Here’s the thing…I had a secret. I tried to keep my secret as long as I could. I worked really hard and at times, was quite convincing. I played with Brynna, had dinner on the table every night although my husband has never expected me to do so, and I filled my days with volunteering, working out, writing. I was so busy that at times I almost convinced myself there was no secret to keep. But there was. Even if I forgot at the end of the day, I woke up the next day with my secret staring me in the face. The thing is…my secret is…I am not perfect.
It all started a few months ago. I lost myself. You’d think you could keep track of such a thing, but nope. One minute I felt all put together and in control and the next I couldn’t get out of bed. I was so tired in the afternoon, I had to lay down when Brynna. (Not in the “sleep when the baby is sleeping” kind of way. In the “pass out until you wake up to crying” kind of way.) I was so uninterested in anything the day might have to offer that I decided there was really no point in us going anywhere. The grocery store became my arch rival. I would go weeks without grocery shopping because it just felt fruitless to spend the time and money when we would just consume all we bought and have to be right back there the next week. I found myself being fake to my friends. I’ve never felt farther from it, so I faked being myself.
After months of trying to keep up my front, I finally admitted it was all just too much to bear. I told David and my sister-friends and then I went to the doctor. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but what I did know was that God made me for more than this. My cover was blown, the jig was up, my secret was out. Now I just needed to know what to do to get through the day.
For 2 months, I have been on medication for Postpartum Depression. Yes, my child is almost 16 months old. Apparently this crazy phenomena doesn’t just occur in the days or weeks after giving birth. Apparently you can function as you always have and then one day feel like a stranger in the body you’ve known all your life. I struggled with the name. I have been through a lot of pain and therapy in my life but “depressed” was one box I never had to check. Now I do. After the name, I struggled with the medication. Knowing you need medication to regulate your blood pressure or insulin levels makes sense to me. It was (and still is) a hard thing to accept I have to take medicine just to feel like myself. Mostly, I struggled with my secret.The thing is…I never REALLY believed I was perfect, but I did believe I was in control. I believed I was driving the car. I believed I was directing the course. I, I, I. That’s what I believed. But not anymore. Depression taught me that I am most definitely NOT in control. I can’t get through a day without help. No matter how hard I try or how big I smile, I can’t do life on my own.
I was so scared someone would realize I didn’t have it all together. Depression taught me that I’m not in control. God is. And that’s what He was waiting for me to admit…
Click to read What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 2