Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

June 13, 2018

Time to fight back

I haven't written in a long time, I have been putting off to busyness and time management but when I really sit and think about it I have to admit that I stopped writing out of fear. The last few months I have been trying to face some of those fears, trying to come to grips with where life has brought me and how I got to this point, this chapter. As I sit here I struggle with where to start because it seems like my brain is so full and trying to make sense of it all is hard for me. However, I have always found that writing, feeling heard and known is a source of therapy so I am going to start and let it flow.

In early November I finally found a doctor who was much closer to our new home and I went to meet her, I liked her immediately and had all my records sent to her and she became my new doctor. She had me come in for a routine check-up a few weeks later and as we chatted through my family medical history I told her all about the boys and their health issues. I guess she was listening to all that I was saying, and not saying because at the end of the appointment she asked me to fill out a screening test. It didn't take too much time but as I answered the questions I began to see a pattern, things that I kind of knew about myself but that I hadn't wanted to face and address. When I handed the test back to her she scored it up, looked at me and said 'do you realize that you are living with a moderate depression, and high anxiety? I wanted to cry because as she spoke the words resonated and I was both angry and a little hopeful. Angry that I was the way I was, and hopeful because someone recognized me, someone, who might be able to help me. We talked at length and she prescribed some medicine to get me over the crunch and she suggested I talk to a therapist. The problem was, I don't talk to people about how I am doing mentally, or if I do it's 'Im good, I've got this, I trust God'; all of which is not untrue but it doesn't cover the whole truth. Therein lies my fear in sharing this post, in picking up the blog again. Sharing with you my deepest fears and admitting the absolute truth is not easy, but it also means that I have to also delve into some painful areas of my life that up until now I have safely avoided (or at least ignored until I couldn't anymore. )

Tim and I were talking last night and he was trying to get me to open up with him about it all since I am still resisting therapeutic help he reminded me that he's been a pastor for 15 years and has a little experience. He asked 'do you ever really talk about this stuff with anyone?' and I had to admit that I don't. Writing has always been my way of working through my thoughts, and so it was him to got me to a place where I am now sitting here writing this post.

Over the last winter, I have been struggling to understand my mental health and figure out how I got here, and where to begin in finding healing, coping strategies. I have also struggled with deep shame and sense of failure about it all.  Shame and failure. Just admitting that brings embarrassment.  Throughout the last 11 years, I have heard so many times about how well Tim and I have handled what we have gone through with Joshua. People continuously tell us how strong we are, how they admire the way we have coped... having to sit here and tell you that I am not strong, that I haven't been coping brings a deep sense of shame; and failure as I know this post will let people down. I also think back to those days of pregnancy after the diagnosis when God told me 'Be strong and courageous' I have failed there too. I want to be strong, I put on the smile,  I am pretending.

As the winter wore on it became clear to both Tim and I as well as my doctor that I am suffering from PTSD; I get it, my brain understands it but it makes me feel weak, it makes me feel like I am whining just saying it out loud and so I am stuck in silence and I haven't been able to move. There just seems like so much stuff to work through that I don't know where to start and so I take my pills and I try baby steps but then I slip and anxiety overwhelms me and I go back to hiding.

I don't want to hide anymore. I am tired. I want to let go of the shame, I want to be the honest person that I have always claimed to be on this blog. I don't want to let more people down, I want to do what God has called me to do, I want to be strong, I want to be courageous and so here I sit. Coffee beside me growing cold, a sore throat from fighting the tears that both threaten to flood me but also cleanse me.

This is not going to be worked out in one post; this will most likely be a series of posts as I allow you to join me on my journey back to myself, back to wholeness.

Thanks for reading, and listening.

L