Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Postpartum Depression... and friends who fold your underwear.

So I've told you about my depression.  It started out as postpartum and just never really went away.  So while I'm looking around at a house full of random stuff, I'm anxious on the inside because I don't have the energy (or the time) or emotional capacity to get it all done (and my brain is at odds with my body because I also wrestle with OCD). In fact, sometimes I just get emotional because the old me could conquer this mess in no time- and still have energy to spare.

As it is right now, I can clean all day, literally, and at the end of the day it sometimes looks worse than before.  But I also know that's the life of a mom with so many active, young children.  In keeping with the warrior spirit, I have made it a point to fight back against my constant, nagging desire to sit and stare at the wall or go to sleep.  In fact when I'd much rather put the kids in bed early and find my way to my own comfy pillow, or  clean, I've chosen to sit and read a little longer with them or play a little more with them. I want them to feel loved and not second in line to a clean house or to mommy's depression.

So anyway, I have this new friend... who feels nothing like a new friend.  In fact, she feels like someone I've known my entire life.  It's crazy that in the couple of months we have been acquainted, we've gotten uber close- likely because neither of us has anything better to do than to text when the kids are in bed... just sayin'. But this friend has invested time and energy into me- like diggin deep to find out about what makes me tick, and what makes me feel loved and encouraged.  She has been a true God-send in my time of need.

So any how, yesterday she came over to my house... to help fold laundry.  Seriously.  Six loads of miscellaneous laundry and she dove right in, laughing all the way.  So I thought for sure since she had helped with me that, I'd be able to clean my house, but I wasn't.  I cooked tonight's dinner last night, then cleaned the kitchen and other miscellaneous things until the hottie came home from school (at 11:00).  Then I stayed up with him so that he wouldn't doze off while trying to finish his school work. (That's right... I'm workin' the brownie points.)  But then as I finally closed my eyes at 1:00 this morning, it felt like fifteen minutes of sleep and drool before my alarm went off at 6:15 this morning... and at this point, I may or may not have let out a wordy dird.

But in typical "Christi" fashion, I decided today I would conquer this never ending (and honestly, unrealistic) to-do list.  I thought I could somehow will myself to have energy.... but clearly my brain had other plans.  I tried to get motivated and I started working this morning- while trying to wrestle a cranky one-year-old and a needy three-year-old.  I realized quickly that work was not going to get done in that moment and put Shepherd down for nap and retreated to read with Jacob.  In no time, I was back in zombie mode.  Jacob was busy "reading" and I tried to make myself get up and get busy, but all I could do was stare... and there might have been drooling in there at some point.

After this, I cried because I felt hopeless.  I want to be a warrior myself, but during a wonderful quiet time the other day, I asked the Lord to give me some verses.  This was one that stuck out to me:  "The best army cannot save a king.  Nor is great strength enough to save a warrior." Psalm 33:16  My take away was that just because I am strong doesn't mean I can conquer it all.  I need to depend on the Lord for strength to get through this depression (NO LONGER I).  During a quiet time about a month and a half ago, I felt like God was saying this to me "Nothing to wake you up.  Nothing to put you to sleep.  Press in to me- for I am all you need."

So I cried out to Him and asked him to send me some help... a prayer which I received the answer to in the form of a friend with way too much free time. :)  I'm kidding. She texted tonight and asked if she could come over tomorrow and help me knock out this to-do list, once and for all.  She said "I figure if we are going to do life together, we should actually do life together."  Ah, what a wise woman!  Whereas I like to offer help to others, and not necessarily receive it myself, I think I am in a new season- learning to accept and appreciate when a friend chips in to help with the kids or the laundry.  I mean- heck!  Only the good ones will fold your tidy whities and still love you at the end of the day!

So here's to the new friends, and the old friends.  Here's to doing life together and encouraging one another.  Here's to fighting off depression- together- and giving the Lord victory.  Thanks for praying!

No longer I,

The real life (really depressed, but amazingly hopeful) mom.

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