This is for you, sweet friend and reader, who is being crushed by something you can't understand and never invited into your life. You are not alone in this - you do have friends and family who love you and want to walk with you. Let them. And you have a Heavenly Father who cherishes you and who has not abandoned you. I pray my story helps you to believe these things...
For the first time on my blog, I think, I am sharing something super personal about myself. Something I've only talked with a few people about. But I know that when I am going through something - anything - if I know of others who have been in a similar situation, it helps me. A whole lot. Writing also helps me. I want to share with you this battle I am in with Postpartum Depression (PPD)...
At the beginning of December, I was not feeling "right" in any area of my life. I had felt this way for several weeks. I was unmotivated. I was tired. I was angry. I was irritable. I couldn't sleep. I would lay down and it would literally feel like someone was laying on top me. I didn't want to smile. I couldn't smile. I didn't enjoy being a wife or mother. I would have served my family slices of bread and glasses of milk if I'd thought that would have been acceptable on any level. I did not care. My mind was foggy and jumbled. I could not focus. Life took energy.
I knew something was going on with me and I even suspected it was PPD, but I thought I was "stronger" than that. But, then, one Friday at lunchtime, my 3 year old asked for some more milk. And that infuriated me. To this day, I give all of the praise and glory to God for keeping me calm and getting me to take deep breaths while I slowly got up and fixed an innocent glass of milk for my thirsty little girl. Then I stood over the kitchen sink trying to regain composure while Anna Beth asked me if I was going to throw up.
That was all I needed. I realized that how I had just felt could have turned bad without God's protection. Something had to be done. I knew, from past social work experience and classes, that I needed support. Of course, I immediately called Jacob at work. He was headed home soon, but he made me promise him that I would hang up and call my good friend who had recently dealt with depression. I promised and I followed through with it. (More about friends support later) I talked with my mom and she encouraged me, too, to continue talking with Jacob and to my doctor.
That night, after attempting to fake my way through enjoying our SS Christmas party, Jacob and I talked for two hours. He asked me the hard questions, "Do you want to hurt yourself?" No; "Are our kids safe here with you during the day?" Yes.; "Are you finally going to deal with this?" Yes. Can you imagine how hard it was for him to look me in the eye and ask me if our children were safe with me? He said it was one of the hardest things he's ever had to say. But I thanked him for it - because it needed to be asked.
I told him about how months earlier, I laid curled up in a ball on our bed, sobbing my eyes out. I didn't want to die, but I fully believed that he and the kids would be better off without me. And how I tried to figure out if our kids could deal with a mom who had abandoned them.
So this is where I was that day and night. And that is when I finally, FINALLY decided that I needed help.
My story continues in the next 3 parts....