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Friday, February 25, 2011

Encouragement for today.

ME and Wiesel

I have been doing alot of thinking the last few days on a number of issues so this post might ramble a bit but I think it's time I get it out.

Someone in the PPD world mentioned that I need to fight for ME to get better. That got me to think why have I been trying to get better the last 3 years? Why I have been doing counseling, medication, therapy, etc... I realized that my main reason for doing all that was to help those around me, that they would not have to walk this walk with me anymore. That life would get easier for them, who have given up so much to help me. The fight should not be for the others around me, or my husband or children. (While those are all good ideas and reasons, )I should fight for ME to get better because I am worth it.

I really starting thinking about that. It really made me do a mental shift in my head. Perhaps I have believed that I am doing it for myself, but I really don't think so. Maybe I was just ready to hear it this week, maybe not. For whatever reason, I am now wanting to get better completely for ME - that I am worth the FIGHT everyday to be myself again.

The second thing that I really have chewed on is the idea of what exactly am I trying to fight? What is it? PPD is such a huge illness - it has so many facets that it can be very overwhelming and weary trying to heal from all it's aspects. It dawned on me - that I needed to name my fight - that I needed to mentally fight an "identity" in my head and in a way, make the battle easier.

I have named my PPD "Wiesel". I am no longer fighting to get rid of PPD and all its arms that reach into every part of my being. I am fighting Wiesel - the thing that has ruined so much of my life, the thing that has taken so much away from me.

Wiesel has destroyed enough of my life, of my families life. The Wiesel is going down! It has reared it's ugly head to many times for me to count and even now, 3 years later, it still crawls back into my life when I least expect it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My daily reminder

Last year, I ask my husband for a necklace for Christmas. I wanted something to wear as a daily reminder to keep going and a reminder that I did it - that I conquered PPD. My necklace is a circle with a dropped pearl and two words. “Hope” and “Joy”. I read it every time I look at myself in the mirror. Hope because it reminders me that every day I will be getting better and that someday I WILL be better. Joy because I am learning to find it in my life daily.


I have some OCD tendencies since PPD hit me. It is one of the aspects that I really do still struggle with more that I like to admit. It might just be that I might just have some OD without the C :)

Anyway, today, through the advice of a friend, it was suggested to me that when I start having the OD thoughts, that I need to find something to distract me instantly - to get my mind off of what I am obsessing over and think on something that I enjoy.

So, I came up with a few things: doing a craft of some sort, or sewing; reading blogs that are not related to PPD; write on my blog about things unrelated to PPD :); knit; read a magazine.

Somtimes I just need to be more practical. This was a practical idea that I can grasp and actually feel like I can accomplish!

I wrote a note on my white board in the family room today. It reads "It will be fine".

Thursday, February 10, 2011


In the midst of PPD, I was good at keeping people at a distance. Except for a few close friends, I told no one about my struggle with PPD. Why? I was ashamed I had it. I felt like it was my fault. In some Christian realms, the word depression is looked at as a bad word. Christian should not be depressed. They just need to trust God more and it will go away. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but I have to disagree. When you are dealing with a hormonal change in the body, that brings on an illness like PPD/PPA/PPOCD, no amount of trusting God will make it automatically go away. That is not to say that the Lord can't heal someone - I am just saying you can not will it away.

I thought people would not understand, and frankly, I did not have the energy mentally or physically to explain it to people if they asked. How do you explain that life is completley upside down? That everyday just never seems to end and that one day just flows into the next,without much of a break? That said, even if you had asked me, I really didn't undertstand it myself - I was so confused.

Looking back though, I wish that I had done things differently. I wish that I had been open from day one with people at church, people at MOPS, people at play dates. I know that I kept a good face, but by doing that, I struggled even longer because it was exhausting to always pretend to be good and find and healthy.

If I could do things different, I would tell myself that being open would have been healing, it would have been ok, it would have been better for me, for Ella and for Rick. Being open I think is one of the first steps to recovery. Moms should not feel guilty for what they are experiencing. They did not ask for it - it was brought upon them.

Speak up and share your heart.

Love at first sight~

Let me tell you a little story about something that happened to me on this very day 6 years ago.

It all started around 7pm as I walked into Starbucks at Sehome, looking for this guy that I had a picture of, that I was suppose to meet for coffee. I walked in and was shocked - the place was packed - like every table was literally full. Oh, yes, that right, this is where all the college students study at night.

I scan around and then I see this guy, sitting by himself, reading a book with a cup of coffee and I know it is him. He looked up and I recognized him. Of course, he had no idea who I was since he DID NOT have a picture of me! I grab a cup of tea and go and sit down and meet him. Important detail here - this was a blind date. I had gone on previous blind dates with no success, so I was a little skeptical, but the people who set us up I really trusted.

We talked for over 2 hours, and I can only imagine what the girl thought sitting at the table next to up, our elbows almost touching since the tables were that close. She got an ear full I am sure :)

The date when well, and this nice guy walked me to my car, and said, and I quote, " I will definetly call you tomorrow." He called me the next evening and we talked and every evening after that.

Before I forget - I should say that the moment I saw this man at Starbucks, there was no question in my mind that I was going to marry him. I was totally convinced. We were married 16 months later!

Did I mention that the man's name was Rick B.?

