With most things, progress is some steps forward, then a couple back. It’s the same with Post Partum Depression. Two years ago, it was half a step forward, 10 steps backwards. A year ago it was 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Lately it’s been all forward progress – until today. Today has been my one step back. I’ve gone about a month without having a bad PPD day, and today has been rough. I’ve gone through intrusive thoughts, self doubt, and severe anxiety. But it hasn’t been as hopeless as in the past, because the good days are so fresh in my mind. Today has been a bad day … but I know this cloud isn’t here to stay.
It’s interesting in depression. In the depths of it, the “sunday school answers” didn’t help me. I’d pray, I’d read, and I’d feel lost. But now that I’m getting out of depression, those things make a big difference. I just wanted to mention that, because when people heard “Depression”, their fix-all was “Are you reading scriptures? Praying?”. And it hurt me so badly – made me feel so much worse of myself. If I was doing those things, I wasn’t doing them well enough, because I still had so much emotional pain. I can’t look back and remember a moment of thinking “God is carrying me now” – I remember crying to Heavenly Father over and over for help. However, now that I do look back, I couldn’t feel Him carrying me, but He was, as were His angels. Without being carried through it, I would not be here today. It was so horrible, so dark and lonely, but satan was not able to destroy me. God didn’t let that happen.
Even when there seemed to be no light at the end of my PPD tunnel, God could see it. He slowly led me through the suffocating darkness – He didn’t rush me, but slowly helped me recover. And the light WAS there. I now feel like my warm sunshine is just on the other side of today’s storm cloud – just like it was there yesterday.
I found a hymn as I was practicing my old piano skills the other day. I don’t recall ever hearing it before, and with my rusty piano skills, I wasn’t every sure what key it was in, so I don’t know the tune. But, the words really struck me:
“Lean On My Ample Arm” (Hymn #120)
“Lean on my ample arm, O thou depressed
And I will bid the storm cease from thy breast.
What e’er thy lot may be on life’s complaining sea,
If thou wilt come to Me, thou shall have rest.
Lift up thy tearful eyes, sad heart, to me
I am the sacrifice offered for thee.
In Me thy pain shall cease, in Me is thy release,
In me thou shalt have peace, eternally.
~Theadore E. Curtis
The peace doesn’t come as you expect it, but it is always there, watching over you. We may not have peace today or tomorrow, but in lifting our tearful eyes up to God, peace will come.