O.k. so be ready for a long read. If you are able to stay with me.
When I'm not transparent, I feel trapped and I can't breathe. I'm not very good at this pretending game.
It's 4:15 a.m. June 25, 2013. We are going to rewind back a little more than 6 months ago coming forward to this point in time.
Before 6 months ago, I would read blogs about many people who have almost perfect lives. They have clean houses and beautiful kids. They take pictures and capture beauty. They Pinterest. They Facebook. I don't. I don't fit in to this liberal society.
I am conservative. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom, but there were pressures and beliefs and distractions that threw me off from that goal. There was feminism that threw me off. It still does at times.
Sin throws me off of where I should be. Not being who God created me to be throws me off of where He wants me and who He wants me to be.
I'm a very sensitive person who is ruled mostly by emotions. I dislike myself much sometimes. (My brother's call me a witch with a b. It's hurtful. I'm not sure why they call me that other than I am sensitive. Being sensitive leads me to irritability some times.)
Shortly before Christmas time, I wrote an email to my social worker stating how we were having difficulties with our adopted daughter. You must understand one thing about our daughter. She is extremely intelligent. She is sensitive like me, but STRONG (strong-willed and physically strong). She loves attention and will whine and cry all the time to get your undivided attention. She was 2 years old at the time and her actions were completely -- well toddlerish. (She has been behaviorally much better since then and so have we as parents, BUT we still have our moments of negativity). At that time, I felt like a failure as a parent.
I stopped taking birth control pills some time last fall after being on them for almost 20 years. My hormones have had a hay day adjusting to their new found freedom, but my body and mind have been rejecting their free for all party. I got sick with influenza over the entire Christmas break. I stayed home on Christmas day while my family went to the traditional Christmas gathering. I was miserable. I missed candlelight services on Christmas Eve. I missed singing "Oh, Holy Night" and many other Christmas traditions.
One awesome thing that happened over Christmas break was that I got to see my new nephew Drew shortly after he was born, but I was still miserable.
My depression started shortly before Christmas also. I dislike where I live on one hand, but I love where I live on the other (we live outside of town about 8 miles). There is no perfect place for me that I have found yet. Winter was difficult in our area. We had snow on May 2. That is completely abnormal for our neck of the woods. The difficult winter left me feeling isolated.
I was lonely.
In March, my youngest son got sick. He started vomiting on a Wednesday. Then on Friday night, I came down with his illness. Four of the 6 of us were sick. I was up most of the night Friday night being sick and part of the night Saturday night up with a child that was sick. By Sunday night, my youngest son was so sick that I had to take him to the hospital. When you go to a hospital with a child, it is almost like you are in prison. They put a band on your child so that no one steals them, yet you also can't freely walk about without setting off alarms. While we were in the hospital for almost 2 days, no one came to visit us. I saw my father-in-law for all of 30 seconds while he dropped off a suitcase with a change of clothes in it. (Keep in mind that my dh was sick and my mother-in-law was sick with a different illness.) One of my friends did offer to come and see us, but this is my friend that has too much on her plate and I can't take away from her family.
One week after my son was in the hospital, my husband was in a head on collision on icy roads. I tried so hard at that moment to say, "O.k., pull up your boot straps and stop being depressed." My husband totaled the truck, but he came out with a few emotional wounds, whiplash and only one big bruise on his leg. Thank GOD for seat belts.
I can't say that the depression was completely over, but it was a step in the right direction. I couldn't take medication for depression because I hear it keeps you level. I can't give up my high feelings of JOY. I also wasn't completely falling apart, I was only on the verge. Some housework got done, but it was difficult to get out of bed.
My husband and I went to San Diego at the end of April. It was beautiful there, but there was a bit of arguing going on. My 40th birthday was looming and my hormones were still partying. My husband started having some chest pains after all of the exercising that we were doing. I made a Dr. appointment for him when we got home which led to a Cardiologist appointment and a stress test. The cardiologist set up a one month follow up visit.
My sister broke her foot around early May. My Mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in May.
The day after my 40th birthday, my husband asked me to reschedule his cardiologist appointment because he was having chest pains at rest now. Two days later he had a stent placed in his heart.
My husband is still recovering and adjusting to the medications. He has no risk factors for coronary artery disease, but he had full mantle (includes the areas from about an inch above your chin to right above your groin) radiation 14 years ago for Hodgkin Disease. Radiation over the chest can cause damage to your arteries.
I am not fully cured of my depression, but I do have more better days than not good days. The depression only lasts for moments instead of hours or days.
My best medication is prayer. Especially, prayer time with 6 other members of our church.
The second best medication is thankfulness. I am thankful that my sister, Mom and my husband are on their way to recovery (please continue to pray for my Mom as she still has her cancer treatments to go through next month). I am thankful for my children and that they are mostly healthy. I am thankful that my Mom can still talk to me on the phone. I am thankful that my husband cares and loves for me. I am thankful that I am mostly healthy.
I thank God that my hormones are finally tired of throwing their party and they are now only visiting once a month for the most part. I am thankful for my garden (weeds and all). I am thankful for the rain (because last year we had a drought.) I am thankful for my friends. Oh, the list goes on and on.
So now you are up to date on where I have been. Here is a Bible verse that is resonating with me the last few days:
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5
Praise God the redeemer lives!