Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Not Who I Am... It's What I Have... Let's Get Real

As a Christian it has always been hard for me to talk about the medications that I'm on.  I don't like admitting that I have "issues" that I must deal with medically.  I don't like thinking that it's hard for me to control my emotions at  times because for me... it's beyond hard.  I don't like that this has been a constant battle in my life; something that I have prayed through over and over again for the Lord  to take away, yet I still have these issues. I don't like that some people think it's something my parents spoke over me or something I spoke over myself, because this is something I REALLY don't want.  I don't like that I have done SO much to overcome this yet it always seems to have the upper hand in my life.


I feel misunderstood, because people just don't "get it."  I feel angry, because it's painfully hard for me to express myself at times the way I so desperately need to.  I feel like a crappy Christian, because if I just had enough faith... God might have taken this away from me.    I feel weak, because I'm just not a strong enough person to handle a few chemical imbalances and be done with them already.  Just one more thing to add to my ever-growing list of insecurities.  Do I need anymore?!

For a long time, I kept the fact that I am on medication for depression and ADD a secret.  I'm pretty sure people knew, but I was just too scared of what people would think.  I felt like if people knew that I was medicating myself, then I didn't have enough faith to over come it.  I didn't just "assume" this.  I had several people give me their opinions on antidepressants and how they thought I shouldn't be on them. I have had people tell me that all I need to do is pray through it and Jesus would take it all away.  Of course I think He is capable of it... (Who am I to limit God) but does He always do it?  I don't think He does.  So what am I supposed to do?!

I can remember 6 months after having Jayden. I was not myself; I was not being honest with myself, my God, my work, with anything!  I was silently struggling with postpartum because I didn't want to appear like I was depressed about my new baby.  My life was out of control and AT THAT TIME my marriage life was falling apart.  I was DEPRESSED! 

I can remember a person in my life sitting me down and telling me that the reason I was depressed was because I was believing the lies of depression and bipolar disorder that my mom was speaking over me.

Yea.  That is what I was afraid of.  Right there... that moment.

People thinking they know what they are talking about, but really have no idea.

You see... my family has a history of bi-polar disorder.  My grandfather (someone I was very close to) killed himself in April 1994 after a life-long battle with bi-polar disorder.  I BELIEVE that chemical imbalances can be hereditary and so does my mom.  I believe that when she spoke up about depression in our family, her heart's intent was only to protect us and make us aware.

My mom had no influence on me having a baby and then struggling with postpartum.  My mom had no sway in how my marriage was or what my husband was doing on the side.  My mom always taught me to be honest with everyone and myself, yet I was wearing a mask every single day!

I never once thought my mom spoke depression over me.  If anything, all she did was make us aware of it so we could take care of it if there was ever a problem.  She never wanted to see her children go through what she grew up with, when it came to her father.  I feel like I always understood my mom's heart in that. She even got a Master's Degree in Counseling because she wanted to help people who suffered as her father had.

Others... not always so much.

Needless to say, I'm still far from healed.  I'm tired of hiding from it.  I am a Christian who takes mood-altering drugs, and it works for me.  It's not that I don't believe I can be healed, because I do believe I can be and until that day I will be praying for that!  I guess it's just not God's timing.

Last week I made the choice to stop taking my Wellbutrin.  I thought I would be ok.  I thought things would be just fine.  Oh boy, was I wrong.  Can we say that Lyryn went PSYCHO!?!?  I have an appointment with the doctor this week so hopefully things will be getting back to normal soon.  For now... I'll just stay away from people.  lol.

Thanks for hearing my heart!  This is me... take it or leave it.  All I know is that Jesus loves this emotional ball of goop and  as long as I have Him... I can do ALL things.  Thank you all for your sweet comments last week!  You blessed me!!

Hope you all are having a fantastic week!
YOU HAVE TILL FRIDAY TO SEND OUT YOUR SWAP PACKAGES!!!

31 comments:

Lindsay said...

Very real! Thank you! xo P.S Your flip flops are on their way! xo

Stacy said...

I know what you are going through, not myself, but my 11 year old neice has major issues and has actually been admitted to a children's "psych" center where she lives there, does her schooling there and is around kids like her every day...she is medicated but they have yet to regulate it regularly so she has major flare ups...these times are really hard, the poor thing doesn't know what she's doing cuz it's this horrible disease that is eating her up inside...we know she will never be cured - she will live with this for the rest of her life, but hopefully they will find a medication that will work soon and she can come home to her family and friends! Stay Strong!!

Leah said...

Depression and mental illness is not a weakness. It's a disease. No one would fault you or question your faith if this was cancer you were talking about. Well, mental illness is just as unwelcomed as cancer.

