"Seek and you will find..." Matthew 7
"There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still." Corrie ten Boom
I had "the moment" a few days ago, the one I have read others' stories about, the one I have longed for for seven long years, and it was about as picturesque as my healing has been (insert laughter here):
I was in a bathroom after one of the most stressful days in living memory ...
And I was smiling.
I was thinking of all the sweet little people in the next room who were about to eat loads of pancakes at our favorite restaurant, and the good man chuckling over their antics and helping them draw silly pictures on the white board while they waited for said pancakes.
I was feeling joyful.
And when I realized it, the tears flowed and the smile grew wider.
My postpartum depression is coming to an end.
I have no doubt there will be good days and bad days. I expect nothing less than the ups and downs and messiness of healing to slowly move forward then backward the forward again, gaining a little ground at a time.
After reading story after story of healing over at Postpartum Progress, I feel such hope (another good sign!).
In the midst of this hope and joy, I want to share with you some of my experiences in this healing process:
1. As the depression has faded, the anxiety has increased (or remained the same, unhindered by depression). When depressed, I felt pulled along by circumstances and ruled by the emotion of sadness. As the sadness has faded and I am willfully trying to take hold of my circumstances, anxious thoughts and panic attacks have emerged. In this new battle, the tools I learned to use in depression have come in handy. If I can fight depression, I can fight anxiety. I'm learning the triggers, fighting for healthy activities, and getting as much help as I can.
2. The anxiety comes from dealing with situations I have not learned to handle. I've been indepression most of the seven years we have been in Thailand and Cambodia. I've been called "brave" by many for riding a moto, driving in crazy traffic, shopping at the local market, and moving to a village. I wish I could claim "brave," but the truth is out: I've been numb. Now, as I face village life, I have to face difficult situations without my "drug" of numbness. Here's an example: Our helper quit as soon as we came back from our recent vacation which means I have to shop for a week's worth of groceries in the market in a town half an hour away. This is a large market, jam-packed with people. The last time I went, I was assaulted. Today, I made a seriously detailed plan of action for shopping, tearfully and with my anxious heart pounding told my husband my fears, and turned down his offer to shop for me. I willed myself to get food for my family, a very normal activity for my line of work and one I have undertaken many times. I was taken aback by how strongly I DID NOT want to get out of the car into the swarm of motos just outside the entrance. I survived, however, and it was a good step.
|My man working to help me have a washing machine|
|I'm liking the "new" me|
Everyone's journey in prenatal and postpartum depression in different. I would love to hear if any one of these ideas resonate with you!