Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Well, it's been a dark few weeks . . .

Try as hard as you might, but some things just don't ever turn out the way you would like.

We all know this a fact of life. But still, we're often surprised when it becomes obvious that our best efforts are just not enough. Especially when we're sure that we're doing the right thing, the best thing, with our circumstances.

And that's when we need to remember that we do not hold the present nor the future in our own hands. That's when we finally hear God saying "your way may be good, but my way is better." And we realize that we need to stop fighting, and release ourselves into his plan, because that's the best place to be.

That's what I've been struggling with the past several weeks. After months of being off the antidepressant medication that I've always had to take post-partum, after months of working hard to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, through natural and nutritional methods, I crashed into a bad depression.

Having had post-partum depression after the birth of each of my 3 boys, I'm no stranger to depression. But I had thought/hoped that was all behind me. This time, it snuck up on me - slowly and somewhat disguised at first. Then suddenly within a few days, it boldly made it's presence known, loud and clear in a way that couldn't be ignored.

My symptoms were similar to my previous experiences - feeling completely overwhelmed by and unable to accomplish ordinary tasks, crying a lot, feeling hopeless and despondent, having no interest in things I usually enjoy, and extreme anxiety. The anxiety caused almost constant feelings of restlessness, agitation, fear, no appetite, and the inability to relax or concentrate on anything.

For some, depression can simply be a lingering feeling of sadness. For me, I became almost unfunctional and felt like I was drowning in a deep, dark, scary pit. And that's when we knew that I needed help.

Natural, holistic methods have helped me with other chronic issues that I've had in the past. But it now became apparent that it wasn't enough for maintaining my mental health. I was so disappointed to be back at this point, and fearful of starting on antidepressant meds. again, because of side effects and that I felt that it contributed to many of the other health problems I experienced while on the medication.

I went to psychiatrist this time to get a full evaluation and to see what options there might be. She helped me understand, and finally accept, that I have a deficiency in my brain chemistry (neurotransmitters) and that I would probably need to be on medication for the rest of my life. The good news is that she felt the old medication I had been on wasn't really helping in the right way, and she wanted me to try a newer, different type of medication that has worked well for many people for long-term treatment, and with fewer side effects.

There've been some ups and downs, as there often is in adjusting to and tinkering with dosages with these types of medications. And some days I was convinced that this would never go away. But I finally began to see the light at the end of the tunnel a week or so ago, and am feeling a little more "normal" each day.

Before this, I prayed for years that God would bless my efforts to become and stay healthy by taking good care of my body. After all, God created all the herbs and vitamins and minerals that are so good for us, so why shouldn't I expect Him to answer that prayer with a "Yes"?

I was heart broken to feel that God was telling me "No". But I've slowly accepted that His "No" in this situation is really a "Yes" to another plan. His plan. A plan that I can't see fully at this point, in my limited, earthly mind. But it's a plan that He can see perfectly. And for that, I am humbled, thankful and grateful.


Mom said...

WOW, Chris! What a great job you did in explaining this whole "mess" you have had recently. We are blessed to be your parents.
Love, Mom and Dad

Nancy said...

This reminds me of perhaps my new favorite quote, "We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so we can have the life that's waiting for us."

I'm so glad that you're feeling a little better each day. Blessings to you, dear sister. You're not alone.