I've gone back and forth on this for nearly 2 years now......whether or not to write about my battle with depression and anxiety.
Today, I'm going to write it down.
And, then actually push the "publish" button I've been avoiding for so long.
Most of my close friends know already, but I suffer from Depression and Anxiety. I'm not entirely sure where it comes from. Some may be genetic. Some may be environmental. Either way, I have a hard time dealing with the difficult parts of life and then often with what I think should be the easier parts, too.
Looking back, I believe that I had post-partum depression after each child. Whether it was a strong case of the "baby blues" or mild depression, I'm not sure. After Carter, I nearly lost my mind trying to be a stay-at-home mom. Eventually, I went back to work and returned to "normal". Jack's birth was conveniently timed with Blake's receiving his position in Denver, so I was super busy selling a house and preparing to move. Though I remember some dark days, I was distracted most of the time and never dealt with it.
And, then I had Lainey. Jack was 7 months old when I became pregnant with her. We quickly leased our rental and bought a house, moved and set roots. So, I was in a new town with new doctors, new friends, a new life. And, no family nearby. In addition, while I was pregnant, Caroline received confirmation from her doctors that she could not carry a child. She could physically get pregnant, but the pregnancy would end her life due to her disease. Upon hearing this, I went into a tailspin of guilt and frustration. That lasted for months. Why me? Why her? I begged God to help me understand the plan he made for us. I still don't have the answers I need. Maybe one day.
About 6 weeks after giving birth, I had a breakdown. After fighting with Blake regarding any possible thing on earth, I lost it. I threw phones. I threw my laptop. Basically, if there was a small (expensive, no doubt) electrical device near me, it was at risk of being whirled into the air. I knew something was wrong.
The next day, I took Jack and Lainey into my doctor's office.......a family doctor I had never met......and lost it again. I'll never forget holding Lainey in my arms, toddler Jack tugging at me requesting the attention he absolutely deserved.......and bawling like a baby to this women I had never met in my life. She sat with me for 45 minutes listening, agreeing, understanding.
I went on depression/anxiety meds immediately and a rather strong dosage. It helped. Everything seemed slightly easier to deal with.
My life didn't change. How I handled it did.
I transitioned off the meds several months later......then went back on them during our relocation from Colorado to Kansas. Off again eventually. And, now I'm back on. This time, I'm on a different prescription and feel it's the perfect fit for me. I'm grateful.
I don't blame my depression and anxiety on having children. Looking back on my life, I see several signs of it in my past. I think it took me becoming an adult to recognize that I needed help.
And, while I'm thankful for what meds can do for me, I'm an even bigger advocate for counseling. I've seen counselors off and on for over half my life and I credit them with saving my marriage, friendships, and my sanity on more than one occasion. I have many people close to me that I can talk to openly, but there is simply something different about speaking to someone independent from your personal life. I cherish it.
So, why tell you this now? Because it feels good to finally say it. And, I did!