So I went to meeting today and realized that being able to make it through an hour of unprogrammed Quaker worship without constant weeping ought to be the norm.
Back in February when I pretty much just wept the every time I was sitting in the meeting room, that should have been a clue to me that my depression was not well controlled.
I thought I was just sad. Little "s" sad, not big "D" Depressed. In retrospect it seems obvious. That's how it is when your brain is unreliable. You still have to rely on it.
Today I didn't cry. And that seemed oddly normal.
What do you do when you notice that someone is weeping? Do you approach them? Do you ask them what is wrong? Or do you pretend that you don't see because you don't want to embarrass them? Not want to get involved? Hope someone else noticed and will step in?
I will tell you that had I not been approached by one of the members of my community while I was sitting alone in the pews after the rise of meeting, softly weeping to myself, I would never have returned. Just having someone notice that something was wrong helped immensely.
I talked to someone else today who went through a bout of Depression where she couldn't go to meeting because all she could do was cry. And she desperately wanted someone-- anyone-- to come up and talk to her. And they didn't. Are tears just considered a normal response to Quaker worship? Do I just not see? Now this F/friend makes a point of noticing when people are in tears and approaches them.
I will too.
And I will always be thankful when people notice that I am distressed. I might not have any reasons for crying that make any sense to them... because the weeping just starts and then I can't stop. The tears call out to all the other tears that have been waiting to fall. And they slide down my cheeks in thick, cold trails. And maybe I will just say, "I"m having a hard time right now. Thank you for your concern."
Quaker, teacher, parent,