Friday, September 9, 2016

A Good Reminder!!

Life has been a bit crazy the last few weeks. We have been getting ready for school, Mackenzie is starting college, Jacob is in 11 grade, My dear husband is back to work at the college (I love watching him and Kenzie head out the door every morning together!!) and we also received the sad/happy news that the littles are heading back home to be with their mother. I say sad/happy because it depends what end of the story you are on!
It really is a success story. One of the reasons we have foster care is to keep little ones safe but also to give the family the supports they need so that everyone can be reunited again. We have been able to be a part of this work, but I can not lie, our hearts are broken and we will have to take some time to heal and move forward.
That being said we have been blessed with a great feeling of peace and comfort that I know comes from our Father in Heaven. It is a miracle and I am grateful... it doesn't take away the sadness, but it does allow me to know that all is well.

Now the other reason I am posting today...
I received a comment on one of my posts wondering if I might be suffering from depression.
At first I just closed my computer and felt embarrassed that someone I don't know would think this. I wondered about my posts and have given it some real thought. 
I decided to publish the comment (still not sure why I have to approve each comment but I do) and I also want to share some of my thoughts!

First, I am grateful that he had the courage to bring it to my attention. We seem to have a hard time talking about depression and all mental illness. But it is an illness. I am pretty sure that my family and friends wouldn't have any trouble telling me to go to the doctor if they thought my arm was broken  or that I need antibiotics. Yet we do seem to tippy toe around this issue of  mental illness.

After Jacob was born I did struggle with depression- maybe postpartum, maybe from having my hopes and dreams shattered, maybe from complete exhaustion, both physically and mentally or maybe a combination of all of the above. I remember being in the passenger's seat of our van with my dear family driving over a crazy, scary pass in the mountains. I put my head against my window looking down at the great drop off, one I find quite terrifying today, and thought 
"hmm if we just slipped off the edge I wouldn't be so tired anymore."
I didn't want to grab the wheel and make this happen, but I think you can agree that this was not a healthy thought. 
I am grateful that I had both family and friends that could see that I was sliding and struggling and helped me to get the medical help I needed. I was able see my doctor and get the medication I needed and the counselling I needed to help bring me out of that scary place.
For me, I was able to eventually come off of the antidepressants and stay off them. I know that this doesn't happen for everyone, but that is not weakness.  I believe that my depression was from the circumstances that I was in. It felt to me that the medication brought me out a great hole to level ground. I was then able to deal with my emotions around what had happened and to find my purpose again. I will be forever grateful that the medication was there to bring me to that point.
Not all depression is the same. Some will need to be treated a lot longer then mine did. Some will need to be treat for life. I wish that we could all see this as okay. I have a dear friend who takes medication every day to help her regulate her insulin levels. I would never tell her or expect her to "toughen up" and try to do it on her own. That would be absurd! Yet it seem that the goal with mental illness is get off of the meds no matter what the circumstances... Why?

I remember sitting at at a friends house playing games. The topic of depression came up and the mother of one of my friends said to another woman her same age, "I wish I had known I could have used depression as an excuse when we were having children." they both laughed. Maybe incidences like this make us think that we should feel less than others, weak, foolish or  that it is all just in our heads- it is not!
I can guarantee that neither one of these ladies had ever suffered from depression. It is not something that can be laughed away, snapped out of, nor is it an excuse. I don't even know what that means. It is real. It takes the proper help to deal with it and it is an illness, just like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease... and it can and does kill. 
We need to take it seriously and never make someone living with it feel that if they would just do ABC and D they could get themselves over it. 

Now that all being said, I am confident that I am not suffering from depression at this time. I have had a few hard days that I have shared, I am very sad that our lives are being affected by these crazy changes right now, but I do feel great peace, hope and comfort. .
I also need to remember to share more of the happy days. But my goal is always to be real. Sometimes I can get off of reading facebook posts and blog posts and feel like I must be doing something wrong cause my life just doesn't seem to be as rosy as everyone else's. Is that just me?
My life is messy, it is messy and crazy, it is sometimes hard, and there are days I just want to run away to a little cabin just outside of some cute little country town, where I can bike in for some groceries that I can put into my little basket on the front of my bike, where my back yard is the ocean, where I can sit on my little adirondack chair sipping peppermint tea, watching the sunset and listening to the waves roll in... (hmm one might think I have given this some thought..)
But I love my life! I love all that I am learning. I love knowing that I can do hard things- I don't always like to, but I know that I can! I love that I have been blessed with an incredible family, amazing friends, my health, a beautiful part of the world to call home and the knowledge that I am loved and that I am enough! Life is Good! 

I hope that you have a GOOD day! I plan to!

And thank you Bryan!