I love you Rick! Thanks for being brave to meet on a blind date, and to have loved me since we met. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me! I love you babe.

Here we are 6 years ago!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taking 2 steps backwards somedays.

PPD changes you forever, in many different ways. It always seems to be hiding in the back of my mind. Today, the anxiety and panic attacks that came with PPD and never really went away just remind me of the ramifications PPD in my life. I know that I am better and are better - but some days the triggers of my past come crashing down on me.

It's then that I MUST remember that I am better, that I am healed, that I can keep going, that I will not relaspe too badly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What makes me happy!

In the light of the last few heavy posts, I wanted to remind myself of the things that make me happy, that help me throughout the day and things I wish I did more:

1. Laugh outloud
2. Watch a comedy
3. Read a good book - Presently reading a Francine Rivers book that I can't put down.
4. Eat one of my special cookies that I freeze to last longer!
5. Find a new decoration idea for the house via a design blog - I have too many to list!
6. Get rid of junk - something about throwing things out or making a goodwill pile helps me.
7. Goat yogurt with berries and agave nectar for breakfast
8. Say No to things that I know are too much for me. It is freeing when I put myself first knowing that by doing so, I will feel better and be able to cope longer! (I say this in a non-selfship tone. If you are prone like me to never say no, then you understand.)
9. Give myself grace during the day if things aren't like I wish they were
10. A nap

Sunday, February 6, 2011

God and PPD

During my blog reading today, I came across a new website called Out of the Valley Ministires, Inc. ( I looked around it a bit and was inpresssed with the overall help and support they offer to women. I was reading a post she had written and was greatly encouraged my this verse I saw:

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rest between his shoulders. Deut. 33:12

I will be honest and say that resting in the LORD during PPD was perhaps harder than the PPD itself. I know that may seem weird and you might not understand because it seems like it should have been the other way around. But it wasn't. And I will admit that to you. In the midst of the pain, fear, confusion, depression, panic, exhaustion and such, the LORD seemed the farthest from me because I was so angry. I was mad at God for the valley I was in. I could not reconcile why the Lord was having me go through this, and even today, I still struggle with that. PPD changed me.

I never denyed God. I loved me with all my heart and wanted to trust in Him. I just did not know how. I have said often to Rick and my close friends that God and I were not close friends for awhile. I will say that now, literally in the last 3-6 months, I am actually wanting to grow close to God, to learn, to understand, to rest in Him, to want to grow deeper in wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps it's because my head is clear and I am not struggling to live day in and day out like I was in 2008-to early 2010.

My Pastor told me that we all go through ups and downs in our relationship with the LORD. I needed to hear that because I felt so guilty about where I was with the Lord. You might be reading this and think that, man if I had only gotten my act together and rested in the Lord, I would have had an easier walk with PPD or would not have had to struggle so deeply with it. Perhaps. But I would have to disagree. Part of my recovery from PPD has been to begin to develop a real relationship with the Lord for the first time in YEARS. I had to start my life over and have had to live with a new me, not the me I was before PPD hit me.

I know looking back that the Lord was there, and that I was trying as hard as I could with what I had. Some days it breaks my heart that I told no one about what I was thinking, except Rick and one friend. But that was all I could do.

Tomorrow is a new day for me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What PPD did to my husband

In the midst of the pain and darkness, you forget about those that are walking the PPD road with you, but who are normal and see you in pain. It is hard for them as well. Expecially for men, ar at least for my man.

From the first day knowing something was terribly wrong, my Rick has been there beside me every day, all day, all night, all years. At first, he was there doing everything, that I as mommy should have been doing if I could have. He woke Ella, fed her breakfast, left for work for a couple of hours, came home, fed her lunch, put her down for a nap, left for work for a few more hours, came home, made dinner, did dishes, picked up toys, put ella to bed, came downstairs, made sure I had eaten on the couch, and then would sit and rub my feet on the couch while we watched something that would relax me and not make me anxious or stressed...i.e. Andy Griffith, or Dick Van Dyke. And then we would go to bed and he would do it again the next day and the next.

As I started to come out of the fog, I could begin to see that he was exhausted, but I could do nothing yet myself or if I tried, it would put me down again for weeks. Being served continually and not being able to help back is a position that was very hard for me to watch and feel. I wanted to be that helpmate to my man and I didn't know how. I still feel guilty about that.

Now, as I am getting better, I still see Rick sometimes living the "stay above water and survive mode" that has become our way of life for 3 years. I am getting better and by doing that, I need to help Rick get better. He had to watch me get worse before I got better. He had to see me with nothing in me and live life and make life function for our family.

That man has been my ROCK since day one. I would not have made it without his help, love, patience, compassion, sometimes hard love, sometimes his bluntness to bring me out of the darkness, and most of all, his unselfishness of putting me and Ella first. He had to honor those vows we took of sickness and in health....pretty much from the get go. And it did it by God's grace.

I know he is still hurting from what we had to live through - I know I am. What I am trying to find is a way for both of us to heal together, and to make us even stronger together.

To my man - Rick, I love you babe. I love you for your endless love to me. I love your love for E and I will always be grateful to you for helping me heal physically and now emotionally from PPD. We will make it throught this last bit babe.

Andrew Peterson, Dancing in the Mindfield.