Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm not crazy . . . I'm just a little unwell

I have an attempted suicide on my long term medical record. I think it puts me in the category of "could possibly slip back there again" when talking about mental health. It doesn't really scare any one else who knows about it, because it was a VERY long time ago. Besides, I always get up every morning and brush my teeth. I always feed my kids and make my beds and windex something everyday. I write thank you notes and file things with labels. I smile politely in public and make conversation. I tell myself that the years of therapy as a young adult taught me to recognize the warning signs and get help early if I feel bad enough. Oh, and I made a promise I would NEVER go back to that dark of a place again. Most of all, I've learned DO NOT drag anyone else into this. No matter what they say people are terrified of being around REAL depression. So, I've pretty much mastered the art of keeping my crazy hidden in the closet.

Here's the thing, it's my truth. I am not a depressed person, but I get depressed and anxious when my life circumstances become out of "my" control for long periods of time. The couple of times in my life it has been the worst were surrounding issues of chronic physical pain and extreme financial instability. I become manic. I have spurts of insane energy, making plans and trying to be the hero and fix the problem. Once I have used all possible energy and my body and mind are completely exhausted and sick I crumple without warning into crying jags and panic attacks.

Last Sunday, I got scared. I felt as out of control as I have in over a decade. I couldn't understand why, after all we've made it through, I was now falling apart. I grew up with the "Jay Adams" theory of sin and sadness. I searched my heart for real spiritual reasons I was not trusting and resting. I know God has proven His faithfulness every single moment of my life. I REALLY believe He is working all this out for our good and His glory. Why couldn't I take a breath?

Following Sunday's episode, I got up Monday morning, made a doctor's appointment to check on my meds, looked into treatment facilities (just in case things got that scary again) and then put my mama nose to the grindstone. It was Delaney's spring break, and I had play dates planned outside our home every day. I was longing for it to feel fun and "normal" for the girls and give us a break from being in this house for so many months. Besides, maybe being social would help me too. Delaney had been feeling badly since last Friday night and running a fever on and off. By Wednesday morning she was really sick, and we headed to the doctor for a strep test. Sure enough, it was positive. Between Delaney needing me in the night and Danica's night symptoms of restless legs and waking beginning again I was completely empty by Thursday night. I prayed for sleep and instead Danica came in at 2:30 in the morning and literally did not fall back asleep until 5:30. Friday, I could barely move. Most of the time my fibro is settled in my upper body and especially my shoulders and arms, but when it gets really bad my hips and knees and feet and toes are also affected. I pushed all day gritting my teeth. When Dan got home I needed to go to the store, and I headed out. Finding a few hours alone was the best medicine no matter how exhausted.

On my way home I was specifically thinking about the cross and how Christ came to save people like me, the UNWELL. His grace is not a magic brain or heart chemistry pill. There are still great struggles between my fallen flesh and my justified spirit. The Casting Crowns song "Glorious Day" came on the radio, and I sang at the top of my lungs with tears streaming down my cheeks. I'm not crazy. I'm a sinner who gets sad sometimes because life is hard and our bodies are broken. Here's the great news. I'm redeemed, and He will always lead me back to the reason I live and restore my joy again because of what He's done. Best of all, this life isn't it. He's risen and He's coming again. Oh glorious day!

1 comment:

  1. Great Post Monica. I love how honest & open you are. It's when we see others struggle that we know we are not alone. Thanks for sharing, it really touched me.