Depression Part XI: When the Fog Returns
At the end of April I wrote a post in regards to my Post Partum Depression entitled Coming Out of the Fog. I had a pretty good five months of virtual depression free living. Sure, I had to be careful not to take on too much or nothing at all sometimes, but I felt good. Sure, there were bad days, but who doesn't have bad days? The key was that there were more good days then bad days. I felt healthy. The fog was gone.
About a month ago I felt the fog returning. And two weeks ago I realized that I was having more bad days then good days. Not a good sign. I made a doctor's appointment but couldn't get on for a couple of weeks. It was a tough couple of weeks. I could manage my thoughts and keep positive, but my body was failing me. I had rapid heart palpitations with extreme chest pains. I wasn't sleeping at night. Not that this is unusal since our 16 month old still wakes an average of 5 times a night. Jason stepped up and said that I should start wearing ear plugs at night. He would get up with her. This helped a lot. He sleeps through most of Olivia's cry outs at night (usually she is still asleep when she cries out in her sleep) and when she truly is awake she is loud enough for him to wake up. The ear plugs worked really well for a few days and I felt better getting at least 6 straight hours of sleep before the ear plugs would fall out. (Any advice from my readers on ear plugs that stay in all night? I've tried three different kinds).
So, back on the road of getting better. My guess was right. The chemical imbalance wasn't completely back to normal this spring when I went off the medication, so now we are on a long term 'getting better' plan. Like I have said before, medication is only a small portion of getting better and it isn't for everyone, but don't let the stigma get to you (I say that to myself more than anyone else here). I have a hard time with that statement because the stigma of mental health makes me want to keep from writing this post, but I know there are others of you out there and we must talk about this stuff.
So, as I was saying, getting back on medication is a tiny, tiny portion of the getting better formula for me. Taking care of myself is so important. First and foremost comes my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I have had such an amazing summer in this aspect. So many beautiful mornings spent out on the deck reading God's Word and writing in my journal. I've really enjoyed Jesus Calling . I have gone through a devotional on marriage that has been so amazing (I wrote a review of that devotional here), done a lot of reading on Spirited Children and shared that on the blog as well. Now I am keeping busy as a Launch Team Member for Courtney Joseph's book Women Living Well coming out on October 1, 2013. I have also joined the Good Morning Girls fall online Bible Study on Luke. It's been great getting into the Word and talking to other women around the world about what God is teaching us through our readings. I long to join a ladies morning out group at church, but with our preschool schedule, the demands of our spirited girl, and my need for a simplified life, an online Bible study is just the thing for this season of life. I love how spending more time with God has lead me to these other little projects that I truly believe in. Keeping busy is good. Keeping busy at home is really good for me right now.
Another thing I've been doing to get better is to date my husband. When things are on shaky ground, your marriage is the first to suffer. The extra needs of Mikail. The extra needs of our Spirited girl, Olivia, lack of sleep, and the PPD make for shaky, shaky ground. Our marriage has to be solid. I've loved sharing with Jason what I am learning about marriage through these books I am promoting and boy has it been good for our marriage. Not that it was bad before. It's just so much better now that we are being purposeful about making a great marriage. Don't get me wrong, we have our ugly days, who doesn't?
We've pre-booked the babysitter for at least once a month so we can go out. We love it so much that it is usually twice a month and if finances allowed, we'd go weekly. Already our budget only allows for the cost of the babysitter and we have to find 'free dates' for us, but it's not about the activity, it's about DOING stuff together. Growing together. Falling more and more in love than we were when we first met. Whether it's a walk, or carefully chosen appetizers at a restaurant because we have a gift card for only so much, it works.
One thing I haven't done well is exercise and eat right. So, I am working on that. The eating right is totally up to me. The exercise part too but I find it difficult because of some of the pain I have post-pregnancy. But it's been over a year and the pain is not going away with time alone. Time to toughen up and GET STRONG! Jillian Michaels is going to kick my butt tomorrow morning again. Eeek.
So, here I am once again, being more purposeful than ever for a balanced life so that soon this fog will lift again. I feel so blessed to know God and know that He is might to save. Save ME from the darkness. He takes delight in ME and He quiets ME with his love. And not only that He is there for you too. He is mighty to save. To save YOU from the darkness. He takes delight in YOU and He quiets YOU with his love. Isn't that so amazing? I find such comfort in those words.
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zepheniah 3:17