way that I do. I feel like there’s been a death in the family and I can’t stop mourning. I feel like everything I love is on the verge of total disaster, even when it’s not.
D has always had a penchant for returning to the text and encouraged me to do so again. I don’t think there’s a whole lot written about depression in Torah, I said. D disagreed, and suggested I take a closer look at Tehillim–Psalms. If ever there was a collection of writings about pain and aloneness, D said, it would be Tehillim. I found my tiny book of Tehillim and opened to a random page.
At least I think it was random. It hit me so strongly that I was immediately in tears. Someone did know how I felt! And later, when D suggested an anonymous blog since I have rarely been able to maintain an offline written journal, this Psalm–Psalm 55:2-7–seemed the obvious place to start.
It is from this dark depression that this blog name sprang:
2 Give ear, O G-d, to my prayer; and hide not Thyself from my supplication.
3 Attend unto me, and hear me; I am distraught in my complaint, and will moan;
4 Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they cast mischief upon me, and in anger they persecute me.
5 My heart is sorely pained within me; and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
6 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.
7 And I said: ‘Oh that I had wings like a dove! then would I fly away, and be at rest.