Lots of people accuse social media participants like myself of only presenting the good side of our lives. There has even been research showing that the more time people spend on social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc...), the more likely they are to be depressed. The theory is that they think everyone else has a great life because we all post cute stories about our super smart kids or brag on our husbands for being so awesome. And that theory makes sense to me.
On the flip side, I've always thought about myself as a blogger who presented my life as real. I've shown you pictures of my messy house, Bruce's unemployment, Mary's medical issues, shared my bad mothering moments, and how my vanity kept me from serving my family. Of course, I try not to share stories of my girls that I think will embarrass them when they are older or stories about fights with my husband. I learned a long time ago that even though we may resolve the issue in our marriage, other people aren't present and they may harbor grudges unnecessarily. In this way, I am very loyal to him and I would never want to say anything to make him look bad.
I share all of this with you to get to this point - I want to continue to be a blogger that is real with you. So I'm going to tell you this next story in an effort to connect with and reach out to those of you who may be experiencing similar things. No one should assume that my life is perfect or that I have it all together just because I can write well and manage to eek out some meaningful moments with my children and then blog about them.
The thing is, I am depressed. As in clinically depressed. And no amount of non-medicinal coping methods have made this beast called depression go away. And last week, after meeting with a psychiatrist, she suggested I take medication to help lift me up so that I can see life clearly.
This isn't a new condition for me to be in. I believe my depression began as a teenager and I've used medication at least two times in the past to try and deal with it. Both times, I gave it up because I felt like the fog had lifted enough for me to live well and because the side effects were no longer acceptable.
This time though, I fought the idea of going back on medication a lot. I wrestled with it in my brain since late last year. I've cancelled and reschedule appointments because I was afraid to address the issue. Slowly though, the beast has grown and taken over more of my thoughts. For the most part, I'm very good at compartmentalizing my life and was able to keep this part of me from most people. Now, I'm just tired of fighting with it and want to wake up each day with enough energy to properly take care of myself and my family.
It is not easy to live with someone who suffers from clinical depression, especially the kind that seems to fluctuate and peak and doesn't stay steady. I applaud my husband for the many graces he has extended me as a wife and a mother, and for understanding that I am not depressed by choice.
I want you to know that, if you are dealing with depression, you are not alone. I promise to not be a fake Christian who pretends that life is a bowl of cherries. Instead, I'll be someone you can vent to and someone who will pray with you. God desires His best for each of His children and I'm going to be more honest about my journey to get it.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Shared by Jennifer at 8/15/2011 09:04:00 AM
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