Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dementors and Roundabout - This is Where I'm At

I have been out of blog "service" for the past few weeks because I went on vacation last week (post on that to come) and my three days a week of Intensive Outpatient Therapy are exhausting and draining.

My IOP days comprise of sitting in a windowless room filled with depressed and anxious people and participating in six grueling hours of group therapy. Don't get me wrong... it is helping SO much... but digging deep into my soul for any positive affirmation of myself that may be left and any "green sprout" of self worth and respect that can be captured, nurtured and coxed to grow in such a hazardous wasteland is not my idea of a good time.  

Look at it this way (and here is my wonderful Harry Potter analogy) it is as if a Dementor* is sucking my soul out and in therapy I am trying everything in me to produce a patronus charm** in order to get it away and move on.

HP Definitions:
* Dementor (aka depression) - a non being that feeds off of human happiness. They drain the peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them. They leave nothing left but a shell of a person behind.
** Patronus Charm (aka my fight) - The spell that gets rid of a dementor - one must think of the happiest memory to produce it

And so that brings me to today and where I'm at in my recovery... and what will I use to describe it? Another analogy of course!

This morning at the playground the roundabout caught my eye and I had an AH-HA moment. It is as if I am stuck in the middle and it is turning so fast that everything is blurry. There is no possibility of me getting off because of the speed and though I am trying my hardest to creep towards the end to slow it down a source of gravity keeps throwing me back in the middle.

Sometimes the roundabout slows down as progress is made through therapy, journaling, prayer, family and friends help... I am able to grasp a glimpse of hope, or am able to accomplish a little goal such as being alone with the kids all day by myself, making a meal or organizing the toys... but then it starts up again going faster and faster, making me dizzier and dizzier. Creating disorientation and a lack of clarity.

That's it... that's where I am. I see progress and yet I don't. I feel like a broken record to those around me... the symptoms persist though I am able to cope with more strength. It is a battle in the mind and it is unyielding, unsympathetic and ruthless.

I guess I will just hold on to the center of the roundabout while the "ride" continues and work on perfecting my patronus charm. ;-)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Stand Tall

Feeling defeated has been the trend of the week. As I lay down trying to escape the enormity of all I was facing this came to me...

It is all going to be ok
It is all going to be alright
You are going to get through this
You are going to fight

God has your back
He has your hand
He won't leave your side
When you fall He will stand

So do not fear and take courage
Though the battle wages on
You are going to win

You are YOU, no one else
You are precious to all
So be empowered and move
And remember to stand tall

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Courage Under Fire - a husband's perspective

The definition of courage in the Webster dictionary is “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”  

The TRUTHS about my ElisaBeth:
  • Beautiful
  • Passionate
  • Funny – very Funny
  • Artistic (Musical)
  • Great listener and challenger
  • Devoted to her family and kids
  • The best mother (I couldn’t have envisioned a better mom for my kids!)
  • Intelligent
  • Organized
  • Confident!
  • Great writer & speaker

Honestly, so many more things!  

The frustrating thing, for me as a husband, in this journey with PPD is how the traits of this disease are the direct opposite of what I just listed above.  And in the weakest moments I’ve noticed that it’s very difficult to differentiate between the two for ElisaBeth.  The relentlessness of depression is undeniable.  But the courage and fight from ElisaBeth is also unquestionable.  The new personality trait that goes to the very top is the COURAGEOUS woman my wife is!

I am not a professional that knows all the ins and outs of depression, but as I’ve gone through this journey with ElisaBeth, I’ve seen the destructive lonely disease it is and I honestly hate it.  I despise how this disease is constantly trying to overtake the truths about the individual and replacing them with complete false statements about who they are.

A couple weeks ago is when this attack from PPD was full force.  The response from ElisaBeth is the greatest act of love I have ever received from anyone.  She had immense courage to tell me what was going on and all the ensuing doctors, and go to a hospital for a few days to sort through all that PPD was doing.   When the depression was the strongest it’s ever been, you’d think that the only response would be to wave the white flag, instead what happened was a little warrior woman running around inside of ElisaBeth yelling “Hell no, not on my watch, YOU will never take over!”

I think both of us still really struggle with the reasons why God is allowing this to happen to one of His precious, but the power of His response in this is overwhelming.  As ElisaBeth mentioned in her recent post, the support & love from old friends around the country and new friends in PA has been amazing.  The power of prayer is real and I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed the realistic power like I have the past couple of weeks.  

I share this post to anyone going through his, especially the spouses of those going through it to let you know that you aren’t alone.  Your wife is a hero for going through this for your family.  It’s NOT your fault and it’s NOT her fault.  We live in a fallen world where all kinds of diseases are possible.  

We WILL get through this and the work that God is doing in our marriage and in us individually is something we will relish.  But for now, I have a peace that only comes from above and grateful for the courage He has given her to withstand the pressure of depression.  

Thank you God and thank you ElisaBeth for letting me see what real courage is. 


Thought I would post something joyful... I look at my life right now and it seems pretty much in the pits, but when I look upon my gorgeous children and handsome hubby I have moments of clarity and happiness. And so I share with you... Mikayla 3 years old and 5 months and Nolan 8 months old and 1 day.

They, along with Dhrumil, are what keep me going in my fight against PPD!

My two!

Mikayla wanted to take pictures in the crib with her "friends"

Siblings for life

"mama I love my brother"

Nolan's favorite thing.... his thumb

Nolan can clap now!

Oh dear looks like they are hatching a plan... maybe to not take a nap?

What are you looking at?

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Staring at the screen... trying to un-jumble all of the thoughts in my head so I can write something that makes sense... all I know is the overwhelming feeling that is grabbing me right now. That feeling is one of warmth and love... love that I have felt from the support I have gotten since I have been home.

The support from friends, family, people I don't even know... the prayers, the emails, the cards, the flowers, the meals, the kind words, the childcare, the hugs, the listening ears... I have been blessed beyond anything I could ever think possible.

I have seen the love of God pour out through ALL of you and because of this I have been given the strength to continue my fight.

Thank you for showing me how precious I am in the eyes of God. Each moment I have is so much more real and so much more a gift to me then ever before.