And I think it's wonderful that you pray for it to go away, but you can be the BEST Christian in the world, and that doesn't mean that God answers all of your prayers. I believe He hears all of them, but God made you who you are, and if he wants to cure you of this on earth, than He will. But his real promise lies in you being cured after your time on earth.

I'm sorry that people have judged you because of this. And it's sad, but sometimes the greatest judgments come from a religious community, and they should just know better.

I wouldn't wish mental illness on anyone, and it sounds like your Mom has done such a wonderful job at really making you aware of it. I hope you get your medications figured out very soon. Thinking of you.

Renae said...

I know lots of Christians who are on meds. People have to learn to look at it as not having faith, but that God blessed doctors with the knowledge and resources to help. :-)

Jill said...

My husband is an obgyn and is constantly prescribing zoloft etc to his patients and here is what he always says..."if you had trouble seeing, you would get glasses and think nothing of it, you need glasses so you can see clearly...now take that same train of thought and apply it to your situation. You need zoloft to help you make it through the day, you need zoloft to see clearly. Are you embarassed to wear glasses? Then don't be embarassed to take medicine.

If you like how you feel when you take the medicine then keep taking it!!!

Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

I agree with everything Leah says. It's not your fault. It's just like having Cerebral Palsy. I don't care how good of a Christian that person is, the CP isn't going away. Why are Christians so judgmental? It infuriates me and the reason I no longer attend church. I still believe in the teachings of the Bible and Christ but can't stand the Christian Community for this exact reason.

Kate said...

I am standing with you, another Christian on medicine. Depression is scary and a medical condition. I am thankful God gave doctors knowledge and wisdom to help me when I needed it the most. THANK YOU for being open and real about the struggle!

Mama C said...

Could not agree more with this post. I too am on medications for the same 2 "chemical imbalances" and get alot of indifferent comments thrown my way. I've learned to not take their judgements to heart and know that I am a more tolerable person to be around because of my medication.
Just don't forget you're doing what's best for you :)

Jennifer said...

Sometimes the answers to our prayers don't come wrapped the way we think they should. The medications you're taking help you cope with your chemical imbalances. While a prescription bottle doesn't look like a burning bush or an angel, it still takes your struggle away. See them as God's aid for you, not a dark secret.

Thanks for sharing!

PaigeR530 said...

So proud of you. Mental illness is just like physical illness. Although we all struggle with one or the other (or both) at some point in our lives, it is difficult to understand why God gives us that challenge. But remember that your illness (physical or mental) will never make you a bad Christian. Striving to continue to beat it will make you an even better Christian, because you are holding your faith that God will carry you through. I'm proud of you for not hiding from it. So many people let mental illness go unattended because of shame, only making it worse. Good for you for being allowing yourself to accept a piece of you that you may not be happy with in order to fight it!

Saying lots and lots of prayers as you continue to endure.

Trina said...

I agree with Leah and Jill! Girl this is nothing to be ashamed of. Be who you are. If you need meds to function, then so be it!

{{{{HUGS}}}}

Melissa G. said...

Thanks for being honest Lyrn.
You are not alone in this. My husband struggles with depression all the time and once we get a job and a steady income he is going to the doctor to see if meds will help. I can understand about not wanting to tell people. I noticed that after some people knew about the depression they look at my husband differently and it drives me nuts! But they are the people who don't know him very well and so i try not to let their opions bother me.

Mrs. Stethoscope said...

You are so right, it is not who you are.. it is something you deal with. Just like you said, as long as you have him , thats all you need.

Melissa said...

That is absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of!

Bex said...

I work as a psychologist and I want you to know that you aren't alone. A lot of people struggle with the idea of medication and I will say to you what I say to them "If you have high blood pressure and take medication no one thinks anything of it, it's just like high blood pressure, so if you need medication to help you through it, take the medication."

It takes a strong person to admit to depression and it sounds like you are doing the right things!

honeydos said...

This was a great post and so helpful to people like me who suffer from the same problems. I, too, tried to pray through it and finally realized I needed the medication. Thanks for being open and honest. Love your blog!

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

I think medicine is there for a reason, to help us. And if I ever struggle with postpartum depression after any of my (future) babies, you better BET I'll get on medicine faster than you can say the word. I think that if God is calling you to wean off of medicine, then great. But I think until then, you gotta do whats good for YOU. And I don't think it has anything to do with your faith level, thats just silly. People are silly.

shay said...

You are not alone in this... there are many many people that struggle with depression. My grandmother is one of them. It is a disease, a PHYSICAL CHEMICAL imbalance in the brain.

i give you kudos for bringing attention to it and getting the help you need (be it with pills or therapy or a combination)...

Good luck with your doctor and keep your head up!

And ps, i sent out my swap package yesterday - yay!

Jessica said...

