With Easter just a few days away I've been reflecting on where I've been this past year.
Broken. I've been thinking a lot about broken things.
I mean really broken. Shattered. Seemingly irreparable things. I've been thinking about how they can be made whole.
I've been MIA. It's not just the blogs I've neglected. It's everything. I've decided it's OK to talk about it now. Now that I have more understanding.
I had a baby last year, remember? It was miraculous. Changed me forever and ever. I was on cloud nine with my newborn baby and the memories of our experience during his birth. Then....
Wham BAM. Postpartum Depression.
I described my symptoms to my midwife and although she never said the words "postpartum depression" she did describe a problem my body was having balancing my hormones and she helped me with herbs and things to get my hormones under control and actually they helped quite a bit. I stopped having terrible nightmares every time I closed my eyes, I finally stopped bleeding and I stopped having anxiety attacks as the most irrational fears would pop into my mind.
I thought I was better.
I wasn't. I was getting by, but I wasn't even close to better. The baby started crying and never stopped and the stress of transitioning to two kids was building up inside of me and I didn't even realize it. Then....
WHAM BAM BAM!!!! I got pregnant.
Here I am with messed up hormones, a baby who never stops crying, a 3 year old who never stops talking, now with pregnancy hormones that are competing with nursing hormones....and it seemed to me like my life was over.
I had no idea what was happening to me. I was overwhelmed with trying to find answers to all the questions.
Should we move? Where? How can we afford it? Where is the money going to come from? We need a new car. Where are we going to find the money for that? OK, so we aren't moving, so how are we going to fit another person in this tiny apartment? The apartment. It's a disaster. I can't keep up. I'm a disaster. I'm failing....failing everyday. I can't take care of my home, I can't take care of my kids. I'm drowning. I can't keep my head above water. I'm dying. I'm going to die. It's for the best. They'd be better off with someone else. Someone who is not broken and weak and failing miserably at life.
Say hello to meltdown #1.
In a rage of tears like none other I spilled every emotion to my husband. I told him everything I was feeling and thinking and felt even crazier listening to myself. It didn't help to see fear in his eyes as he listened to what I was saying. Honestly, the only that kept me from leaving him and the kids was the fact that, I'm still pregnant (can't run away from that) and no matter what I'd still have to be a mom.
Burgess knew something was really very wrong but neither of us knew what to call it we just knew that I was crazy and not myself.
I was telling Burgess in another fit of uncontrollable tears that I had lost all faith in God, had no hope and honestly didn't care about the gospel anymore. I told him that I couldn't pray and that NO, I didn't want a blessing because I really believed that IF God really did exist He had proven that He didn't care about me this past year. As these words were uncontrollably spilling out of my mouth it was as if I was watching it happen. I stood outside myself and realized what was going on. It was like someone just turned on the light and I could see the words so clearly for the first time. DEPRESSED. I was depressed. Very depressed. I had had no idea for an entire year that I was extremely, completely, utterly depressed.
After this realization Burgess and I made a plan. This plan involved vitamins, minerals and herbs. Regular exercise. Having Burgess and a few choice friends on call for help if I felt like another meltdown was coming on. I asked to be released from my calling at church and gave up everything outside of the home (other than teaching Freddy's preschool class twice a month). I started seeing a chiropractor twice a week to work on the extreme pain that had developed in my back, hips and pelvis (did I mention I that by 20 weeks pregnant I couldn't walk/move with out extreme pain? Yeah...). I forced myself to pray everyday even if it was just telling God how mad I was feeling at Him. I also forced myself to read the Book of Mormon every single day and set a goal to finish it in 30 days. And after a while I consented to a priesthood blessing.
It has been 3 months since I have been on my self prescribed (and midwife endorsed) system of all natural healthcare. It has been a very slow and bumpy road. It has been an extremely difficult path but one well worth taking. I'm not running away from the pain anymore and I'm not neglecting myself anymore. I'm no longer on the path to destruction and that my friends is a very happy thing.
The things that have been most helpful to me are spending lots of time in the sunshine, regular exercise and a clean apartment. But the thing that made the biggest difference for me was reading the Book of Mormon every single day for 45 minutes to an hour for 30 days. Little by little, but very quickly, I felt my faith and hope returning. I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life during those hours of scripture study and felt my body and mind being healed from the inside out. I felt cleansed and renewed during that time and I'll never be able to thank my Savior enough for the patience and love He showed me while I was in my darkest hour.
I am not better. Sometimes I still have to call Burgess to come home. Sometimes the crying, whining and constant nagging is just more than my injured mind can handle. Sometimes I just don't know how I'll make it through to the end of the day but at least now I feel like I will. I have hope for a better day, for a better me and I have faith that my Father in heaven and His son Jesus Christ are the ones that make it all possible. I am not better. But I am on the road to recovery. I am still broken, but mending. I am on my way to being made whole.
Completely whole. I know that it is possible. Broken things, shattered things, irreparable things...people...can be made whole. Completely whole. Not with out faith and not with out very hard work, but it is possible and I will keep trying. I will find my way back. The Savior has my hand and is leading me along and soon I won't be missing anymore.