It seems appropriate to do a January 1st blog since my last post was a whole year ago. I was correct in seeing a brighter 2015, and its gotten better since this Christmas was the first one that was thoroughly enjoyable. The kids are not babies anymore and I am relieved. (Understatement of 2015)
I want to focus on the topic of depression and anxiety as a parent. I’ve learned even more about myself in hindsight, looking over my past posts, talking to friends, and I’ve finally accepted the fact that depression in my case is partially chemical. The melancholy, the tears, and the excessive need for sleep (more than the typical parent) has shown me that the last four years did not have to be so desperately hard. I stand by the fact that the kids were challenging babies, but my inability to bounce back was the factor that kept me drowning. I encourage any momma with a history of anxiety or depression to consider medication, even if you have never taken it before. That being said, I’m on a very low dose of a anti-depressant and it makes a huge difference in my ability to get perspective. And sometimes that’s all you need in stressful situations is some accurate perspective on what’s true.
I think growing up in the church has been a factor in keeping me from seeking medication. Plus my own personality of course! For a long time, I believed if I could just “do it right” and be a good christian–to trust God fully–I wouldn’t feel so awful. I could be a better person–a better mom–a better wife. If only. Now, that being said, I also believe nothing is too big for God to heal, and this includes any form of mental illness. But I also know that God has allowed Satan’s dominion on this earth to throw a wrench in the works of God’s grace. We are born in a broken world as broken people. The lie is that we believe we can “do it right”, but we will never “arrive”. Not until we meet Jesus in the next life. All we can do is pray that God transforms us into his likeness, as close as our imperfections will allow. Every day, over and over. For me, its a daily choice deciding who will be glorified on this day. In this moment and in the next. And when you’re drowning so often, you can’t see what God is showing you, it might be time for some help–prayer, counseling, medication, whatever. The lie that God is judging your imperfection creates a gulf between you and God that Jesus already bridged. That’s a big lie you don’t have to live in.
From my perspective, the church is slowly becoming more accepting of medication for mild mental illness. But I do understand the hesitation as medication is overused or abused in other situations. That’s an entirely different topic. I just hope I can encourage others to be ok asking for help. Its ok!
As for 2016, I expect big things. Vi is starting kindergarten in the fall and I cannot believe it. Malcolm is hilarious and fun. Our little family is such a HUGE blessing and I’m thankful! The kids are close friends and we are sooooo rich in the stuff that matters. Cheers to 2016!