Ok. So this topic isn’t something that I’ve spoken about very often although I feel like it is a subject that many people can relate to. Today, I’m talking about depression, particularly, postpartum depression.
When I got pregnant with my first baby, I started hearing a lot about postpartum depression but it was one of those topics where I had no personal experience.
For the two weeks following Brienne’s birth, I had the baby blues. I cried over everything (ask Peter) as my body and my hormones tried to get back to normal levels. But after those two weeks were up, I felt great and I was back to my old self.
We adopted Jonah in 2010 and surprisingly (wink wink) I did not experience any baby blues. When I brought Jonah home from the hospital, I felt amazing. I was well-rested because I hadn’t been big and fat and pregnant for the previous nine months. I had tons of energy and felt totally in control of my emotions. I just flat out felt great.
And then came our little Vivienne. She is such a gift to our family. Let me say that right up front. The Lord definitely placed her in our family for a purpose, ok? But her first year was rough.
Vivienne was born in Clarksville, TN, when Peter was stationed at Fort Campbell. But when Vivienne was about six weeks old, we moved to Georgia. We had received military orders several months prior so we knew moving day was coming. But it was awful.
I. Did. Not. Want. To. Leave.
And to top it off, Vivienne was not complying with any of my goals. She was not a good nurser, and she never slept. Never. I was exhausted and lonely.
When we finally got to Georgia, I felt very isolated. Jonah was in the throes of autism and Vivi was colicky for thirteen months. (I kid you not.) I couldn’t leave the house without help from Peter or Brienne because I couldn’t manage these two difficult children by myself. The result of this isolation was that I didn’t have any girlfriends to hang out with. Sadly, I lived for the days when Jonah’s therapist would come into our home just so I could have some adult interaction.
Hello. My name is Pitiful.
There were times when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Peter would come home from work, I would hand off the screaming baby to him, and I would lay down in sheer exhaustion. But sleep wouldn’t come, only tears.
And all too soon, Peter would bring Vivi back to me because he couldn’t soothe her. Honestly, no one could.
It was the most awful year of my life and I remember Peter telling me once that I needed to “snap out of it.”
Can I just say – when you are depressed, you cannot just snap out of it.
I didn’t want to pray.
I didn’t want to see anyone.
I didn’t know what I wanted.
Then I came across a couple verses.
Psalm 77:11-12 says this:
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
These words were written thousands of years ago, but as I stumbled across them, I knew they were meant for me in that very moment. I needed to remember that God had been faithful to me in the past. I needed to remember the many miracles that He had performed in my life.
I felt as though the Lord was leading me through my own personal wilderness to test me and prove my character. Was I going to follow Him? Was I going to obey? Or would I give up during this difficult time?
I made the decision to get up. To take one day at a time. To pray. A lot. And to trust the Holy Spirit to provide me with the stamina and energy and faith to make it through.
I didn’t just suddenly “snap out of it” one day. And Peter never said those words to me again. Instead, he chose to love and support me through that trying season. It was definitely a slow process of learning to trust Christ with my crazy emotions and my depressed feelings.
But you know what? God is faithful. He loves each of us so much and He wants to see us thriving in Him.
If you are struggling with depression today, I urge you to seek help from a trusted friend, counselor, or medical professional. Talking about your feelings with someone who can assist you is the first step. Medical intervention may be necessary for a while until your body begins cooperating and adjusting.
Christ is the ultimate healer. He is mighty to save, friends. Pour your heart out to Him. Trust Him to lead you in the appropriate direction.
He wants you to be healed and whole.