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. 💛
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.