The “Why” to My Journey

Tattoos

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.

engagement

(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.

Family Wedding

(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

(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.

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 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!

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33 thoughts on “The “Why” to My Journey

  1. Ruth thank you for sharing your story, it’s beautifully written. How strong are you for sharing this! I know God’s given you this journey, to help others and He knows your just the right person to do this. Your Dad told me something once that I always rely on, Jesus is holding you by your right hand. Each day every hour he is there holding my hand. That’s love, so when he put hard times in life, I look at it as I’m His servant and going to get through them with His love, and shining His grace. Find an exercise you love, whatever it is, and do it, no excuses. It helps so much, with mental health.

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    • Thanks Kristin. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the why me or the self pitying. But I have come to the realization that God has given trials to everyone and I should thank him for mine. Thanks for support! I always tell people I will take any prayers they can spare 🙂

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  2. You are a child of God! How great is the love the father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God for that is what we are! Thanks for pouring out your soul in this blog. You have many brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle through this, you are not alone! To God be the glory in your steps toward management and healing! Gods richest blessings on you and your family! Look one more saw and read your post! 🙂

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  3. How great is the love the father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! That is what we are! God’s blessings on you and your family as you continue with management and work towards healing. You are certainly not alone in this struggle. You have a huge support system in your brothers and sisters in Christ!

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  4. This is a great thing to read. I always have, and still am afraid to get help because I never wanted all the focus on me or for people to think differently of me… it’s a hard thing and I am proud of you for doing this! Thank you.

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    • I completely understand! I never want to admit I need help, but when I was forced to seek help I realized that I have nothing to be ashamed of! This experience helps shape who I am!

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  5. This is wonderful that you have been so open and honest in order to help others! I will pray for you while you are on your journey. Remember, no matter what this life looks like……we have the one important thing…Christ! I know you know that 😉. No matter how high or how low this journey goes…he is there! I will pray you find success with your new strategy. Many have! Also, I need a bit of advice. I have a daughter who struggles with anxiety. ( I’m sure she gets it from her mamma, I deal with this too). Any advice on what to do with a preteen who becomes so overwhelmed with it?

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    • My heart goes out to her! Firstly, she should inform her doctor just to cover all her basis and make sure they are on the same page. Secondly, find a confidant. My mom and my husband have become my confidants whom I tell EVERYTHING. Which can help take away the lonely aspect and ground me. However, this can be difficult because often we want to burden things by ourselves. Perhaps if your daughter likes to internalize have a notebook where she can journal to you or even herself about. Try to identify what might trigger her stress and work from there. It can be a lot of trial and error. But praying is the best place to start!

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  6. Beautifully written Ruth. I would definitely share this with anyone I know going through a similar situation. I have known you for quite a while, and while I knew you were going through something in college, I didn’t know the extent. It’s amazing how our external façade can often mask so much within. My prayers go with you and your family. Keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep on sister in Christ.

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  7. Dear Ruth-bless you for wearing your heart on your sleeve. When did it be ok to suffer so alone in this–for so many-for you? I can imagine sharing this journey to the world is terrifying, but I honor you for being brave. I will share this blog with so many because no woman out there doesn’t suffer in some way with this. For some it’s very, very slight, others it’s horrific. I love, love, love that you have taken back your life! Cannot even wait to read more! 💜

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  8. Ruth, I thank God for the time you were a student in my piano studio. I will pray for you on your journey. Take life a day at a time. What did you have, and how old is your baby. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out.
    Mrs. Warnecke

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  9. Thank you for sharing your struggles with how God made you. We tend to have a genetic tendency toward depression and in our family history we have people who ‘self medicated’ with alcohol. I am looking forward to hearing about your journey and how the LORD leads it. The relationship with the food we eat seems interesting. There seems to be more people with issues with stress and depression today than years ago. I wonder if it is getting diagnosed better or was it hidden and dealt with by alcohol, drugs, suicide or running away from your responsibilities, or have the food we eat been changed so much that they are causing changes in our bodies. One thing is for sure, the devil will use this to make us feel useless and not worthy of love, especially from our Savior. Take care Ruth

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    • I pray for those in your family who suffer with the temptations to self medicate. It is hard for those on the sidelines to watch loved ones suffer and make poor choices. I think it is a combination of all the things you mentioned that make depression more prevalent. It so often has a negative stigma and people in turn hide it from everyone. Food has also continually changed, and in my opinion for the worse. My next post actually has to do with food so hopefully it might give some different points of views as to what we are putting into our bodies!

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  10. Writing about your experience with anxiety and depression will be a cathartic activity for you and your readers. I struggle with this issue but presently I am on a hiatus. Hope it lasts. I recently learned via a webinar that there are apps that deal with anxiety. Investigate those. And, don’t forget the best app of all-the Word. I am not the only one wit this issue!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story. I have struggled since about 16 or so with anxiety, depression. It came to a head post partum with my first baby. She’s 18 now. I went on meds after my second, he is 16 now. I went on to have a miscarriage and 3rd baby. I’m interested in your journey foe that reason. But even more, I discovered essential oils myself a year ago. After 16 years, I am mentally ready to wean with the help of essential oils. But I struggle with thw unknown of weaning etc. I am excited to learn more about your journey.

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  12. Thank you, Ruth, for this blog. It was very well written and, no doubt, will help others in your situation. I have you in my prayers that all goes well with you as you help yourself. God bless you, Sebastian and your wee one!

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  13. So heartbreaking to hear of the pain you’ve gone through Ruth. No doubt putting this out there will be such a help for others to hear they’re not alone. It’s so encouraging to hear your faith shine through in the midst of your suffering. You will continually be in my prayers for God’s support and encouragement.

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