A few weeks ago, I posted this picture on fb and Instagram of me rocking Leslie.
There was alot I wanted to say in that blurb but since it was not a blog, I gave the short version. Well, here is the long one.
After Ki's birth, I experienced panic attacks, depression and anxiety. Things I have never experienced before. It came on quick during the night 3 days after he was born. I got on medication which initially made it worst then better. A few months later, I just decided to stop taking it. All was fine for a while.
Fast forward a few years, I think 2. I had more panic attacks. More reactions to medications. The lowest point in my life. I couldn't take care of my kids. I couldn't take care of my husband. I couldn't take care of myself. God intervened. He led me to a Christian psychiatrist. I started taking a medication that did not give me horrible side-effects. Things haven't been really smooth sailing since but they are way better.
All that back story to say--- I had so much fear about having another baby. It is why there is a 4 year gap between Ki and Leslie. I spent the first few years questioning God about why He would allow for me to have this. Why would He give this to someone who loves Him and has a family to take care of? There was never an answer that seemed to satisfy. There are some days it still makes me angry but I have moved to place of acceptance. This is a result of sin. Not my individual sin but the sin of mankind. It cannot be explained but rather I can choose to trust Him and His plan. I can lay around in self pity which I have done. Or I can use it for His glory and to help others.
I did have some mental health issues after Leslie was born but I was much more prepared for them. And because of what I have learned through all this, I knew it wouldnt be forever. I wanted to share some things that I have learned.
1. If you need help, get help. Dont be afraid to tell someone whats going on. Anxiety for me, wants me to be silent. To suffer alone and try to hide it. First of all, I am really bad at hiding my emotions. Like real bad. It helps me tremendously to talk about it. With my husband, my mom, friends, anyone. If you need to see a doctor--please go see one! I see a psychiatrist every few months and I am not embarrassed at all about it. If you need counseling--go! NEVER be ashamed to ask for help. God created community for just that. He never wants anyone to suffer alone.
2. If you need to take a pill or pills, take them! This one was hard for me. One of my first visits I told the doctor, I dont want to be on a pill forever. It scared me. I didnt want a label. I struggled with this for months. I felt like because I took pills for my sanity then I was crazy. Not everyone need pills either but if thats what makes you function better in life, swallow your pride and swallow the pill.
3. It wont last forever. Depression and anxiety puts a tight grip on all reality. It makes you become irrational and self-centered. I have to surround myself with people who speak truth to me. You will get better. The storm will pass. "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." Psalm 94:19
4. God probably wont take it away instantly. Man, this is so hard. If your like me, I just want to pray one time and it be over with. I prayed and begged God to take it from me. I wanted an instant fix. His response to me, "My grace is sufficient". His grace is sufficient now, tomorrow, in a year... He will carry you through. Sometimes its so tough and its gonna suck at times but He will get you through it. "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress." Psalm 107:20
5. You can suffer well. The second time I started going through panic attacks/anxiety I went to a counselor. I thought I would go in and complain about everything and she would join my pity party. FALSE. Instead she told me that I was not suffering well. We all suffer with something and I could choose to suffer like I was or put my big girl panties on and suffer well. Enter in Gods grace is sufficient again. "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:13
6. Stop living in fear. I struggle with this one daily. Fear of tomorrow. Fear of what happened before will happen again. Fear of not being in control of what happens. Fear is pointless. I knew God had put a desire in my heart for another child. But I couldn't see past the what-ifs. I am so glad I eventually did. I am not saying its been a piece of cake but He has proven Himself to me over and over again and this time is no different. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1