Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Evenings are usually the toughest for me. I am physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted and my guard is down. Since I've been home from the hospital my hardest battles seem to come after 7pm. Negative thoughts want to overwhelm me and drown out anything positive that happened during the day.

Even now as I try to write this my entire self is screaming "JUST STOP THINKING!" It is so hard not be frustrated with the lack of energy I have right now and this has been plaguing me this evening. Thankfully a nurse at the intensive outpatient program I started today said something that really hit home... she said to think about what I went through last week as surgery and I needed a recovery time. My body needs time to recover from the mental exhaustion and though I may look perfectly fine, I really needed to give myself a break.

And so, as difficult as it may be, I am trying to give myself the ability to stop and not try to do everything. This is SO hard for me, but I feel that through this whole experience that is one more lesson I have to learn and that I can carry on with me once I have beat this storm.

When the negative thoughts come at night and the darkness seems overwhelming as they are now I refer back to Pslam 139, particularly verses 11 and 12...

                      If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
                                   and the light become night around me,”
12                       even the darkness will not be dark to you;
                                          the night will shine like the day,
                                             for darkness is as light to you.

Last night a picture came to me after I read this passage. God is the big spotlight lighting my path through the darkness. What a comforting thought!

Happy moment today

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm Me!

Many days it's been hard to find the true ElisaBeth amidst the depression. It has been a struggle to differentiate between the two. Part of me wants to yell at myself for the loss of control I sometimes feel and the other part wants to give myself a hug and say that it's not my fault.

With the stigma attached to mental illness, depression and postpartum depression, I believe it is hard to understand what it really is... I know I had no idea until experiencing it myself. I wish the cure to depression was as easy as just being happy, just pulling it together, just making the most of what you have...  but it's not.

I have the most amazing God, husband, kids, family, friends, support, place to live, dog, me time, car (you get the picture)... and yet I still continue to fight on a daily basis to get better. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when I get caught in the cycle of blaming myself about the depression and that I just need to get over it already.

Mental illness is just that... an illness. And so, though I continue to struggle to still truly understand it, I know that like any other illness it will take time. Like any healing... work needs to be done and a sense of determination needs to be had in order to stay on the positive side while in the midst of crap.

And so who am I during this storm in life? My therapist in the hospital said something that really stuck with me... I need to just accept where I'm at right now. Soon it will be over, soon I will not have to fight so hard, but right now this is me and I'm an incredible and courageous fighter who wants to get better for her family, friends and especially for herself!

I'm ME!
If I roar like a lion (roar) 
Does it make me a lion?
If I bark like a dog (ruff ruff)
Does it make me a dog?
If I hiss like a snake (hiss)
Does it make me a snake?

No, no, no, no
I'm so much more than 
You can see
I have LIFE inside of me
That makes me move, feel and
I can act a certain way
And do all sort of things but in 
the end
I'm me, I'm me, I'm me

- Excerpt from Song I'm ME! by Charlie Hope

Friday, July 26, 2013


The past few days have been the absolute hardest in my fight against PPD. I feel like I write that sentence at the beginning of many of my posts, but this time I don't think I could sink any lower.

I may elaborate a bit more in some of my future posts, but the fact is that I had to stay in a hospital for a few days. At the beginning of my stay I was angry at God, felt abandoned by Him and didn't understand how He could let this happen to me. At the end of my stay my  heart was changed once again and I felt hope and fight in me that could only come from Him.

This morning before I left to come home I opened my devotion and read this:
What I drew this morning before leaving

Hope is a golden cord connecting you to heaven. This cord helps you hold your head up high, even when multiple trials are buffeting you. I never leave your side, and I never let go of your hand. But with-out the cord of hope, your head may slump and your feet may shuffle as you journey uphill with Me. Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road. You are reminded that the road we're traveling together is ultimately a highway to heaven. When you consider this radiant destination, the roughness or smoothness of the road ahead becomes much less significant. I am training you to hold in your heart a dual focus: My continual Presence and the hope of heaven. 

- Jesus Calling

Thank you for those who have been praying for me. I have felt bathed in God's love today after leaving the hospital. The moments I have shared with my children and my husband have been some of the most precious I have ever had. 

I have hope that I will continue to have the courage and strength to fight this illness and get better. With God's help I will win!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Let's Have a Party

I feel like devoting a post to a pity party.

