I've been silent for a while. Sometimes on purpose, and sometimes not on purpose. This winter was a really rough winter of recognition and acceptance of me by me.
It all started last fall. I know these fabulous women who get together monthly to play BUNCO. I'm a sub on the list, so I get called occasionally to hang out with them. If you know me at all, you know that two of my favorite things are games and socializing. I found myself agreeing to go to these events, but not really enjoying them. It was almost this conscious thought that I should go because I remember enjoying this once upon a time. I remember coming home from one of these events early (I had slipped out unnoticed) and telling my husband that I wasn't sure I would go again. I just couldn't understand why I wasn't having fun.
Rewind to last May. My doctor happened to mention kind of out of the blue that I seemed a little stressed. "You have a lot on your plate." She said that she would be glad to give me a little help if I ever felt like I needed it. "No," I thought. "Me? Need help for stress? This is just a normal thing Mom's go through, right?"
So, here it is in the fall and I'm not enjoying things I always had in the past. I began to wonder why I'd wanted kids. Why was it that other moms really enjoyed their kids, and I was struggling so much to tolerate mine? In fact, Amelia was struggling in school and we had just started counseling. She has a diagnosis of ADD and Insecure Attachment (a form of RAD where she's indiscriminately affectionate to everyone.) And then I noticed that I was having a hard time breathing. I no longer slept through the night.
Stress. Medicine. Help.
After encouragement from my mom I called my doctor and got a prescription for Xanax. I took it only when I needed it, and only a tiny dose (I cut the pill in half!). But it was giving me crazy side affects like slurred speech and memory loss. So I called the doctor, told her what was going on, and took her advice to get on a mild antidepressant. After a week or so I noticed a huge difference in my attitude and demeanor.
As I look back, feeling once again "normal", I see how my attitude, patience, and enjoyment of others (including my kids) has improved. I love hanging out with my kids, I sleep like a dad (haha!) and I've started enjoying my BUNCO gals again.
I'm so thankful for friends who talked me through this. I remember telling one of my bosses (who had shared that she struggled with depression and took meds) that I had been prescribed Xanax. I told her that I wasn't sure if this affected my employment at all. She assured me that my employment wasn't in jeopardy and gently talked me through the struggles I was going through (the benefits of working for an amazing church). Our bodies aren't meant to withstand the stress of living in a sin filled world.
This winter was a rough winter of acceptance. I don't have an official diagnosis of depression, but I think I might be heading in that direction. This doesn't make sense; much of my life doesn't make sense. I'm always smiling, cheerful, and upbeat...or so people (and I) thought. Deep down, I realize, I was hurting.
To Be Continued...