Friday, September 5, 2014

I Never Thought It Could Happen To Me: My Battle With Postpartum Depression

Hello, there. It's been quite a while since I last posted, and largely because the post below has been waiting to be published.  I wrote this almost a year ago during my terrible battle with postpartum depression.  I didn't have the courage to publish it at the time, and today is the first time I have even been able to go back and read it myself.  I have decided, in light of recent events and the public spotlight on depression, to be brave and hit that little orange button that will send the recount of my struggle out to the masses.  I didn't edit it at all.  Every word is just as I wrote it last year.  I ask that you read with an open heart, and that you limit your comments to those that would build up and encourage.  Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to reconnecting with you now that I am well on the other side of the darkness.

Written November 2013

I used to roll my eyes at anti-depressant commercials.  I was convinced that depression could be absolutely cured by either spiritual or nutritional means, or both.  And while I still believe that those two things are an absolutely critical part of recovery, I must admit that I have been humbled in my opinions.  The last several months have been the most excruciating of my life, and I am still on the road to recovery.

I never thought it could happen to me.  Postpartum depression, or depression of any kind, was for the weak; for those who didn't have the knowledge of how to treat it with the word of God or nutrition.  Or so I thought.  Postpartum depression is a disease, a debilitating disease that can strike when you least expect it.  And it hurts.  Really hurts.  It hurts deeply, not just mentally, but emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  It has changed who I am as a person, and I will never be the same.  I have learned that there are many, many women who deal with this disorder.  I have also learned that there is a stigma about mental illness, largely because it's one you cannot see with your eyes.  Countless women have suffered in silence for fear of rejection, judgement, and shame.  This should not be.  My hope is that, by sharing my story, someone else may realize that they are not alone, that there are others who understand, and that they will recover.

I used to think I was strong, that I could handle almost anything.  I was confident.  Confident in my faith, in my family, in my ability to be a wife and a mother, in my competency as a homeschooler, in my knowledge of nutrition, and in my fitness business.  But when the darkness started to settle in, all of that began to disappear. I was almost 8 months pregnant when we moved to Georgia.  It was the first time I had ever lived more than 2 hours from my family.  There had been so many stressful situations leading up to the move, and I guess I didn't realize just how much they had affected me.  We had a tragic loss in our family around the time we found out we would be relocating.  Then the stress of flying back and forth to Atlanta and finding a house in a place we had never been in a very short time period was extremely difficult.  My husband was spending the weeks in Atlanta for work and flying home on the weekends. The boys and I lived with family for two weeks after we closed on our home in Texas, and then in a hotel for several days until our furniture could be delivered to our new home.  And then, all of a sudden, there we were.  In a new place, a new house, where we knew almost no one.  Nothing felt right.  Nothing felt like home.  And the cloud started to descend.

My "postpartum" depression actually began during the last month of my pregnancy.  We didn't recognize it as such at the time, since we didn't know that postpartum depression could actually hit before the baby was born.  I lost 10 pounds in the last few weeks of being pregnant because I was so anxious I could not eat.  It felt as though everything in my world began to crumble.  My reality became distorted.  Everything that had made me happy didn't.  Everything that had been important to me wasn't anymore.  I stopped cooking, stopped exercising, I could hardly get out of bed.  In fact, some days I didn't.  If I could force myself to walk down the stairs, I would usually end up crouched in the kitchen floor crying or shaking in anxiety.  I couldn't take care of myself, my husband or my kids.  Everything seemed to be spinning out of control.  And, though I tried, I couldn't do anything to stop it.  I think that is one of the most defeating things.  When depression invades your soul, you still think you know the answers.  You think you know how to beat it.  But you can't do it.  You literally, physically can't.  Friends and family tried to help.  They tried to tell me what to do.  Pray more.  Read your bible.  Read this book or that book.  Repent.  Eat this way.  Take these supplements.  Accept the way things are. Just CHOOSE to do what you need to do.  Pull yourself up by your boot straps and move on.  All great suggestions.  And of course, these are all things I would normally have been able to do, and I knew that.  But the fact that I couldn't, drove the depression deeper and deeper, and the feeling that I was a total failure became crippling.  All of those people were trying desperately to help because they love me.  They did everything they knew how to try to pull me out.  But we didn't really know what we were fighting against.

It wasn't until around 4 weeks postpartum that we finally realized what I was dealing with.  But by that time, I was so defeated, so unsure of everything I had once been sure of, that the road to recovery has been long, and I'm still on it.  Something about going through major depression changes your perspective about everything.  My whole world had been shaken, and I'm still figuring out what has remained and what has been burned away, what is true and what isn't.  There are no words to truly describe what postpartum depression feels like, for the person suffering or those around her.  But my hope is that by sharing my heart, my suffering, my journey to recovery, that others will find comfort.  I also hope that the friends and families of those suffering with depression or PPD will gain a glimpse into what it feels like to be trapped by your own mind, and know that there may not be a quick or easy fix.  It takes time.  So be patient.  Love them.  And love them some more.  Don't try to understand or fix them.  Just listen and love.  And realize that what they are feeling is very, very real to them, even if it doesn't make sense to you.  I'm so thankful for all that my family has done to support me during this incredibly difficult time, especially my wonderful and forgiving husband.  I know that it has been heart wrenching for them.  I will be sharing more about the pain of the last months as I move forward.  This is, I believe, part of my continued healing. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Coconut Oil: Nature's Healing Miracle - Featured Article at CFN The Voice

Hello there!  We are finally starting to get settled in our new home and to life as a family of 5, and I am beginning to re-focus my writing efforts.  As part of that, I have started doing some freelance writing (about health and wellness, of course), and am loving it!

