Last night I didn't sleep very well. I went to bed late, couldn't get comfortable, and Ted's snoring was worse than normal. I tried sleeping on the couch, but I'm used to someone next to me, so I went back to my bed. I finally was able to fall asleep using the earplugs I wear during band practices. Yes, the snoring was that loud. Then Timothy came into my bed in the wee hours. So I knew it was going to be a rough day.
While I was showering, I felt really down. I kept thinking about finances, life circumstances, body image issues... and the world was turning dark and overwhelming. And then I remembered that I hadn't had much sleep, and that perhaps this depression was really just physical exhaustion. So I felt better, but then my mind kept drifting to the same problems, and I'd feel discouraged again. So I told myself again that nothing had changed but my perspective, I was just tired. Every time I had a negative thought, I had to tell myself the truth. "Take captive every thought" (2 Cor. 10:5). Arrest the thought, deflect it, replace it. Repeat as needed.
It still surprises me how fast I can feel overwhelmed and depressed. If I had given in to the negative thoughts, I could have been immobilized by the end of my shower, and it would've been that much harder to remind myself of God's truth. Little things like sleep make a HUGE difference in being able to manage thoughts and emotions. And when I feel vulnerable to attacks of discouragement, that's when I need to stay closer and cling harder to God.
Later in the morning, I was able to play some worship songs on my piano and just rest in His presence. I felt completely refreshed and re-centered again. And when Timothy took his nap, I took a little one, too. The combination of sleep + God's presence = peace. Sounds simple, but it's easy to forget in the emotional breakdown. Fortunately, God is really nice and nudges me in the right direction when I start to lose my way. Hopefully, I'll remember tomorrow when the daily chaos strikes again. But for tonight, I'll try to get more sleep. I think I'll be proactive and use my earplugs right away this time.