Though this may not be the mature, correct and helpful thing to do I believe it is necessary for me at this moment.

And so...

You're Invited to ElisaBeth's Pity Party!
Where? Right Here
When? Right Now
What? A non-celebration of how frustrating Postpartum Depression can be
Why? Because... it sucks

This evening my wonderful husband didn't blink twice when I asked if I could head out alone for the last five hours of the day. He was left to conquer feeding the baby peas and a bottle, putting both kids to bed while simultaneously dealing with the sweet and salty attitude of our three year old who is coming off of being sick. I am so thankful to be able to leave on a whim and know that Dhrumil has everything under control at home. I feel that this freedom of leaving really helps me at times.

After seeing Despicable Me 2 (which was very funny), grabbing a burrito and then reading magazines (such as Time and Psychology Today in which I hoped would help keep my brain working on things besides the color of baby poo) at the bookstore, I decided to peruse the depression aisle.

***DISCLAIMER: When one searches the depression aisle one should probably not have the expectation of feeling happier after one skims books on this topic.***

There were no books on PPD and so I decided to check out a few on "mainstream" depression. After reading one section of a book on what one needs to do to not feel so tired... I dropped my hands in defeat and just stared at the shelves of books in front of me. They blurred into one large blob and that's when it hit me... again...

WHY do I have deal with this!? WHY now!? WHY WHY WHY!? WHY can't life just be simple!?

***DISCLAIMER: I know that everyone everywhere deals with something and many may have much worse situations than myself, but this is my pity party and so I will continue on in this manner for a few more paragraphs***

I am learning to be a mom of two, I am learning to stay at home with my kids, I am learning to live in a new place, I am learning to understand who I am in these situations, I am still healing from carrying life for nine months, I am still sustaining life by nursing my child, I am a wife, I am a cleaner, I am a cook, I am the lawn service, I am a dog walker, I am, I am , I am...

And so WHY do I have deal with this blasted postpartum depression on top of it all!? Life is challenging enough... really. And this author in this book has the GAUL to tell me I have to do a whole list of other things on top of my normal day to day to just try to get back to being normal!?

No wonder those who are depressed want to just sit and stare into the oblivion... it can just be too much to handle sometimes.

I digress...

Tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow I will wake up and though I can not predict if I will be able to pop right out of bed and move ahead or if I will have to muster all of the strength left in me just to sit up, tomorrow I will no longer pity myself. I will be ready to once again fight the fight against this illness. I will continue to try with all of my heart to smile and laugh when my daughter does a silly dance, to inhale the sweet baby perfume of my son's breath while he coos in my face, to feel the ever steady arms of my husband's embrace and to thank God for giving me the will to keep on going and finding His blessings in the smallest of triumphs.

A happy moment today... on our way to breakfast as a family

Monday, July 8, 2013

Giving Thanks

This week in Sunday School we briefly discussed the following verse...

[...] always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
- Ephesians 5:20

We were asked what it meant to always give thanks and some replied that giving thanks in the hard times may be close to impossible, but looking back on those times you could see the blessings. Personally I now understand that you CAN give thanks even during those hard times. PPD has been the toughest trial I have faced and I can not believe it, but I have felt more blessed by God during it then any other time.

Since my last post I have faced some pretty tough weeks. When I think I am getting better I feel as though I am hit with something new. I am continuously understanding that this illness is something that you can't just get over in a few months. It is going to take time...

I was having trouble falling asleep tonight and had to write... below is what came out. It amazes me after reading it the thankfulness that I feel even at my lowest points.

Walking on this path
A blessed moment
The journey seems so far
It stretches out in front of me
Will it ever end?

At times it's hard to breath
At times it's hard to see
At times it's hard to remember who I was
Will I find her again?

A shell of my former self
I trudge on ahead
For I can not stop
I am needed, I am wanted, I am loved

Lord, at times it is hard to understand why
But then I see the blessings amidst the clouds
And I know this is the storm I must face
This storm that will not last forever

The world is full of sorrow
But also full of joy
I am thankful for the moments of peace and clarity
I am thankful to not walk this path alone

For You, oh God, I praise in my darkest hours
You have already shown me so much through my journey
And though I fear sometimes that I can not endure another moment of this illness
I will continue to look to You

This shall pass!
I will find myself again!
My confidence in myself will once again be restored
For You, oh God, can make all things possible!