Overcoming Postpartum Depression & Living and Loving God's Blessings

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One year ago today

Last year on July 21st, I was admitted to the Mercy Janesville Hospital for severe postpartum depression. I thought about writing about that day, but it is already written and it won't be a day I ever forget.

I drive by the hospital often and always look up to the fifth floor and smile. I say a silent prayer for the doctors, nurses, and mostly for the patients. I pray for the patients that were there with me and I hope they are doing well. I pray for the family members of those who lost someone to a mental illness. I pray for more awareness out there for those struggling with postpartum depression or any kind of mental illness. I pray mostly for more acceptance of people who have a mental illness.

I know I still struggle with this. I have to fill out forms for lots of things.  I have to fill out my foster care paperwork to be re-licensed as a foster parent. It always has a section for mental problems or something like that. I always cringe, but I just put a big PPD on it and move on. I still will argue I am not mentally ill- I believe that PPD is a chemical imbalance caused by the dramatic shift in hormones that  your body has to try to readjust to. Not to mention the severe sleep deprivation. But whatever!  I won't lose sleep over it now!

I also have to fill out forms when I see a new physician. I just put PPD on there and usually no one asks questions. I don't really care if they do.

That was then and this is now and I am so grateful to be healthy and so happy a year later. I have everything I ever wanted plus more. God has blessed me so much this past year and continues to bless me and my family.

Recently I ran a 5k and it went really well.  I did the 3.1 mile run in 24 min. 49 seconds and took third in my age group. I was really proud of myself. I started to struggle but was reminded back to where I was a year ago. Mentally I can push through ANYTHING now and that is a new confidence I have always wanted and now I have.

I met a lady who took second in our age group. She told me about her struggle with anxiety and depression. She said something I will never forget. She said that when she is depressed she just accepts it and knows it will stay for awhile, but it won't stay forever. You just accept it and do the best you can.  I really took that to heart. I think that is true of everything in life. We just do the best we can do and who knows where you will be in a year from now. It WILL get better.

I promise :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Perfect People

Wow- it has been a month since I have blogged! I know it has been busy, but where is the summer going?

My husband left for Kenya a few weeks ago and successfully lead another trip to and from Kenya. I was mentally preparing myself for this, but I will admit it was hard.

Just a little flashback here- Last year when he left for Kenya I suffered the worst two weeks of my life with Postpartum Depression. I was hospitalized for three full days.

The day before he left, I was so anxious. I had a meeting at work and I was so nervous about the meeting. Later we went to dinner and I couldn't get a hold of my thoughts. I helped him pack and went to bed feeling like a train wreck. I was so scared of "it" coming back to get me.  It was like when Phill is around, he is my protector. When he is gone, I am much more vulnerable.

The next morning I went for a run. I figured a run would get rid of all that nervous stress. I use exercise as a stress reliever and it usually makes me feel 80% better afterwards. As I was running, I heard a song by Natalie Grant. It is called "Perfect People"   It says, " There is no such thing as perfect people, there is no such thing as a perfect life. Come as you are broken and scarred, and be changed by a perfect God."

I love this song because it talks about how we try to be perfect and act like nothing is ever wrong. We hide behind "crooked smiles."  The truth is you will only exhaust yourself trying to be perfect.  The only way we are perfect is through God's eyes.

I kept running knowing that in a few hours Phill was going to be leaving. The song kept playing and God blessed me with this verse in that song, "Cause he knows where you are and where you've been, and you never have to go there again."

He was right... I did great!  I had a lot of friends and family checking in on me during this time while Phill was away. I knew what to do if I started to feel anxious or depressed. The kids and I had a blast. We were busy planning a rummage sale, going on a mini-vacation, and shopping!  I even got some "alone" time which I totally needed to recharge.

When Phill came back, I am sure he was relieved that he didn't have to bust me out of a hospital like last year!  I know I was sure relieved :)