Sunday, September 07, 2014

Ramblings and Ponderings

I read a few blogs this morning that I hadn't checked in a while.  It made me want to post again.  Maybe the key to me writing more is to read more blogs...  I've had bits and pieces of blog posts in my head for ages, but getting them out is always the hard part.  So...some ramblings...

I think I forgot that anti-depressants are not a magic happy pill.  When I first started on them and felt so much better at first, somehow I think I was a bit lulled into a sense of this was all it was going to take to finally get through this journey of depression.  Naive, oh, so naive.  And of course, just proof of how there is such a learning curve to all of this.  My hope is that I've just been overwhelmed after having all three kids home full time over the summer, and now that school has started up again, my introverted self might actually get a chance to breathe again.

But there's still this constant battle to balance, constantly weighing how I'm doing, and I take those three little pills every morning with my breakfast and wonder if they're really helping enough and if the side effects (which have faded to a certain extent but still show up every now and then) are worth it and consider if I may need to up my dose or do I need to switch to something else and what a long and challenging road this is.

And sometimes, (but not nearly often enough), I ponder grace.  How God's grace is and needs to be sufficient for me.  And how it is such a part of every day.  The little gifts in daily life that He uses to show me His everlasting love, the grace to forgive my children for just being children even when it drives me crazy, and the strength to ask for their grace when I so very often fail as a mother, His grace - forgiving me always and remembering to be thankful for His grace instead of feeling guilty for always needing it again and again for the same things.

Sometimes I wish life was easier.  And I know He never promised it would be easy, but that He is always with us and He has overcome.  But I always wonder why I find it so hard to get through this business of making it to the end of the day.  Which of course is half the lesson, to figure out how to stop asking why, accept it, find a way to rely on God's grace, and move on.

*sigh*  oh ramblings.  oh brain. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Reminiscing

I was awake too early this morning.  I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't.  Then Nathan woke up at about 5, and while he very easily conked back out in my bed, I lay there tossing and turning and fidgeting.  So I got up.  I figured I'd have my morning coffee in peace for once.  And then I realized that this is the perfect time to blog for a change.  This is how it used to be, quiet mornings, me and my laptop, words flowing through my fingers through the keyboard onto the screen.  Oh the feeling of nostalgia.

You'll have to forgive me for a slightly more melancholy tone this morning.  Yesterday I finally came out of denial about the inevitable that's been coming for quite some time now.  This weekend will be my last visit to my parents' old home in Chatham, and I will be saying goodbye to my childhood home and my adulthood safe haven.

There are so many memories in that place:

forts in the backyard trees
rolling down the hill on wooden wheels
tobagganning into the fence so we didn't go into the creek
skating in the winter
Rocky
the tiny first kitchen
all the renovations
so many Christmases
the laughter
the tears
the fights
the games
the celebrations: birthdays, graduations, weddings, births
being a family

If you have ever had the opportunity to be at my parents' house, then you may know some of what I'm talking about.  Both the house and the yard are beautiful, truly a place to rest when the storms come and a place to relax when life brings joy.  I look forward to the new memories to be made in their new house, but the old house will certainly be missed.  I only hope that I can do half as good a job as my parents did at making my home with my little family a somewhere that is so loved.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

After years of this...

My sister blogged this morning.  Well, technically for her it was last night that she posted`, but I didn't read it until this morning.  Whenever I read her blogs, it reminds me of how much I enjoy writing and how much I miss doing it.  She inspires me.  :)

I realized I haven't posted since Christmas.  That's too long.  I could blame various reasons, most of them you've heard before, the kids take up a lot of time, mornings with Nathan are not generally conducive to sitting at a laptop typing, we've constantly had someone sick in this house, I've been sick a lot too, it was the winter that never ended.

But mostly,. I haven't felt the inspiration to write.  Which should have been a sign to me that things were not quite right as soon as I noticed it.  When I am doing well, or at least am on the road to recovery, the words are a continual flow in my brain, and no matter what I'm doing throughout the day, even if it's the mundane things like changing diapers, I'm writing blog posts in my head.

When I took a shower this morning, and this blog post came to me, I knew I had to actually get it out and posted.  It's time.  (And maybe it will be the jump start to more regular posting...)

About a month and a half ago, I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment to see my family doctor.  She formally diagnosed me with mild to moderate depression and prescribed Zoloft.  I can honestly say this was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.

As any of my regular readers will know, I have struggled with depression frequently in the past.  It has often felt like a never-ending battle to keep my sanity and stop myself from sliding into that pit that's overwhelmed me too often of late.  In previously instances, I've seen therapists, exercised, taken vitamins religiously, and gone to a naturopath to try more natural ways of beating back the darkness. 

But this time, I knew it was different.  This time, most of my symptoms were physical, as in I had absolutely no energy, I couldn't motivate myself to get up and do the things I used to do with no problem, I was having trouble concentrating and focusing, and I just felt like I was dragging through life. I was pretty sure talking about my issues wasn't going to fix the problem, as I can honestly say there's very little in my life right now to cause me discontent.  My relationships with God, my family, and my friends are strong, and I am so blessed in many ways.

So I started the medication.  Aside from a few annoying side effects, the most notable being that my hands tend to shake like I've had too much caffeine, and I can't sit still for the life of me, I feel better than I have felt in years.  Really.  Years. 

Dr. Grant Mullen did a seminar at our church this past week, and he talked about how when his patients recovered from depression, he would ask them if they remembered the last time they felt that well, and the average response was it had been 20 years.  Since I'm only 30, I can't say it's been 20 years, but I have to be completely honest and say it has definitely been a very long time since I've felt this good.

Am I perfectly happy?  Of course not.  Zoloft is not a miracle happy pill.  But I have energy again.  I'm able to self-motivate again.  Clearly, I can write again.  My emotions are more stable, and I feel content more frequently than I have in a long time.  I'm not so short-tempered with my kids, and my husband has noticed that I'm in a better mood.

Is my journey with depression over?  Far from it.  I don't know how long I will need to be on this medication.  I'm sure that there will be more struggles with whatever trials life brings.  I am working to make sure my life is not defined by my diagnosis, but it is still a part of my life and who I am, and it's a reality I face every day.  I know that God is carrying me through this.  He has shown Himself so faithful, and I can feel Him holding me close in the rough times.  I don't know what the future will bring, but I know that right now, I feel like I can face it.

Sorry for the heavy post.  I've never held back before, and I don't intend to start now.  :)  In some small way, I hope that by sharing my story, others in a similar situation will not feel so alone.