Thursday, September 17, 2015

Acceptance... again

I realize the summer has gone by and I haven't blogged. Sometimes I take an unintentional hiatus
from writing because life is... of all things... going well. I find that writing is more of an outlet for my soul when it is troubled. Just listen to the great women of old sing the blues and you'll understand what I mean... the writers of those songs were definitely feeling some intense feelings. Unfortunately this wasn't the case this time...

Living life to the fullest despite my illness
It has been two years and nine months since my precious Nolan was born, two years and six months since I realized something was uncontrollably wrong with me, and exactly two years since I completed my hours upon hours of intensive outpatient therapy which had followed my three day stay in the hospital. I honestly thought I'd be WAY over being depressed and eons past anxiety induced panic attacks by now. After all, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression/anxiety... from what certain people told me, and some articles I had read, PPD is "supposed" to go away within a year of giving birth.*** I always had an end date in mind because of that and it was not until earlier this summer did it hit me that this illness is not going away like I had imagined it would.

Do you remember that scene from A Beautiful Mind long after John Nash accepted he was ill with schizophrenia and was now older and talking to a former colleague? The colleague asked if "they" (meaning his delusions) are still with him. I can't remember his exact reply, but in the scene you see the delusions who plagued him sitting silently beside him looking bored, but also waiting with some expectation for him to acknowledge them. John Nash was trying to live his life in the best way he could even though his illness still followed him around. He recognized he was ill and yet he still tried to move ahead.

And so after that fateful moment of realization that this PPD has morphed into something more... possibly even chronic... did I come face to face with a choice. Do I sit here and wait for my illness to play its course, let it beat me down, give it what it wants, let it fester and feed on my anxiety and self doubts, let it control me... or do I learn to live with it, trying to the best of my ability to move on with it there, but not letting it take over? Was I ready to accept it?

A joyous moment
I see a pattern in this journey I'm on. Honestly it can sometimes be rather annoying. I wish I could learn my lesson and move on. Some days I just want to shout to God... HELLO!? Enough is enough! I already accepted the fact that I had a "temporary" mental illness two years ago. I accepted that it wasn't my fault that I was dealing with depression. I accepted that my life in that moment would be different and tougher than it had been. I accepted that I had to let go of control and let God be my focus because I was broken... illness or not. BUT I don't want to have to RE ACCEPT it!!!  And in my toil I felt a still small voice say to me... ElisaBeth you are my child whom I love. You are not alone. You are loved forever and always. I give you my grace over and over and over again. I am here. And though you may continue to stumble and fall flat on your face and though this horrible affliction of your mind is still upon you I will NOT leave you for you are my creation and I love you. It is ok. You will get through this. 

I am going to continue to live my life. Trying to accept where I'm at... being joyous in the moments of clarity, blessed in the moments that I glimpse God's glory in the ordinary doings of every day life and remembering that I am loved no matter what.

*** I have since read that PPD can become chronic in a percentage of women.