It was time to get help and this is where I started...
Since everything came out on a Friday night and through the weekend, I couldn't do much for a few days. I had talked with my friend and she gave me the name of the Christian counselor she had gone to the previous year. I called her first thing on Monday and left a message. I called another close friend, whose husband is my pastor, and asked her who they would recommend as a counselor. I also called my ob-gyn and left her nurse a message telling her what was going on and asking if they could help me or point to a doctor who could.
My doctor's nurse called me back a few minutes later and asked me if I could come in later that day. I went in that afternoon and told her everything that I had been feeling and thinking. She diagnosed me with PPD. She gave me a prescription for anxiety and depression and referred me to a counselor who dealt specifically with PPD.
I weighed the pros and cons of the three counselors that had been recommended. They were all female - which was a must for me. One specialized in PPD, but I didn't know if she was a Christian or not and therefore I didn't know if she would share or understand the same values as me. Another was a Christian counselor. And the last one was a Christian, who was a counselor, but didn't do "Christian counseling".
I have no doubt that the counselor my doctor recommended was a great counselor, but I just couldn't find a peace about seeing her. I chose to try the counselor who was a Christian first, but she was not taking new clients. Then I got an appointment scheduled with the Christian counselor my friend had gone to, waited a month for that appointment, and found out the day before that there were problems with her not being certified through my insurance. So, what to do...
I called our Director of Preschool Ministries at church. I knew she did a little bit of counseling and I just asked her if I could talk to her at church that night (by now, it was a Wednesday night...over month after I'd started looking for a counselor.) She said, "Absolutely."
I met with Lea that night and just poured my heart out to her. She offered to meet with me on Wednesday nights during church. It was a great arrangement. I didn't have to worry about a co-pay or childcare. I knew that she would give me godly wisdom and guidance and support. I met with her for about 6 weeks. I can't explain enough how much this helped. I could pour my heart out in confidence and she would listen, share her experiences with me, encourage me, remind me that I was God's child and I was exactly how He made me. She helped me to see the good in myself and helped me come up with ways to cope and stay positive.
And now for the prescription meds part. To be honest, I struggled with it at first. I knew there was nothing wrong with me taking them and that they would help me. And, yet, the thought kept running through my mind, "But I'm a Christian - what would people think?" I thought people would either a) doubt my faith because a true Christian shouldn't battle depression (Wrong.) or b) tell me I hadn't prayed enough (And wrong again). I decided I couldn't worry about what people said or thought (because if they said or thought those things about me, they would be wrong) and I began taking my medication. And I prayed. A lot. A whole, whole lot. I never ever underestimate God's work and His ability in my life or anyone else's. He could very well take care of all of this without medication. He pulled me out it in a lot of ways that my medication did not. But, my medication was necessary, as well.
I wanted so badly for it to work immediately. But it didn't. It took several weeks to fully kick in. I'm really not good at taking medicine on a regular basis, so I asked Jacob to remind me every night to take it and he did. And you know what - it helped. Here's what I think about it...I do not have 20/20 vision. I can only see things that are near to me (does that make me nearsighted?) Now, I can pray all day long for God to correct my vision and I fully believe that He can, but I don't walk around blind until He does. I wear my contacts or my glasses. Make sense?
Depression is a real, medical issue. And medicine can definitely help.