It feels like I’ve been operating on autopilot for a while now. I don’t exactly know why, but I suspect it started this spring when my Facebook memories began to show me a whole lot of painful stuff.

This is the first year I’ve gotten that feature to work on Facebook, and while I appreciate some of the posts that get shown to me, I mostly find it difficult to walk back through the “stuff” of six years ago.

It’s hard. It hurts. And somewhere in the midst of seeing our daughter’s face pop up daily, I just stopped.

I stopped feeling. I stopped caring. I stopped doing anything that would connect me with reality, with God, with friends and family. I sank into watching television and movies, I spent hours playing games on my phone, and I only read Facebook instead of engaging.

I know my work this summer has been less than what I wanted it to be. I could have spent time planning, preparing, and even creating content. I did very little of any of that, pretty much the bare minimum. It’s not something I’m proud of.

Sometimes I assumed it was just me being lazy. It’s not like I’ve been exercising or doing devotions or writing. I haven’t been cooking our meals or doing much to plan for them.

Other times I began to wonder if my depression has gotten worse. I eat junk food far too often, and I have very little energy or motivation. But neither laziness nor depression is the source of this malaise. It’s avoidance.

I’ve been avoiding feeling, thinking, dreaming. I don’t really know what to dream about right now. I’m fast approaching my 40th birthday, and while I had big plans for this 39th year I’ve accomplished very few of them.

It isn’t depression, or laziness, or poor health. I am escaping from dealing with reality.

Turning 40 forces me to look at our house, and how we have no living children. Facebook shows me the pictures of my own daughter, and the newborn sons and daughters of friends and family. We didn’t take a vacation this year (a variety of reasons went into this). A new friend moved to the other side of the globe. Some of my very favorite people live so far away that I don’t ever see them. Travis’ grandpa, the first person to make me feel truly welcome among my inlaws, passed away.

I know what my depression looks like – a big black hole out of which I cannot climb. This is not exactly that, but it’s the baby steps that lead to it. So today I’m starting over. I’m giving myself a clean slate to move forward. It starts with writing this, and posting my #joydare on Facebook again. Baby steps in the right direction.