Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm Doing Better

So many of you have emailed or called to see how I'm doing. I really appreciate it. I've been amazed at the support I've gotten from everyone. It was encouraging for me to get such a positive response from my last post and hear how many other women have struggled through this same thing. One of my goals in therapy was to blog about this journey, and my therapist was so pleased to hear how supportive everyone had been. It's scary to put yourself out there like that!

Things are better around here. I've actually been able to do things like run errands, keep the house straight (until I got sick this week!), and be engaged with the kids. These seem like small things, but they have been HUGE things for me. Breakthroughs for sure!

It's still a struggle some days to make myself do the things I absolutely don't feel like doing, but it is getting better. I haven't had a day where I cried off and on since I started the medication and therapy. That is a huge blessing. My emotions have evened out, and I'm starting to feel "normal" again.

Through my therapy and my own self-evaluation, I realize that I've been feeling down for a long time. Pretty much throughout my pregnancy with Levi and definitely since he was born. I can't remember the last time I felt as good as I do on my good days. It's been interesting to look back over the past year or more and see how this has evolved. Apparently women who have hard pregnancies like I did are more prone to depression. I can definitely see why. My hormones have been a mess for a LONG time now!

My goal in therapy now is to redefine what I think a good mom is for me. I've looked at so many other people's lives and what they're doing for so long that I don't even know what it means for me to be a good mom to my kids. What are my goals with my kids? What are my expectations for myself and my family? These are the things I need to work out in my head and in my heart to keep my expectations from going completely nuts again. What has God called me to do with my kids? That's the big one. God isn't calling me to do what every other mom out there is doing with her kids. He's called me to specific things with my children. My family is different than every other family. We have different backgrounds, different situations, and different children.

I'm so blessed to have a husband who is as wonderful as Justin. He has been so supportive of this whole journey, and will call when he's on his way home to ask as politely as possible if he needs to pick up dinner. You just never know around here if it's been a day where cooking dinner was even in the realm of possibility! I could not have made it this far this quickly without a husband who loves me and wants to help me as much as possible.

It's going to be a struggle for a while, I know, but things are looking up and I feel like a weight has been lifted from me.

Thanks so much for all your prayers for us. They are being answered!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's a Daily Struggle

Life is pretty hard right now. When Justin was in Singapore last, I realized that I was suffering from postpartum depression and needed to get some help, which is what I've done and am continuing to do. I don't think anyone was surprised by this news, especially my mother and sister who both had been thinking I had PPD but didn't know how to tell me. It's hard to tell someone you think they are suffering from depression. I really had been watching myself for the signs because, as my counselor says, I'm a pretty self-aware person, but I really thought I was just sleep-deprived. "If I could just get some sleep, everything would be better," I kept telling myself. (I am sleep-deprived, but it's much more than that!)

But when I really began to look at my life over the past few months, I began to realize that I had emotionally checked out a lot of the time and become pretty irritable the rest of the time. I was (and still am) having a hard time concentrating on things and getting my brain to focus. Taking the boys anywhere seemed like a monumental task. And Caleb started getting very irritable and angry with me...mirroring his mother's behavior back to her!

So, in the interest of honesty and in order to preserve these memories, good, bad, or indifferent, I'm sharing this with all of you. That's why I haven't been around much lately. I've had to take a step back. Most of the time I don't have the energy or care to be at the computer. And I've had to stop reading a lot of the blogs I used to read because I have a severe case of "I don't measure up to other people's expectations" syndrome. I've had to take a hard look at myself and what I expect. My expectations for myself have been completely out-of-whack.

I kept beating myself up for not doing what I expected I should be able to do. "Look at so-and-so...she's homeschooling 10 kids and I can't even get all three of us dressed on most days. What's wrong with me?" These are the kinds of thoughts that have been rampant in my head in the past months. Not very helpful!

I'm working with my doctor, and I hope the roller coaster of emotions will slow down soon. It's already gone from a huge, dipping roller coaster to a more smooth one. There are still good days and bad days and bad weeks, but I haven't cried all day in three weeks, so that's definitely an improvement!

For now, I'm continuing to see a counselor to work on my expectations and coping skills for the things that are putting the most stress on me right now.

It's getting better. But every single day is a struggle to do the things I don't feel like doing. Some days I succeed. And some days I don't. But that's okay.

I'm getting help. And I desperately need it.


Reflecting Him

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