Gently Led Sisters
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
1) It's normal to feel sadness
It's just a normal part of life. Don't ever feel abnormal for feeling sad.
A. Hormonal shifts happen to every woman-
Realize that there is a season for everything. At certain times of the month, you are going to be dealing with hormones. During those times, try to step back and keep things in perspective. Let some things slide if you feel overwhelmed. Do the main things- the cooking, laundry, schooling, etc...but cut out the unnecessary, trivial things. Especially after having a baby. Take a good month before you commit to anything after a baby. Take that time for just enjoying the new life that you grew and carried and birthed.
B. Post Partum-
This is an area that you can learn from my mistakes. I overdid it as a young mother. Because of trying to dive into things too soon after a baby, I dealt with postpartum depression after two of my babies. You have to take it slow after having a baby. You have just been through a very huge, long ordeal, especially if you had a rough delivery. (Like I did with my last two babies) The week I had my fifth baby, Allie, our church was having a revival. The day home from the hospital, I decided I wanted to go. That was stupid. I was low on sleep, she wasn't nursing well yet, and I had had a horrible delivery with her. (She was a posterior birth) I dealt on and off with deep depression for the first few months after her birth, and then I felt guilty for not enjoying my newborn more than I was. I could've helped the overwhelming feeling I had after her if I hadn't of jumped right back into everything full steam ahead. Learn from my mistakes!
C. Grieving the loss of a loved one or miscarriage.
This is an area I have experience in. It's not pretty, and it's not easy, but you have to allow yourself to grieve. If you don't, you will eventually- and it might be in the form of depression.
2. Reasons People fall into depression
Like I said before, hormones are an every day, monthly thing. Recognize when hormones are triggering your moods, and learn when to limit your activities on those trigger days.
B. Death or grief over a loved one, not focusing on grieving...stuffing it all inside and not dealing with it.
Find a way to grieve and do it. For me, writing and talking about it helps. Whatever you do, don't just stuff your emotions deep inside of you. Eventually it will come to the surface.
C. Discontentment and Bitterness
Comparison is the thief of joy. Facebook is Fakebook. No one puts their bad days on Facebook, only the good ones. So what if your husband isn't Prince Charming, 95% of husbands arent?! Appreciate the good and leave the bad. If there is an issue, address it...but that should be rare- very rare. Find joy in the little things of life, and don't ever compare someone else's life to yours.
3. Our experiences with depression
A. Hormonal fluctuations
The only times in my life I have had sadness or dark days were days after deaths of loved ones. I take it one day at a time, and I thank God for the hope of heaven.
4. Dealing with depression in your life...steps you can take
I. Fish oil, supplements
Vitamin B is good for women of childbearing age. Try to find a good one to take, one that is high quality. Try to eat good, quality food. When you are eating healthy, you ultimately feel better, and feel more in control of your life, which helps with depression or feeling overwhelmed.
Exercise will help you feel more energetic, give you some "you time", and slim you down, which will help your mood, too! I am preaching to myself, because it's been a good two months since I have worked out, the past two months have been crazy! Now that life will be a little slower, I am jumping back into the routine of healthy eating and exercise.
III. Talking about your problems, not keeping it all bottled in and struggling on your own.
Have that one person that you can confide in, other than your husband. It needs to be a close confidante who you can trust. It can be your mom, sister, girlfriend, whatever. Talk it out. Let them know when you are having a bad day. Don't struggle alone.
5. Writing and keeping a journal
Do a word study on the word, "joy". Write all the verses about joy, and memorize them. Think back on those verses in the dark days. If you like to write, do that. Sometimes it's good to journal out your sadness.
Most of the time when you are mad at someone, you are the only one that knows or thinks about it. While you are seething, they are going about their business as usual. You are the one suffering, not them. Let it go. Bitterness hurts no one but yourself.
B. How others can help you
Send a struggling friend texts. Encourage her daily. Offer to cook a meal. Offer her a date night, and a playdate for her kids while her and her husband go out for supper. Make her a care basket. Send a card. Go out of your way to look for struggling people.
C. When to seek help... (should you ever take meds?)
Ultimately, the choice is yours and your husband's. Personally, I wouldn't take mind altering drugs. I would look into natural routes....St John's Wort, vitamins, supplements, etc. I have never dealt with crippling depression, however, so I can only say what I would do in my situation. Just remember...there is hope. Nothing is ever as bad as you think, there is a solution for everything. Don't ever do something life altering because of a moment of depression. Get in the Psalms. Talk to someone. You aren't alone in this life. There is help.