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In A Much Better Place

These past eleven days I have been on vacation. A much-needed vacation. A much welcomed vacation.  A wonderful time spent with my husband (and a day that included my step-son).

Because of my depression and anxiety, working on average of 45-50 hours per week, and being involved in a few ministries at church, I ended up becoming burnt out. As I said, this vacation became a much-needed and welcomed event in my life.

While on vacation, I had to have blood work done. Something I had put off for a couple of weeks since last visiting my doctor and getting a prescription renewal for anti-depressants.  I couldn’t get the time off work until my vacation, so I got up early and went in to see the vampires.  The results came quickly, and the next day I was back at my doctor’s office to get the results.

My doctor told me what I had assumed – my B12 is way down.  No wonder I’ve been feeling so tired!  She also told me that my vitamin D is also way down and I need to start taking supplements to help bring that up, and I also need to start eating more red meat.  I will also have to go in to get B12 shots every couple of weeks (to start, then it should be monthly).

It’s nice to have some answers regarding my health. It also helps to know the steps to take in order to overcome this situation.

It’s the same with the depression and anxiety.  I need a plan in order to overcome that as well.  I’m learning to take steps (sometimes they are only baby steps, but they are steps none the less) in order to help with these illnesses.

Getting on my medication was the first step.  It’s starting to kick in, and now I have more good days than bad. I’m thankful for that.  I’ve also been more honest with others in how I’ve been feeling. I’m slowly letting others in, letting them see the real me, letting them see my pain, and not worrying that they won’t like the “real,” me, the broken me.  And, I’ve also been asking for more prayer. That’s very important, too.

I’ve been more vocal in talking about my anxiety as well. That’s my next step. Giving voice to what is causing my anxiety takes away the power it can hold over me.  Talking about the struggle brings it to the light where the fear can be stripped away and the people I trust can remind me to breathe, can help me remember I’m in a safe place surrounded by safe people, and I’m going to be OK.

Another step is to learn more about anxiety and depression, to become more aware of what triggers these attacks for me, and what I might need to do to avoid the situations (or what I need to do to face them).  Knowledge is a powerful thing.

One of the biggest steps is to learn to turn this all over to God, to give it to Him, to trust that He’s in control of the situation.  He is the only One who can help me recover from these illnesses. He is the only one who can heal me – if He chooses.  And if He doesn’t, that’s OK.  I know He still loves me and will help me through it all.

As well, prayer is playing significant part in this journey.  By talking to others, being honest about how I’ve been feeling, they are able to pray for me – especially when I’ve felt so “weak” and unable to pray for myself.  I’m thankful for these prayers.  I’m thankful for these people in my life who care about me, who love me.

I’m still not completely recovered from this. The depression and anxiety still affect me, still hit without warning. But, I’ve come a long way already. With the help of God, my medication, taking the steps I need to on this journey, prayers from my friends and family, and this much-needed vacation, I am in a much better place than I have been. And I look forward to the bad days becoming fewer and fewer as I start getting better and better.

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Today Was A Better Day

The bulk of this week was not great for me. Not only have I been dealing with my depression and anxiety, but Sunday afternoon family members shared some terrible news with us. It devastated me. And I found myself spiralling downward quickly.

Both Monday and Tuesday I had what I can only describe as breakdowns while trying to get ready for work. I couldn’t seem to function. I stood in the bathroom, attempting to get into the shower; all I could do was stand there, sobbing uncontrollably. All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed, cover my head, and disappear for awhile.  I didn’t want to face the world.

My husband was there for me. He held me, hugged me, told me it was OK to cry. He prayed for me. And he encouraged me. He reminded me that I’m not alone, that he is going to be with me through this, and that it will get better. I love him dearly for that (amongst other things).

Today, though, I woke up and I managed to get through the day without feeling hopeless, without feeling like my world was imploding. Today I was able to smile, to laugh, to feel almost myself again.

I’m not saying that I am over this, that the depression is gone, that my meds have suddenly kicked in and everything is hunky dory.  But, today was better. Today I made it through 15 hours without crying.

I have had many people praying for me, encouraging me to lean on the Lord. I’ve prayed. I’ve asked for strength. I’ve tried to not focus on little upsets that have happened today. And I made it through.

Today was a better day.

I know there are still going to be down days ahead, but I also know I’m not alone in this. I know Jesus is walking with me. He’s here for me, to give me strength, to dry my tears, to give me support as I walk along through the darkness, to light my way.

And for that, I am thankful.

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I Caught A Glimpse of the Light…

My husband tells me it will get better, that right now I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I will.  He tells me it’s still there, hiding beneath the grey clouds that loom over me on what seems like a daily basis.

I catch glimmers of that light, now and then.  It’s mostly a pin prick that expands and contracts at varying intervals throughout the day – mostly when my mind is on something else.

Driving home from work, my husband shone some of that light on me. He told me that a friend of ours had lifted me up in a beautiful prayer this morning. He told me how another friend of his shared that I had made him feel welcome and accepted when we had met, that I make others feel welcome and accepted, too. My husband shared this with me to help me see that there is light, to help me see that I make a difference, that I matter – things I haven’t been able to see in myself or to accept in recent months.

I caught a glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel this evening. I know it’s there, even if I haven’t been able to see it much lately.

Today, I felt the clouds lift a little. They’re starting to settle around me one more, but at least I know the light is there, that it will shine again, that the clouds will drift away, and the depression and anxiety will loosen its gnarly grip on me.