The Unraveling


As a mother, I unravel daily: I find a lego in my roses, the boys play superman with the last roll of paper towels, or the whines infest my entire crew of children.   You know the feeling:  the increasing, boiling urge inside you to snap.

Sometimes, though, it is deeper.

Anxiety, especially social anxiety,  has always silently dictated my thoughts and actions.  But I learned how to manipulate my life around it.  Honestly, I never considered it a heart or faith issue. I never even contemplated the existence of an intense internal battle.  And I didn’t recognize the depression that hid its face among the limitations of my anxiety.

And then, about five years ago,  I started the battle for my life.  Literally.

I was in a constant state of stress.  The anxiety wore me out.  And brought me down.   But it was not necessarily visible or noticeable to anyone else.  And so, I suffered alone.

But after my fourth child was born, I suffered a severe postpartum depression.  And the anxiety quickly plummeted into full blown panic attacks, a psychotic muscle spasm. high blood pressure, and an instinct to isolate from others.

I had finally unraveled.  Big time.  I could hide it no longer.

And I prayed for God to transform my heart. I searched His word.  I sang His praises. I surrounded myself with God’s truth to drown out Satan’s lies.  God had brought me to this low so that my eyes would look up to him.

And I started medication and counseling.

But, over time, I started to wonder if  the medication was helping………  Even on medication,  I would fantasize about killing myself.  I became convinced that my erratic moods were due to the antidepressants I was taking.  And so, I weaned off of the antidepressants and became very anti – medication.

It was about this time, that I started Celebrate Recovery.   Such a weight was lifted when I realized that other people had some of  the same struggles.     I learned what it meant to be transparent and I finally was starting to learn what it felt like to feel loved and accepted.  But even with the many transformations,  I still struggled to keep out of the muck of depression.

And then it happened.   I woke up one morning at the start of another major depressive episode. And anxiety so high that my body felt like it was on fire from the inside out. I was looking for an escape….. And I soon found myself with a stash of pain pills.  Tempted to end my pain.  But, all I needed at that point was a reason to live.  I needed to know that I mattered…. and then my phone beeped.  Not just once.  But several times…. encouragement from someone I barely knew.  It was all I needed at that moment.  But I knew I had gotten a little too close.

Eventually, I escaped that depressive episode.  But it wasn’t for long.  My mood was so dramatic from day to day and from week to week.  It became obvious that what I was currently doing was not working.  My Celebrate Recovery sponsor encouraged me to get a psychiatrist to get back onto medication, but more specifically, the right combination of medications and switch to a different counselor.  Unfortunately, I was already very deep into that depressive episode.    And I had a lot of unusual stressors, including the death of my Dad.  And by the time that I had my first appointments, I already had a suicide plan and had begun cutting so that I would be able to slash my wrist.

Under the care of my husband, my counselor, and my sponsor, I ended up in a couple of psychiatric hospitals for a total of about 3 weeks over the course of three months.  As humiliating and humbling as that was, I needed it.  I was afraid of myself.  I was both impulsive and compulsive.   I needed a safety zone where I could get medication into my system quickly, and also, develop a plan to take back control of my life.

I am still  teetering on the brink of that dark pit.  Sometimes I start to slip, but God has been faithful, and put people in my life to help hold me up in times that I just can’t do it alone.  They are truly Jesus’ hands and feet.

And my want to has changed.  I used to want to escape all the pain I feel inside.  But I am learning to lean into those hard emotions and let God guide me through.  Then, I don’t need escape.  I want to chase after God’s will.  And experience the good He has in store for me.