Our son wistfully replies, "I hope she gets better soon."
My tears flowed. I was not sure I would ever be better. How does a broken heart heal? How is one ever the same after they are broken?
The reality of my life was depression. A depression that would not loosen its grip. It took me a long time to acknowledge it though.
Over a year before my medical doctor had suggested to me that I take an anti-depressant. I had gone in for unexplained aching and fatigue in my body. After a lot of blood work, and finding no physical cause for my very real physical pain he made his suggestion. It frustrated me. It angered me. I was not depressed. Something was physically wrong.
I tried my own remedies. I took a probiotic put out by Plexus which helped me significantly with the pain. The pain gradually went away, and I was thankful.
However, I continued to fight through each day emotionally. I was depressed although I adamantly denied it. I had been battling anxiety attacks over the past couple years, and they were becoming more frequent. Sometimes they came on for no apparent reason. And the tears, they were always just below the surface squeezing out at inopportune times.
Increasingly, I longed to be able to enjoy my children again, to laugh and feel like it was genuine, to find joy in the little things, and to not have a continual tightness in my chest. I didn't want to hide from social situations or be holed up in my room, but my room was my safe place.
In my room, I could cry and no one saw. I could read books and escape to a different world. Here I didn't have to "people." God and I could just talk there, and we were ok.
Prompted by a challenging situation with one of our children and an intense anxiety attack, my husband and I went and visited with our family counselor. She is a godly Christian lady whom we highly respect. She gently suggested I try an anti-depressant.
Everything within me screamed "no." Yet desperation was demanding an ear. I wanted God to be enough for me. I did not want to need medication. Should a Christian even use medication? I felt tormented by a swirling of thoughts.
As I prayed, God sent me a friend who helped me process. I am thankful for her, and for her gentle reassurance and love. God used her to help me get up the nerve to go back to my medical doctor.
I have been on an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication for a little over two months now. It has made a huge difference for me. I find it easier to smile. My brain fog feels like it is lifted. I have only had one anxiety attack. I am truly enjoying little things with my children again. I am hibernating in my room less, and I actually began an exercise routine. Is it a magic pill? No, but it feels like a balance in my head is being restored.
I pray this will only be a temporary need in my life. However, I am grateful for the Lord's provision. Once again laughing, planning, and dreaming about the future is a part of my life. Most importantly I am better able to serve God with each day that he has given me.
It is hard for me to share this with you. I have been praying and thinking about it for a couple weeks. Here is why I decided to share. I have been on the other side criticizing those who struggle with clinical depression. I had those self-righteous thoughts and condemning attitudes. For that, I am deeply sorry.
Also, there are some who suffer in silence. I think this is especially true for those in ministry. They carry a lot of burdens and love deeply. I believe this can make them more prone to depression. I know I have been scared to share my struggle completely because I fear condemnation. We need to reach out to each other and love one another as Christ loved us.
For this reason I speak out and share. Someone was willing to be vulnerable and share with me, and it has made a difference. There may be someone out there who needs me to do the same for them.