Healing Tool

So today I’m going to tell you a little story. It’s probably going to be a long story. But it’s the story of why the blog came to be. I feel it is time to share this.

Many years ago, as a sophomore in high school I was diagnosed with depression. At first is was sever, suicidal, then reduced to clinical. The story began as I planned to take my own life and a very dear friend told on me. Best tattle-tale ever. Her parents told my parents, my parents were in disbelief. That was until I told them the truth. I was in so much pain, I was ready to end it all.

In comes Holy Spirit. and amazing parents. and so many others who aided in saving my life. I was given the help I needed to get back on track. Depression is an scary curse. Mine comes from heredity causes. I have a wonderful childhood. No great trauma. No big issues. And yet, there was always a weight on my heart, a weight on my head that I just couldn’t shake off. My senior year of high school, the weight came back, stronger and more powerful then ever. Again, I was saved by some powerful souls. I had the best week of my life- in the psychiatric ward. Yes, you read correctly. The psych ward was my place of grace. It was a place I was able to be totally free of life’s pressures. A place I was completely safe from myself. It was also the place that allowed me to open up and share what was truly going on in my head. Y’all, that was a place NO one wanted to go.

During those high school years I also developed an anxiety disorder. When my anxiety was come on, it looked like I was having a grand-Mal seizure. I was taken to the E.R. on a few occasions, once by ambulance because my muscles were spasming so badly in my head, throat and chest that I couldn’t breath. This disorder affected my life in very profound ways, limiting so much of what I was able to do.

But God granted me healing. His power is greater then that of depression and through his will I was made better. God gives gifts to so many. He allowed doctors and counselors to be by my side and give me the tools I needed to pull myself out of the muck.

I have had to work tirelessly to over come these obstacles. And the worst part about it, they keep coming back! Just when you start to think you’ve conquered all that depression can throw your way, it comes up with something else. It just never stops.  But I wasn’t going to let this anxiety and depression win. I am stronger then that.

So, as life goes on, most battles have been waged. In college, I hit a wall. I dropped out before I flunked out. Did you know that GOING to class helps you do SIGNIFICANTLY better in the class?? I learned the hard way. But I was at a point where waking up each morning was as much as I could handle. I had started to cut to cope with the pain. Then a very special pastor sat down next to me one day and asked how I was doing. I replied in the usually “fine.” He looked me in the eye, and said again, “but how are you really?” That was a HUGE turning point in my life. He was able to get my tracks going straight again.

After taking a couple years off to work, both at a job and on myself, I was able to go back to school. I met my husband and we were married. Then we had Josiah. Then I (finally) graduated. You know, lots of people go to college for seven years… yea, they’re called doctors! (Thank you Tommy Boy)

271241_755915727373_6501983_oRoss & I right after we were engaged.

 

But anyway, I was doing great at that point. My husband is the best thing to ever happen to me. He keeps me on track and supports me in ways I never thought anyone could.

We then had our second child. And along with the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen, came that sneaking devil again. I was hit was postpartum depression. hard. I knew this was a very likely possibility. I knew it with our first born, Josiah, as well. But with the first one, it never hit.

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My beautiful Charlotte the day she was born.

Being that my depression comes from hereditary causes, and I have a very hard time with seasonal-affect (the spring is always terrible), I knew I was a strong candidate for this. Charlotte was born in March, my worst month of the year. And let’s just say, it hit the fan. I started my medication again as soon as the baby came. But it wasn’t enough.

Earlier in life I would ask God, “Why are you giving me this? I know you have a plan, but could you let me in on it??” God has now shown me why. As I felt myself spiraling down a slippery slope, I knew what was happening. I knew that what I was feeling was my depression. It wasn’t because I was a bad mother or wife. It wasn’t because I didn’t have goals or wasn’t doing something spectacular with my life. It was because I have an illness called depression.

I stared more regular counseling. I met with a psychiatrist. I made a point to get better. My depression was not going to take me away from my family.

So, along with seeing my doctors, I started getting active in my life. I took time to myself to re-energize. I worked hard to communicate to my husband what was going on inside me, so he could help support me. I got out with friends, and worked to build new relationships and reconnect with old ones. I looked for creative outlets. I found the places in my life where the depression was seeping in and I cemented over those cracks.

It hasn’t been easy and it continues to be a daily thing. I decided to take a new job that will have me around more people, but that meant leaving a position I very much enjoyed. I have to allow myself to be vulnerable to my husband and let him into the world I try so hard to keep everyone out of. I had to trust new people and retell my story again. I had to dig deep to find where the holes in my life were so I could fix them. I didn’t want to just paint over a crack that might resurface again. I want to fix my life.

This blog has become my creative outlet. It may seem that I write for the reader, but I write for the writer. It’s my journal of my journey. I’m working on my roots so that my harvest can be mighty.

I share my story now, not to gain sympathy but to share empathy. I want to be an open book. I’ve found that when I share my story, other can find something to cling to. I want my story to be one of hope and strength and great faith.

God’s power is greater then anything you can ever imagine. God doesn’t give you struggles in life. The devil gives you struggles, but God gives you the Holy Spirit to fight those battles. God gives you the strength to win your war. God gives you the healing to mend your wounds. God gives you the grace to know you are his child and you are loved.

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I welcome you to share this story if you know someone who might find strength in it.

Today, life is good. I still work everyday to live my life most fully in the glory of God. Not everyday is good. But today is good. and that’s all I need. Thank you for sharing in my healing tool.

Happy Harvesting,

Leah

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Rachel Shrader says:

    Leah- You have much strength to share this great story. You know my family history of mental disorders. But I always thought I was the normal one. After I gave birth to Tayla I went into a bad postpartum depression as well. It took a long time for me to admit it. I can empathize your struggle with it. Thinking of you! Rachel

  2. Rachel Anderson says:

    You’re one of my absolute favorite people, and so brave! Thanking God for great friends, family, and pastors to keep us on track! Sending you lots of love!

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