drowning in blessings

cassmiller – Just a happy little reminder left just for me on my sidewalk by one of my children. #tendermercy
If you are going through a stormy season, let me remind you that your rainbow is coming. God is with us in our trials and He never wastes a hurting heart. 💛

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I have been dealing with a wave of depression over the last little while.  I know it’s depression, not only because depression has gotten so familiar to me, but when my life seems pretty smooth, everyone is doing well, things are busy and bustling and there’s nothing to be sad about, yet still I feel sad inside.  That is exactly what’s been going on here.

This morning, as I finished up my hour of gratitude, where I start my day noting all the things I am grateful for, I told Mr. Miller, “I feel like I’m drowning in blessings.” and that is exactly how I feel.  I am so grateful for this full and happy life, and sometimes it just feels like so much full and happy life.  I guess I’ll take that particular set of issues.

Depression isn’t something I chat about too much, even though it’s something I’ve dealt with my entire life.  Lately though, as I have been studying depression, post partum depression, depression in women, I have found some truths and statistics that troubled me.  Like, post partum depression being the highest complication after delivery, but only 7% of these women suffering get help.  I found this through my own research to find answers for my post partum depression, a very misunderstood and misdiagnosed form of depression.

I, of course, believe in living a healthy lifestyle.  I do all things possible to maintain a happy, healthy, and wholesome life.  These things include but are not limited to: eating habits, exercise, self care, therapy, good books, nights with friends, a good date night, resting, self love, down time, vacation, feeding creativity…  I believe everyone should be striving for these things on the regular.  IF MAMA AINT HAPPY AINT NOBODY HAPPY.  It is not bad mothering to enjoy life and prioritize taking care of your mind, body, and spirit.  That is actually great mothering.  You cannot fill anyone’s cup if yours is on empty.  Take time for yourself.

I (after exhausting all my options I could on my own) sought help from my OBGYN, because ya know, post-partum/women/childbirth…  but after they lead me kind of astray and I felt worse and more confused after their carelessness, I eventually found myself in the care of my primary care doctor, which is exactly where I should have been in the first place, I learned.  So, know that is where to go.  Depression you can chat to your primary care doctor about.  *And if you find one you like, keep them forever! (words from the wise here) His help might be lifestyle suggestions, different areas of therapy, hormone support, medication… there is a variety of different treatments, but just talking about it to someone safe might make the world of difference toward feeling better.

Do you know the signs of depression?  If you aren’t feeling yourself, if you can’t feel the joy that you can see all around you, if you have increasingly less energy that you typically have, or are finding yourself always feeling like you’re running on empty… these could all be signs of depression.  I have struggled with depression and post partum depression, and after each of my babies, my post partum depression has manifested itself differently.  Sometimes with anxiety and panic attacks, sometimes with all consuming, reason-less sadness, sometimes in extreme feelings of failure or never doing enough.  I muscled my way through it, and now that I have an entire family that depends on my emotional well being, I have had to prioritize myself and get the help and answers I needed to get better.

There is NO SHAME in self love, self care, self prioritization.  The more kids I have, the more I have to prioritize myself.  The weird thing is, the more kids I have, the less natural it feels for me to keep myself at top billing.  I have really kept to aligning my life with my relationships with God and myself as my priorities.  This is the only way I wont get swallowed up by the bits of life that can become consuming.

For me, this dance is not hardly ever graceful.  Or not ever.  I burn way out before I start asking for help, but I am learning that about myself, and looking for opportunities to be better.  Working on my own personal boundaries and figuring out what I can really fit on my plate.  And that’s it, just on my plate.  Not what is on her plate, or what the general area has on their plates in comparison to mine.  We all have a different place here, and it’s okay if I can only squeeze in one kid in a dance camp for the year and tell the rest Santa will only come if they sacrifice extra-curricular activities. (Just kidding, but really..) While other friends of mine seem to breeze through the web of organization it requires to maintain a bustling family schedule. (Looking to you here Liz, Jess, Amy…)  “Different” is not “less than”.  Run your race, let the others run theirs.

I am feeling better after a couple of tough weeks, and I pray that as I continue to learn about myself, I can heal faster, grow deeper in faith and love, care for myself better, and maintain a happier, healthier, more beautiful life.  At least, that’s the goal here.

If there is one thing that I have learned through this blog of mine, it is that we are not alone in our lives.  Not only is God with us, but He provides us angels all over in the world to connect with.  You all have been a blessing to me, and I care about us all too much to not sometimes talk about the important stuff.  If you are out there reading this, needing these reminders today, remember this: You are loved, you are thought about, you are prayed over.  You, my dear friend, are not alone.

