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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Party Time!

Sometimes in the middle of living life, getting from one day to another in the midst of PPD, or the affects that PPD have on your life, you forget to remember the good things, the amazing things, the things that you can't believe actually happened.

I am posting this to remind myself of what an amazing job I have done. This post is for me.

After almost 4 years to the date, I am antidepressant free! I started the weaning of my last AD in November, and cut the dose again in February, and now, for the first time since little girl was 10 months old, I am AD free!

I did it! My Doctor was so proud of me yesterday, my pastor gave me a big hug on Sunday when he found out.

I guess I didn't really think much about it - I was just so sick of taking the meds each day that I overlooked an important detail.

I did it and I am OK.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just cause!

The Valley of Weeping does not end there.

I have been slowly reading a book by Linda Dillow called, "A Deeper Kind of Calm". There have been alot of things that I am liking, and alot of ideas that are hitting home for me. She points out that in the Psalms, David and others teach us to:

I remember
I hide
I cling
I journey
my Valley of Weeping becomes
a Place of Blessings.

I love her phrase of my Valley of Weeping becoming a Place of Blessings. My last 4 years have been a Valley of weeping for me personally. PPD is a deep pain, both physically and emotionally.For me, I know that in the midst of my valley of weeping, I was in no place to call it a blessing. Far from it. But now, I am beginning to understand what that might look like.

Today she challenged the reader to make a "remembrance list". A list of things that happened in the middle of a challenge or storm, or trial and to show and prove that the Lord was there. She write, "Walking through seasons of pain has been the schoolroom where I have gone deeper into knowing the Holy One as the Blessed Controller of all things. Intimacy with the Lord has blossomed in the prison of pain."

Here is the start of my remembrance list:

1. I've seen that through the years of pain, I still desire God. I still desire to grow in Him, in His wisdom, even though there were some days when I just wanted to stop trying.
2. I've seen that He has put people into my life who challenge me to trust in Him - they remind me to.
3. I've seen that my relationship with my dear husband is deeper than it might have been if we had not gone through this trial together. We had to quickly learn to love and lean on each other in the tough times early on.
4. I've seen my little girl grow to have a very kind, gentle heart towards others who are in pain. She is very aware of my bad days, and her kindness amazes me some days. She has seen pain, she understand pain and she desires to shower love on those who need it most.
5. There is now way that I could write about this even 1 year ago - the Lord has been patient with me.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What I read to help me heal and grow past PPD

When I was in the midst of PPD, the one thing I wanted to do was read. I felt like reading gave me power to better understand my life and what was happening. Here are 4 books that I read through my time of PPD. Not all at the same time mind you. I could not handle that much information at one time, but I found that as I was getting better physically, so I was getting better mentally as well.

Here are my thoughts on each book. Nothing elaborate - just some basic thoughts.

1. Down Came the Rain by Brooke Shields.

This book was the very first one I picked up, by recommendation of my pastor. I know her book is widely know and talked about in PPD circles. For me, I never finished the book. And that is not because it was bad or anything. No, it was the first book I picked up and read about PPD and the facts of what it looked like on someone else's life. I was in such a raw place that I had nightmares from reading certain portions because they were too real for me. I felt like she was living in my back room, watching my life from a distance and writing about me.

I remember one night reading the book, so desperately wanting to understand what was happening to me, and the tears just started coming and I could  not stop. I read something that hit me so deep, it actually hurt. This is what I read when she was writing about a particular moment in her life of PPD, "....Every quiet moment was filled with dread." She put into words what I felt, yet could not put into words. I think I freaked my hubby out right about then! But I remember I closed the book and I have never picked it back up. I can't and probably never will because there are certain things I don't want to remember from that time.

2. The Postpartum Survival Guide by Meier, Clements & Johnson

Months later, I found this book and picked it up. I have loaned it out many times as well. This book gave me a good overall picture of PPD. It was not about one person, but about PPD in general - there are some great chapters, from the basics of PPD, to finding strength in the midst, to how to help my husband live through this with me. It's premise is the facts of PPD, but with the mindset of resting in the Lord, finding God in the pain and growing. I finished this book, and at the end, I better understood what was happening to myself, and the affects that PPD can have on your husband and children.

3. The Lifter of my Head, by Sue McRoberts

I found this book at the local Christian bookstore and snatched it up. I was a couple of years into PPD by the time I found this one, and eagerly wanted to read about someone who had lived through PPD and how this ladies walk with the Lord stayed strong. Each chapter has scripture verses to meditate on and read. I enjoyed this book, because it was the first time I read of a women RECOVERING from PPD and I wanted to know how she did it. This was the book that made me really realize that there was going to come a time when I could say, "I had PPD" instead of "I have PPD." There is a huge difference in those two statements and this book was the beginning step for me to start making that change in my head and heal.

4. Living Beyond Postpartum Depression by Jerusha Clark

This book is by far my favorite of the ones I have listed. It really delves in the why's of PPD, how it affects our husband, family, and friends. It gives a very clear explanation of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual toll that PPD has on a woman and how they are all actually intertwined. This book has great scriptural reference, but also practical advice. Her chapter on Postpartum Depression and the Mind is outstanding. Best I have ever read.

In her Introduction, she writes, "And yet, through is all, I've been rescued and healed and redeemed by the God who created me and loves me passionately. I know He is currently writing a similar story of anguish and restoration in the lives of others.......Because the valley of suffering is a challenging one to navigate, I desire to be a guide to you - whether you are struggling with postpartum depression or walking alongside someone who is."