Today, I am so very honored to have an article featured in Christ For the Nations-The Voice online magazine!  I would love to invite you all to hop on over to their web page, read the article, and explore their other offerings.  Christ For the Nations is an amazing ministry school that has sent thousands upon thousands out into the mission field to win others for Jesus.  I am so excited to partner with them in bringing the message of divine health to the Body of Christ!

Here is a snippet of the article.  Click below to read more.

What if I were to tell you that adding one ingredient to your diet could help you lose weight and increase energy, alleviate diabetes, prevent heart disease and renew your skin?  Well, I am happy to tell you that such a product does, in fact, exist! It’s called Coconut Oil. This “miracle” product can be used for cooking and baking, and as a spread on toast, waffles, etc.
The fact that coconut oil is immediately absorbed causes it to be burned much more quickly than other fats. Most fats have to go through a long process before your body can use them for energy. However, coconut oil stimulates metabolism, which makes it more efficient. This helps you burn calories and lose weight throughout the day! Coconut oil provides a quick and healthy energy boost as it supplies nutrients to your cells directly after consumption. As a bonus, you will typically feel more satisfied and not crave sweets and unhealthy foods between meals.
What makes coconut oil so beneficial for diabetics is the way it is digested into the body. Unlike other fats, it does not cause a spike in blood sugar and does not require any insulin to be used by the body to digest it. This greatly decreases insulin resistance and stress on the liver, alleviating diabetes.

Please CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article at CFN The Voice.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wondermill Grain Mill GIVEAWAY!!

An important part of eating a healthier diet is making sure to get whole grains instead of refined processed white wheat. But real whole wheat can go bad so quickly and the store bought variety is not always the freshest or healthiest. The best thing to do is grind your own wheat and we are excited to bring you this giveaway! Positively Real Media Network (for like-minded “natural” Christian bloggers) is giving away a Wondermill Grain Mill to one lucky reader! We are excited to offer this chance to win the world's #1 rated electric grain mill! I have been grinding my own wheat for some time, and it's amazing the difference in taste and nutritional quality! Watch this video to learn more about the grain mill and why it's the perfect accessory for every kitchen! 

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter below. The mandatory entry is super simple – just hit Enter! Then you can earn additional entries for following your favorite blogs via Facebook. Increase your chances by liking them all! This giveaway is only available in the United States and Canada.
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekend Whatever Link Up #59

Welcome back to Weekend Whatever! We've been on vacation this week and I'm feeling very refreshed! :) I hope that this link up is a place where you find new ideas on how to nourish and build up your family!

A place for sharing your best of Healthy Recipes, (no refined white flour/sugar, artificial ingredients - keeping in the spirit of transitioning to REAL, WHOLE FOODS), Marriage, Parenting, Frugality, Homemaking, Homesteading, Crafting, Christianity or where ever else your heart has taken you.
Hosting are:

If you've been around here long, you know I'm a big fan of traditionally prepared bone broth.  This post by Phoenix Helix has a lot of great information about the health benefits of bone broth, and a recipe for making your own!

photo of bowl of bone broth

If you were Featured this week you have or will be tagged and or tweeted by the hostess who spread your good words!
  • Please do not share other link parties to Weekend Whatever. You may however add them to our growing linky list for all to find you.
  • We love comments!
  • Please link the specific post URL only, not your general bog link.
  • You may post up to three links per week.
  • Be sure to grab the button on the side bar and link back here.
  • Please share or tweet this post after linking up - there's a handy little button now.
  • Visit at least the two blogs next to you.What the four of us ladies have been up to - other than running around after a total of eight precious children . . .
You Thriving Family is doing a series called Conquering Real Food Frustrations. Need some new ideas for Breakfast?

Creative Christian Mama is all about sharing the exciting things I'm learning about "real" food, herbs, natural health, parenting, organic gardening, crafts, homeschooling and many other avenues of creative living. Please pop in for a visit and leave a comment!

Simple Living Mama is still sharing about her and her husband's deployment journey. One way she is staying busy during this time is with crafts! Look for some fun, crafty posts in the coming weeks!

At Living Water Health and Wellness, we are talking all things health and fitness to kick off 2013. I shared my personal resolutions in a recent post, and soon, I'll be sharing lots of info on how to get healthy and fit and stay that way, even during pregnancy, how to replace most things in your medicine cabinet and cleaning cabinet with essential oils and other natural things, as well as giving you some great new recipes and fitness tips! Come on over and follow and subscribe so you don't miss a thing!

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