You are not any less of a Christian for having to take meds to help yourself. For anyone to say otherwise is just crazy. You can pray until you are blue in the face.. that doesn't mean that God is going to answer that prayer. We just have to have faith that there is a reason for what you go through and it sounds like you do. Maybe it is to help other people that are going through the same things.. you seem to be great with that!!
I'm dealing with some of the same issues now. Lack of energy, anxiety, very short temper.. all of these attributes are not part of my normal self. I'm have a doc appt Friday morning and plan on blogging about it as well!
I say, good for you for doing what you need to do. You are bettering yourself for you and for your family!

Ashley said...

I second each of the previous comments. I'm with you girl, and honestly being on meds has made me a better mom and I'm so grateful that I finally put my pride down and talked to my doctor about it. I'm so grateful that God has given us brains to make the CHOICE to address physical or mental illnesses. Thank you for sharing, and obviously God is USING your condition to bless others. How amazing is it that He can turn something bad into something to bring good and glory to Him?! xo

Casey said...

thanks for sharing. I have struggled with the same issues. That if I admitted I was taking antidepressants I was admitting defeat. Everyone just thought we could fix my sadness with prayers. Well I'm telling you I pray... I pray alot and I can still get sad at the drop of a hat. Luckily now I'm getting it under control and learing just how many wonderful people support me.
I lost my mom to a tragic murder 5years ago so for the ones who "disagree' with mood altering drugs I say to them " go through a life altering tragic event and then tell me how you feel"
Ha ha
Love your blog Lyryn!

Brittany said...

I'm totally pro-meds! While I don't take them I have a few kiddos that do and when they do not take them they are completely off. I don't know how I, or they, would accomplish anything at school. I definitely think they just help you be more of you. All of the worrying and sadness is gone, and who wants that in their life! I give you so much credit and respect that you can share your story with us. :)

katecreate said...

I find what you wrote so inspiring. I've dealt with depression as well over the years, and fond that by the power of prayer things got better with time. I think the true medicine that works for feeling sadness, is faith. God works in great ways.

Sarah said...

Oh how I wish everyone could be this transparent. Thank you for sharing!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Thank you so much as always for sharing. I love reading your blog so much because you are always so open and honest and I admire that so much!

Brittany Ann said...

I cannot support you enough in this. Bi-pola disorder and depression are illnesses; they are not something that you can just cure with faith in God.

We wouldn't tell someone with cancer to forego chemo, because as a Christian, all we need to believe is that God can heal us.

Yes, he can heal us. But he may use doctors and medicines and other tools at his disposal to do so.

You have every right to call yourself a devout believer and still use a NECESSARY medication to help with an illness you suffer from.

That doesn't make your faith weak; it simply makes you a realistic human being who is doing her best to be a good wife, mother, Christian and person!

very married said...

I have a very good friend who struggles with bipolar. it's always difficult for me to know what to say and I'm sure I say the wrong things all the time. One of the things that I've always respected her for though was that she had an "ask me anything" attitude and she welcomed conversation. it's such a relief to know that even though I may not understand what's happening in her life, i don't have to pretend like i don't notice it or that i understand it.

anyway, it's inspiring to see posts like this.

Renee and Brandon said...

Hey girl! It takes a lot for anyone to admit "a secret". Don't feel ashamed, these medications are here to help. God will take care of us and heal our hurt and comforts but we all know that doesn't come at our timing. Many people questioned us seeing a fertility doctor... "it's just not God's timing for your family"... why we would intervean with God's plan. I fully believe through prayer God brought my fertility doctor into my life to subscribe the medication to help heal the problem I have. God has taken care of me emotionally and now medically!! It's great that you give him all the glory in this situation!!!

Nessa said...

Oh Lryn... medicine is medicine no matter what it cures. I hate the stigma that is associated with mental problems. The brain is an organ just like the heart.. and if someone needed heart medicine no one would blink. As a person with GAD... I understand. I did't tell anyone when I was taking medicine for anxiety. And then the family I did tell were freaking out after I had my daughter. Worried I would have PPD... and didn't want to come out and say it. I applaud you.

Mrs. Rohmance said...

I am new to your blog and I just want to say, "Darn straight!"

Thankfully, I have a pastor who knows how very real depression can be and that some people can find the help they need in the form of a pill. I can attest that all the Bible reading in the world, platitudes, sermons, positive thinking books and funny cards from friends can do NOTHING when chemical/hormonal depression takes over. It is a consuming cloud of darkness.

I feel like such a different person now that I actually pray my drugs will never be banned from the market! Paranoid? Maybe. Dependent? Probably. Can I see the sun through the clouds now? You bet. And it is wonderful.

Alicia said...

Amen, girl! And yes, you're right, Jesus could take it away, but if He doesn't, that means there is a purpose for it! It doesn't mean you are of little faith. No way. The bible says to count it all joy when we face trials!!