Writing a blog has always been a rather off-putting idea, in my opinion. I enjoyed reading other people’s blogs, but I could not fathom why someone would want to read what I have to say. And who knows, maybe only 2 people will read this blog (not counting my husband as one but counting one of my sister’s- Hi Anna!) But I realized this could be an amazing opportunity for reflection, accountability, and maybe- just maybe- helping someone who might be in a similar position.
I have had anxiety since I was a child and issues with depression since I was in high school. However, I hid it and didn’t seek any sort of help until the summer before my freshman year of college. The next 5 ½ years would be a journey: seeking new doctors, trying new medications, working on coping skills, but nothing seemed to help. It was always a temporary fix. And it was frustrating. How are you supposed to live your life when you never know if a slump is coming or if you can never muster up the motivation needed to live day to day. Sure, things would get better for a short while, but never permanently but I could handle it. What I couldn’t handle was only to come.
A year and a half ago I took the biggest slump of my life. I had had panic and anxiety attacks before, but this is something that was in a league of its own. The kind that lands you in the ER. The kind that keeps you from eating for a couple weeks. The kind where living becomes the biggest burden in your life. So I got prescribed a new medication. Then my dose was doubled. I started going to therapy more often and eventually I began to feel ok. But if you know what anxiety and depression can do, you know that there can come a point where leaving your home is terrifying: you never know what might trigger an attack. It was the worst chunk of my life. Ever. But with the help of my parents and my then fiancé (now husband) I was able to get through it alive. Which I thank God for every day.
(The night that my husband I got engaged. Why in the world did I ever think dying my hair that dark wouldn’t make me look like a corpse)
Fast forward a couple months and it was summer. I did a complete 180. I had never felt so content with my life. I married the man of my dreams. I was in great shape. I was working a job I loved outside soaking in the sun. And I was dutifully taking my medication every day (except for one week when I ran out and didn’t make it to the pharmacy and kind of lost it at work and went home raging and crying, whoops). I felt so blessed. It seemed like God had worked some sort of miracle on me. Things had never been better. A couple months into our marriage, the husband and I prayerfully decided that we would put our trust in God, which then lead to one of the biggest changes of my life. A baby.
(I love my family)
When we decided we would put our trust in the Lord, I realized I needed to take a gander at my medication to make sure that it would be ok to get pregnant on. Well it wasn’t. It was a DO NOT GET PREGNANT WHILE TAKING THIS STUFF OR BAD THINGS COULD HAPPEN type of pill. So, I thought better now than later and weaned off my medication. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure what pregnancy could do to my hormonal balance. But God blessed me and I exceeded my own expectations and the pregnancy went very smoothly.
(Pregnancy does wonders for your figure, I promise)
I began to gear up for PPD (postpartum depression). But I knew one thing: I didn’t want to start up taking any medication. So when the PPD began to hit, I knew I had come to the point where I either needed antidepressants or I needed a plan. I asked my dr. if my antidepressants would affect my baby via nursing and I was told no. But this didn’t sit right with me. I was at a loss and I didn’t know what to do. I had already lived through my worst nightmare and was moving past that. But becoming a mother brought forth a whole new set of fears. What if I had a relapse like I did before? What if I became unable to care for my child the way she needed to be cared for? Would I forever become tied to a medication? Or worse yet, what if my child suffers from the same issues I do? It’s an unbearable thought. I don’t want to have to think about my baby having to experience what I went through and possibly having to rely on a pill to bring her balance. Therefore I decided I was going to find a new route. A natural route that I can use to maintain my mental health and help my family through whatever may come their way. So now I’m going on a journey to see if I can use food, essential oils, and exercise to manage my mental health.
My Momma always tells me that I have to play the hand that I am dealt. And I’m going to, I’ve just decided I’m going to play it my way.
I am not a doctor or physician, but I consulted both before starting my journey. If you need help consult the professionals immediately! I have no training. The professionals do and they are there to help!