 

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6 Responses to drowning in blessings

  1. Rachel Stott September 8, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    One thing about depression that needs to have the stigma removed from it is turning to medication.
    After struggling with depression off and on for 20+ years I finally made the choice to use medication. I was left adrift by all the well meaning people telling me that I needed to “change my attitude” and “pray more” and “look for the positives in life”. While those things do help and have their place in mental wellbeing, if I could have prayed my depression and anxiety away I would have when I had my first panic attack at age 11 and my parents had no clue what was going on.
    One way my brother (who has a masters in counseling) helped me look at my need to medicate my depression is that if someone had high blood pressure or diabetes, we would give them platitudes or shame them for taking medication for these conditions. And we need to address the idea of medicating mental illness the same way.
    Another thing I’ve learned is that antidepressants don’t have to be forever. You can use them to help you through the darkest of times and come off of them when you are more stable and better able to handle all the things life throws at you.

    • Cass Miller September 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

      I agree 10000%! It is so sad what people believe and say about antidepressants.. “I mean, I’d never get on medication or anything.. but I have bad days, too.”, “It’s not like I’d ever take a pill to make me happy every day.”, “It’s dangerous to rely on antidepressants.” all things I’ve heard just in recent weeks. This really needs it’s own post.
      The way I see it, as a mama, I have way too many people who rely on me to not take care of whatever health issues I have going on. <3 Thanks for highlighting this important detail!

  2. Rachel Stott September 8, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    I should also add that I like your post and that you offer good advise for taking care of your overall mental well being.
    I didn’t mean for my initial post to sound like I was trying to shame or blame you. 🙂

  3. Kandie September 8, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    Depression is tricky to understand from the outside looking in. You are considered WEAK if you can’t juggle it all. You’re considered SELFISH if you don’t sacrifice everything for your children. And then you’re considered CRAZY when you have reached your breaking point (AKA the tears, wanting to run away, wanting to shut the world out forever). I have heard it all. For me it’s mostly coming to terms with my horrible childhood, leading to my horrible choice in a husband, having me give my entire heart and soul into that marriage (We were together from age 16-31, yet only married for 4) only to be hit with his affair with my sister-in-law and a request for a divorce (Hello Maury!). I went from a stay at home mama with 2 littles to working full time in mental health for a school district (the irony) and having to figure out how to get my kids to school/daycare costs (I work an hour away), how to keep the utilities on and a roof over our heads, how to have time to get them to appts (which fall by the wayside), etc. It’s all on me. I struggle with the guilt of my children having a dead beat dad (which I also had along with an alcoholic mother), not spending enough time with them, and dealing with the adult nonsense at my job, wishing I didn’t have to work out of my home anymore. I’m good at plugging along for a while and then BAM, I can’t hide my emotions and fears anymore. Fast forward 5 years later and even though it’s just the norm now, it’s still hard, but I know I am not alone. Some days are just bone crushing hard and lonely. I’m trying to give my son the tools he needs to be a great man and my daughter the tools to be a strong woman someday. And I just keep loving on them and reminding them how much I love them. Hoping to break the cycle and give them a life full of good.

    You are a breath of fresh air for me today. Your writing always speaks to my soul and this post was like a big virtual hug saying, “You got this girl!” As I read each update you give on your blog or see your pics on IG I am reminded to appreciate this life I have been given. No matter the storm. There will be a rainbow at the end. I keep telling myself that God wouldn’t give me more than I can handle. And it’s true. Keeping you in my prayers. Thank you for being you and being the friend I needed to vent to today :)

    • Cass Miller September 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

      Kandie,
      All the cold chills and lovey feelings! Thank you for reaching out to me and being vulnerable here with me!
      Gosh, so much I haven’t shared here about my past, but my goodness my heart relates to yours on many many levels, dear friend.
      My best friend in the whole world is trudging through her first official year as a single mama. She feels like she is failing at it 100% of the time, and to me (who knows more details of her life than any other human on the planet) she looks like an actual warrior. The legendary kind we hear about and can’t fathom their strength, courage, diligence, faithfulness, goodness.
      We haven’t met, but I’m sure this is probably a loooot what your life looks like to other people. I think that if we feel like we are failing, and we even care about that, and we work ourselves to the bones to try not to, we are doing THE AMAZING WORK. We are! We just have to be.
      This life is not easy for anyone, but I know that without seeing the lows, I couldn’t possibly appreciate the highs in life like I do. So God, lead the way, I guess! :)
      Sending all my love to you, prayers for a nice sunny season of life heading your way. <3

      • Kandie September 15, 2017 at 9:53 am #

        We all come from different walks of life and by sharing our vulnerabilities allows us to connect with others that we would never have a chance to otherwise! :-) I mean, they say it takes a village to raise children, but we need our own special village with our own special tribe too!

        Oh mama, my heart goes out to your bestie :( I promise her she WILL persevere like the warrior she is!! :-) She will come out on the other side sooo much stronger and her children will be better for it. I bet in the eyes and hearts of her children she is SUPER MOM every day! They see her struggles, her hard work, and her determination to keep going each and every day regardless of how many speed bumps she hits along the way. That’s not failing! God will see her through. God will not let her down. Like you said, God lead the way! :) I’ll keep her and her family in my prayers <3

        Have a lovely weekend with your family Cass! Happy Friday and God Bless!!

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