I’m not sure where to begin.
Two years ago (2012), around this time of year, I first became acquainted with anxiety and depression like nothing I had ever experienced before. After a few months of enduring and trying a variety of natural remedies, I turned to medication. It was a couple of months of crawling through hell while I waited for the medication to help. But eventually it did. And I felt like myself again.
We thought the medication would only be a temporary thing. I slowly (slowly) weaned down over the course of last year. I took my last dose at the beginning of March of this year (2014). March I felt fine. I thought, “That was easy.” April I started slipping. May I plunged back into that dark and anxious hell I never wanted to crawl through ever again.
We made an emergency trip to my dad and stepmom’s house at the end of May so I could have extra support while I tried to get well again. All of May and for two weeks of June I tried more natural remedies (they could fill a whole other blogpost and probably will someday). I really wanted to believe I could get better without meds. When I started getting suicidal, we knew it was time. Miraculously, I was able to get an appointment with a well-respected psychiatrist on June 13. I started back on my meds the next day.
To say I am humbled would be an understatement. I never imagined I would be back in this place again… fighting to get through one hour and another and another… fluctuating between wanting desperately to get well and wanting desperately to die.
This time has been really different from last time. In some ways it has been easier. I am near my family… parents, siblings, cousins, etc. We’re in a beautiful place with beautiful weather. My husband is with me almost 24/7 because he gets most of June and July off every year. My children are being entertained by grandmas and uncles and cousins, so they’re mostly oblivious to my state of mind. The doctor gave me something to help with my insomnia short-term. At least this time we know the medication helped me before, so we feel confident it will help me again. I feel very grateful for all of those mercies.
But in some ways it has been harder this time. It is hard to accept that I am back in this dark place again. It is hard to swallow the reality that I will probably need this medication long-term. It is hard to internalize that I will probably never have another baby. It is hard to put my friends and family through this again, and it is agonizing to know that I am putting my husband through this again. He is remarkable in his ability to stay positive, despite my mood, but I know it is so hard for him. And though I have had so much support and so many mercies this time around, I have actually spent more time contemplating death and yearning for it.
Isn’t it strange? I have a wonderful life. I have a wonderful husband. I have four wonderful children whom I have nurtured and loved from birth with excessive tenderness, with the very intention of ensuring that they never feel abandoned. I am third in a line of “motherless” mothers and have vowed to never let my children know the sting of abandonment. And I still feel that vow tying me to this earth. But isn’t it strange… that you can have every reason in the world to live and yet still yearn to die?
I wish I could be writing about something else. I wish I could be doing the Chosen Foods avocado oil giveaway I’ve been planning for months. I wish I could be telling you some cool little nugget of wisdom to help you have a more wonderful birth experience. Instead I am standing here stripped down and figuratively naked before you. This is my reality. This is not what I imagined I would be doing at age 33 when I imagined my future as a capable, young college student. This is not where I want to be. But it is where I am.
In moments of self-pity, I try to remember that the person who came through that hellish crucible two years ago was a far more compassionate person with much less judgment and a whole lot more love for struggling souls. I was refined and molded into a much better “me” than I ever was before. And so I can only hope, and boy do I cling to this hope, that the “me” who emerges from this second dark and anxious crucible will be even more refined, even more full of love, even more radiant, even more able to lift the hands that hang down.
In the meantime, please pray for me. Please encourage me. Please help me to choose life. Please help me keep that vow to give my children the mother they so need and deserve.
If you choose to comment or to email me, please only share words of encouragement. I’m not asking for advice/tips/sales pitches. Thank you, my dear friends.