Are We There Yet? is a memoir by my lovely blogging friend Elizabeth Jones about her recovery from depression. I like how she conceptualizes recovery: “Recovery is a lifelong journey, not the destination. Recovery is the wrong word. There’s no going back to my former state. If I did, that wouldn’t be progress.”
Liz’s journey with depression has included medication, counselling, processing the trauma she’s been through, and spiritual work. Getting to a place of liking and even loving herself is a major theme in the book, as is accepting the love of God. Some of the experiences of depression that she wrote about sounded very familiar to me, such as going to the store and needing apples but being unable to make a decision about which to buy and then leaving with none.
Liz is a vicar in rural England, and she writes about her decision to seek ordination and going through that process. Her faith plays a prominent role in the book, and she conveys a really important message that depression is not a result of a lack of faith, and managing depression is not solely a spiritual process. I thought this passage was very good at capturing how depression can pull you away from the things that matter:
“I realise that I share in the wonderful and amazing life of the Trinity by virtue of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me! However, a couple of weeks later I was down in the depths of despair once more. I wished I were dead. I wanted everything to go away and leave me alone. No decisions. No writing. No thinking. No nothing – obliterate everything – cease to be. I felt that’s what I should be: dead and gone.”
Liz is someone who clearly finds joy and wonder in her relationship with a loving God, and I think her words will be really inspiring for anyone who feels like their faith or their relationship with God has been impacted by their mental illness. More generally, though, I think the themes of accepting love, coming to love oneself, and working on healing will be inspiring for anyone who has dealt with depression.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.