Broken Is Beautiful–Living With Anxiety and Depression

Broken is beautiful. #AnxietyAndDepression #GrandmasCup #MedicineIsOkay

My struggles with anxiety and depression are personal.  I do share at times, and at other times I keep these hidden in the cupboard of my heart.  As a part of Hello Mornings, an online group of encouraging ladies who study the Bible together daily, our leader challenged us today to share a picture that reflects our testimony.  This is it for me.

I am me.  I am broken.  I am beautiful.  I’m living proof that God redeems hearts, minds, and bodies.  I have given birth to two beautiful boys.  They are now nearly 5 and 8 years old.  It was not easy becoming a mom.  I thought it was my dream!  It is my dream.  But, at times it was a nightmare.  I struggled greatly with becoming a stay at home mom with our first son.  It was lonely.  It was joyful.  The highs and lows of motherhood are intense.  Ask a mom if you’re not one. 

The one thing that killed things for my spirit was the lack of sleep and the neediness of our boys.  I love them dearly, but oh my word they were, and they still are very needy.  Love grows, patience grows, and anxiety grew big time for me.  When my anxiety became too great…I would shut down and become depressed.  I questioned my worth.  I slept more or slept less.  It was a battle with the beast of darkness.  I wanted to see the light, but at times I just could not.  I went to counselors, I talked with my family, I prayed…I took many different combinations of medications over the years.  Some years are better than others. 

Thankful today that today my grandmother’s tea cup is filled with two little pills that balance me out…for now.  I still struggle with insomnia, and I bite my nails on occasion (a life long habit).  New situations or unknown outcomes still stress me out.  When my children crumble into tantrums…I have to walk away and pray through those with them.  My husband is a rock star.  I am a back up singer.  We work well together, and we “sing and dance” through the daily grind.  Life is not easy.  Genetics and life circumstances can make things even more complicated. 

If you are suffering from anxiety or depression OR both…you are not alone.  There is a God that loves you, and there are people to help you.  Keep asking for help.  Go to your appointments.  Pray.  Count your blessings.  Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts was a life changer for me.  It got me blogging, and it has opened my eyes to the little and big blessings that are all around us. 

Today I am up early…again.  It is 4:18 a.m.  I have been up for nearly an hour.  I have fasting blood work later today to explore my hormones, etc.  It is an ongoing female thing (and some males too).  I do not understand the puzzles of mental health.  However, I do know that good friends are willing to be with you, exercise with you, pray with you, and help as you ask.  So…grab your meds if you have them…take them…if they are not working…go get a second opinion.  If you have a counselor…go see him or her too.  I have seen many…some better than others.  Know you are never alone.

Dear God,

We praise you for your Almighty Power.

Please forgive us when we want things to be easy and in our control.

We ask that you help us be sensitive to our needs and the needs of others.

May we yield this day to counting our blessings and giving love to ourselves and others.

Amen.

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“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

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25 thoughts on “Broken Is Beautiful–Living With Anxiety and Depression

    1. Adele…I am glad you stopped by to read today! I am always hesitant to share…but each time I do it feels better. One day at a time! Hugs. Jenn

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    1. Ashley…God whispered…today is the day to share this. I wrote…He is our Strength and Healer…but most of all a source of Hope. Carry on! 😀 ♥ jenn

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  1. What an honest, vulnerable post. You are brave and I commend you for being such an open person. It’s encouraging to read how 1000 Gifts had such an impact upon you. We indeed must look for the blessings to keep any joy in this crazy world. This last week has been “hard eucharisteo” but I keep numbering…thank you for your post today.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad to see Christian ladies who, like me, are not afraid to admit taking prescription meds for mental health purposes. (Goodness, the amount of nonsense in the Christian community about this is a real problem.) It’s not easy, and faith has really helped me. Good for you.

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    1. I have read your blog. I love transparent women who are willing to be truth tellers and read TheTruth. Modern days mean modern medicine needs to be acceptable as needed! 😀

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    2. Cynthia, you are so right. Unfortunately, we are sometimes told that faith and prayer alone should be enough to “cure us”, and that statement alone devalues our struggles, shuts us down and can keep us from getting the help the entire family needs. Knowing that God loves us as we are can help us find that right doctor or counselor or open up to a friend who gently says, “Sweetie, you need to talk to a professional.” and then hands over a phone number. My hubby and I have been together for 21 years, and he knows my history of SAD and my family’s overall mental health genetics. He knows that every fall, his job is to say “I love you, now please take your meds.” And my job is to *do it* and not be macho or think I can go it alone.

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      1. SAD is real as are other diagnosed things…thank you for your thoughtful and open comment. Husbands can be helpful for sure as a “check mate!”

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  3. Jenn, I know this was not easy. I am so proud of you. I wonder if this is meant by confessing to one to another? Not confessing for confessing sake, but confessing to start the healing process. the truth is as we confess we realize realness is a beautiful thing. Why don’t we do it more often?

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    1. We do not do it more often because we are scared of what others may think. Mental health issues are often easier to hide than to openly face and share. One blog post at a time I do feel more brave and bold. This one has generated more comments than many others! We are never alone. 😀

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    1. Being brave comes through prayer and sometimes just being willing to hit that “publish” button. This post has been a high yield of interested readers. I’m glad it spoke to so many. Thank you for being a God Sized Dreaming blogger friend!

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  4. Reblogged this on longstoryblog and commented:
    An honest portrayal of struggling with mental health and motherhood. Like her, I bite my nails and struggle with chronic insomnia. God gave us the gift of modern medicine, and I am not ashamed to take what I need to live the best life that I can.

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  5. Beautiful post. I’m right there with you–anxiety and now panic attacks (fighting one today). My panic attacks are the result of traumatic injury and loss; whenever I come near fire (literal fire–flames, heat, smoke…) or I hear about one, I get that shortness of breath, racing heart. . . . Maybe one day, I can deal with it better than I am now. Anxiety and depression and other mental illnesses are “closet illnesses;” we don’t or won’t talk about them in the same way that we talk about cancer or diabetes or other chronic or life threatening illnesses. Thank you for bringing it out into the open and letting others know that there is rest and help available.

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  6. Thanks for sharing. Could you please pray for my wife. She suffers from depression and anxiety. We are now separated…after less than one year =(. I guess it is contagious. I can’t sleep w/o taking something and I can’t get my weight up. I love her and she is upset with me because she also ruminate obver my son. she said my son hurt her to her core. She changes what I say and thinks I will change my mind. She is a newbie in the faith. She is extremely angry right now. Do y’all know of christian couples who have gone thru separation because of depression/anxiety and coping issues? I guess even if the answer is yes or no – my situation isn’t the same. I am praying for her/us to draw closer to God and one another. There is SO MUCH collateral damage.

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    1. I will pray for you, her, and your son. I highly recommend you seek counsel and support from family and friends. It takes years…not days or months…it is faith that gets you thru. Your family needs your strength. Stay healthy, strong, and believe in the Lord. Work through it. It is work.

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  7. Reblogged this on graceglimmers and commented:

    In light of the news this week. There is more open discussion of mental health and depression specifically. Here is a post that I made about just that back in May. I’ve ridden the roller coaster of good days and bad days. I know the struggle, and I know the strength found in finding the balance for me. One day at a time. God is love. Friends, family, doctors, and fellow bloggers matter!

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