I am catching a moment to blog, as it has been on my mind insistently to do so. Where to start?
I started this blog because I needed a way to vent my jumbled emotions of confusion, anger, uncertainty, loneliness, insecurity, frailty, resentment, bitterness, needing to reach out... and yet, I find myself shrinking back from posting the true things I started this for. I don't want people to know these things about me. It's icky!
But its what I've been going through this last year... or longer.
See, I am good at wearing a mask and saying "the right things" that people expect to hear. And for me to stop doing that... well, is hard. I did for a while... and then when I started struggling again, UP went the mask and fake me. ew.
But sitting in my beautiful blue-colored living room today, I started thinking about the word "Blue." It describes an emotion, a color, its a term for water "the deep blue," a type of music.... which kinda goes with the emotion/mood blue. And I was thinking, I should change the paint color. I need Joy & Happiness.
Basically I've always struggled with depression. I remember being like 5 years old, and just crying for no reason, other than I just needed to cry. I had this heaviness and loneliness over me and I just needed to cry. Other times growing up, I would find myself sitting out in our field, just praying for Jesus to come and take me away. Its not like I had a bad life that I was trying to escape. I had great parents and awesome sisters. A really good life. I just didn't know how to verbalize how I felt. I didn't know what was troubling me. In high school I hit a point where I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and somehow froze internally. I wanted to go to a Bible college so then I could at least learn more of God's Word while I figured it out. But I discovered that wasn't an option, so my depression became thick. I was at an all time low and didn't know what to do. I started college and decided I might as well try somethings I never had, maybe that would help? Seems like everyone partying was having a good time, and I just wanted to be happy again.
Needless to say, none of it helped.
I was told I had to move out, but could move to Oregon and live with my sister, so I chose to do that. I hated the idea of moving to Oregon, but knew I needed a change desperately. Living in a state with no real friends and not knowing I was dealing with depression, was really difficult. Eventually I realized that I was depressed, and was able to look back and see that its not something new to me. Things got better as I leaned on God and grew closer to Him in my walk. this was a great time where I was able to focus my attention and time with God. How true His word is about being single, you have so much time, energy, emotion, mentality and what-not, to focus on God. He rescued me from my depression and blessed me with awesome friends.
And yet, it wasn't the end of it. It seems my life and choices would be like a roller-coaster ride. Up. Down. Slow. Fast. Dizzying. Terrifying. How can I get off at times? How did I get on this ride? And yet, I usually would end up on top. Clinging to God and His word.
When I got pregnant, there was the question that went something like "Do you have Depression?" Really they should re-word it to say "have you ever felt down or depressed at any point in life?" as for me, I was thinking "heck no, I'm HAPPY!" so I didn't check it.
Now thinking back, I should have checked it. I think they would have been able to prepare me more for what its like when all the "happy hormones" rush out of me and leave me a drained, exhausted, overwhelmed new mommy.
My expectations of being a mom were SO far off my experience. I don't have specific details of what I expected, but I never expected to be depressed. I didn't expect to resent people who had it easy and bounced back to normal, or my husband for being happy and enjoying life, or my sweet daughter who screamed in agony and I couldn't take away her pain. Somehow I figure it would be easy, it would be fun and it would be a big joyous event, going back to normal life but with more joy and a sweet happy baby.
Thankfully I learned to reach out. It took a few months or a year... definitely way too overdue. Mentors, Doctors, Sisters, Husband. How do you tell people you feel like you don't know who you are, someone completely different, and you don't like yourself and feel like you're going crazy, without them thinking you ARE crazy??? Of course... no one thought I was crazy, well, maybe Jon. Poor guy. :)
Come to find out, my hormones never went back to a semi-balance of even normal. Some were, but others weren't which were definitely attributing to my depression, self-loathing, lack of self-confidence, feeling alone & isolated, tiredness, lack of deep sleep, craziness, lack of happiness, energy or drive and a deep sense of hopelessness and defeat, that I could barely survive getting through a day.
You have no idea how hopefully it felt to know that "hey, this CAN change! and someone is going to HELP ME!"
My sister Melinda Hughes PA-C has been helping me figure out my hormones by taking some bio-identical hormones & other natural herbs to get my body functioning like it should. Its been a month & half now and its better. I can tell. Not like night and day different, because we are starting low to see if my body will jump-start and do the work itself again, but definitely better!
Through all this, my faith has been tested. My foundation rocked. I honestly can say that this last 2 years have probably been my hardest ever. I don't think I've ever cried as much, screamed as much, fought as much or been as depressed. I questioned God, yelled at God, pleaded with Him. Why?! WHY????!? What did I DO wrong?? Please change my life! please change me! please change everything.
And yet, I didn't hear Him change it, or me, or really say anything. I don't know what He is doing in my life. I don't know what purpose this has yet. But I know He is there.
I have a greater understanding for how people can leave their faith. And maybe that is what this was for? I can understand that feeling of wanting to give up... but for what? I couldn't come up with what would be better. I KNOW God is real. He has spoken to me and helped me in life, and so I couldn't doubt that.
And maybe this is a lesson to be revealed later in life.
I hope not, because its way more encouraging to go through something difficult and then be able to turn around and say "phew I'm out of it, let me help you too now." That has happened before in my life, and I think it definitely helps the healing process speed up! :)
Something that I learned recently... that focusing too much on my missed expectations, too much attention, emotion, emphasis, time, "shoulds" on them, that I was sinning by doing so. Instead of praising God that I had a healthy baby for the most part and for the people God's place in my life to encourage me and help me medically, I was angry and indignant. How DARE God not go with MY Plans of how MY LIFE was supposed to be.
In all this I thought I was the victim, and I wasn't doing anything wrong. But I was, I was telling GOD how it was supposed to be like. I was telling God what to do. Who do I think I am?
When satan tried that, he was cast out of heaven. yikes. What am I thinking?
There is a vast difference between praying God's promises from His Word and believing IN HIM to do it, vs. TELLING Him what I want and how to do it and demanding it. pleading it. expecting it.
This is my confession, I am fallen and my sin is gross.
I want to be truly retentive and to turn from these ways.
Help me to be more grateful, thankful and to find my purpose & joy in you. Help me to keep Psalm 16:11 as my truth: "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
Help me to stay on your Path of Life Lord. To be filled with Joy in YOUR presence. If I am filled with Joy in HIS PRESENCE, I can't be filled with depression. I need to STAY IN HIS presence. Keep me here Lord!!!
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8