“And I’m back with a madness. I’m a champion of the people who don’t believe in champions. I got nothing but dreams inside. I got nothing but dreams…..If I can live through this, I can do anything.”-Fall Out Boy
It has been over 9 weeks since I wrote my last blog post and it has not been an easy 9 weeks to say the least. In fact, it has been some of the worst weeks I have had in a very long time and it has been scary. The last 9 weeks have also been very eye opening for me and forced me to have a few “Come to Jesus” moments with my husband, God and myself as I was on the brink of losing everything.
I had been doing really well for quite some time. If you have been following my journey through my blog or my social media accounts, you know that a few months after birth of my 2nd child, I suffered from severe postpartum depression. After successfully being off my medication for several weeks, my husband and I found ourselves pregnant and that spiraled into severe depression most of my pregnancy. Once our son was born, it manifested into severe postpartum anxiety. It has been a really horrible 2 1/2 years with moments of hope and peace here and there. But I have continued to fight the fight and have made progress to the point where I was healed….at least I thought I had been.
But recently I had found myself just very unhappy with life. I LOVE my husband and my kids, but I found the repetitiveness of my life to be stressful, boring and it made me miserable. At times, I hated being a mom and wife. Not that I didn’t love my family, I just didn’t find joy in my role. I couldn’t find joy in the time with my kids or with my husband. The demands of being a wife, a mom, working full time, going to school, having friends, commitments, responsibilities was leaving me absolutely depleted. I stopped blogging, I started withdrawing and I longed for nighttime when I could go to bed and sleep. I had thoughts of suicide and a couple of times, asked God what the point of life was if all I was going to do was live being miserable and then die. What was the point?
My anxiety began to increase, which in turn, started causing me to have daily panic attacks. I couldn’t control it. I lost control. I felt like this is just how it is going to be. A couple weeks ago, my husband and I had a very real, raw and painful talk and it was very eye opening to realize how my illnesses and how I react when they are peaking, affect him and my kids. I had become a really negative and mean person. Which broke my heart, because that isn’t who I wanted to be, but yet, I didn’t know what I even wanted anymore. I honestly had gotten so used to coasting through the last few years with my illnesses and how they made me feel, became normal. I didn’t know how to feel differently. I don’t know how to feel differently but I can honestly say, I finally had hit my rock bottom. It was ugly, nasty and I never want to feel that way again.
On the same day my husband and I had our talk, I came across Demi Lovato’s documentary on YouTube. Now I have always been a huge fan of hers and have found her to be very inspiring when it has come to her illnesses and struggles. I relate to her more than I ever thought I would and I am thankful for her continuing to bring awareness to mental illness. Her documentary was like a punch to my gut. While watching her reflect on her journey, it made me realize my illnesses are a part of me and they will always be a part of me. I will ALWAYS be in recovery. But how I handle my recovery is solely up to me. My husband can make suggestions until he is blue in the face, doctors and therapists can tell me the steps I need to take but until I actually decide to put them into action, and CONTINUE putting them into action, nothing will change. I can’t expect things to change if I don’t stay consistent and that has been where I have fallen short. I will take care of myself by taking my supplements and pills, eating right and exercising for a short bit and when I start feeling good, I start slacking on self-care. Totally not realizing that I am feeling good because I am taking care of myself. You would think I would realize that, but anxiety tells you otherwise. Depression tells you otherwise. Well I have finally gotten to the point where I have thrown up both middle fingers to my illnesses and surrendered to a plan.
I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These illnesses are not choices. I did not choose to have these, but yet, I have them. There have been studies that have proven that trauma can change the hard-wiring of the brain. I have been through trauma and my brain is not the same. I am not the same. BUT I am a daughter of the King and I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I do believe we live in a very broken world and I do not believe I am exempt from illness, whether it be a physical or mental illness, just because I follow Jesus. Even though I have had really hard moments of understanding the whys or have had moments of where I completed hated God, I push through the pain, the fear, the doubts and rely on my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ to get me through my struggles.
I have made some significant changes in my life. I continue to take my supplements and pills religiously, I eat better, I joined a gym and started running, I began weekly psychotherapy sessions with my therapist and I am working on being a better communicator to those around me when I am having a moment.
Living with a mental illness is HARD! But it is doable. You have to fight the lies your mind will tell you and believe and know you are worth it. I am slowly believing and realizing my worth because I am once and for all, realizing my true worth is found in Christ Jesus and I can do all things because He gives me the strength.
** If you have urgent needs, thoughts of suicide, fear that you may harm yourself, your baby or others, you need to IMMEDIATELY call your healthcare provider, dial 911, go to the nearest emergency room or contact a qualified crisis line, such as the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255**