Excuse the random family photos in this post.
We recently got them back from when they were taken at our family reunion.
Tonight we had a church dinner for the Relief Society, which is just a fancy name for the women’s organization within our church. Usually once a month we have some type of activity, whether it is geared towards bonding, charity, or learning. My ward (another name for the entire congregation living within geographical boundaries), due to the townhomes going up and apartment building in the area, has a lot of people move in and out all of the time. This makes it slightly hard to get to know people.
In order to help us all get to know each other tonight, we went around in a circle saying our name and one of our biggest accomplishments of the year. Answers varied from babies, traveling, marathons, moving, or simply just living day to day. I had no idea what I would say and before I knew it, it was my turn. Quickly off the top of my head I said, “we bought our first home this year”. And honestly, this is a HUGE deal for us, but secretly I wished I could have said something else. What I really feel is my biggest accomplishment is a bit more dramatic, for lack of a better word, and so I avoided the topic. Blogs like drama though, right? 😉
After having Liev, and even during my third trimester, I seriously suffered from some of the deepest and darkest places found in the human mind. At times I felt OK, which is what deferred me from getting help in the first place. I figured it was no big deal and that it would just go away. However, when I wasn’t OK, I was horrible. My emotions were one giant rollercoaster that I was not in control of. Not being in control was the scariest part of it all. Nothing specific made me depressed, like my weight, people around me, or any aspect in my life. I was just overwhelmed, tired, and feeling very alone.
Not being one to wallow in my sorrow, I sought out friends. It had almost been a year since we moved to our city and making new friends was proving to be difficult. I had a couple of old friends who lived nearby and, feeling very vulnerable, I decided to throw a little get together with them and as many girls as possible. I’m all about large groups of girls becoming friends, getting together, and supporting each other, but that isn’t what happened. Only a couple girls were available that night so we decided to take a raincheck – no big deal, I wasn’t offended – but (to make a long and sad story short) instead of making new friends at this time, I lost one. And I don’t mean that she died…although I did mourn very similarly.
If I haven’t gotten personal enough yet, can I include that a lot of my depression started third trimester after Denys admitted to some things that he had been lying about? For years. And what hurt me the most wasn’t what he did, but rather his lies. It crushed me. Denys is a great man, husband, and father. He was scared and made a mistake. Humans do, but we also learn. We are both very happily married, no worries there. I simply tell you this because if I am to talk about my greatest accomplishment this year, this is a big part of it.
Have you put it all together? Hormones + being lied to + new city + no sleep + new baby + not making any friends + losing a friend and whatever else life has to throw at you = my horrible experience with postpartum depression. It all just built up and my hormonal self could not contain it sanely. When I finally saw the doctor, there was no question about it. High anxiety and high-moderate depression. I was ready and willing to do anything to feel like my old self again. But here is the catch – my accomplishment – I’m not my old self and I never will be. This experience changed me forever and overcoming it all has been the greatest thing for my life.
There were times this past year when I truly didn’t understand how my heart would heal or how my thoughts could improve. In the darkest moments I thought about how much easier it would be to just not exist and have any emotions at all. But God, whom I believe to be as real as real can be, helped me through those darkest moments to make my life even brighter and happier today (as well as some temporary meds and a supportive husband). Although I never hope to go through this again, I can’t help but to feel grateful for the experience. Overall, it became my greatest accomplishment for the year.
I suppose I didn’t talk as much about HOW I overcame it, rather than WHAT I overcame…but a blog post can only be so long. For now, consider the scripture below some of my HOW.
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.