So many people suffer from depression and either don't realize it or don't acknowledge it. Mental health is so important yet there is a stigma surrounding it that I feel keeps people from getting the help that they desperately need. There is no shame in seeking help when you just can't cope, are feeling overwhelmed, overly anxious, are feeling sad, etc. When you don't feel like you are at your best, emotionally, there are options available. 

During my pregnancy with my third child I was on an anti-depressant for the entire 40 weeks. I was severely depressed and the doctors felt it was necessary for me to be on the medication, despite that fact that I was pregnant. I also saw a psychologist regularly. After my son was born in 2003, I was able to go off of the medication and stop seeing the psychologist and I thought that was the end of it. It wasn't!

Fast forward a few years to 2008 and my marriage started to fall apart. There were a lot of factors that contributed to this but my mental state took a big hit. I was feeling unloved by my husband of 17 years who was drinking excessively, my self esteem was in the toilet due to weight issues, we were struggling financially due to the economy, and I just couldn't take it. I found myself standing in front of my medicine cabinet one day trying to decide which pills I should take so that I could go to sleep and never wake up. I just wanted out of my miserable life! While I stood there with several bottles of pills in my hands, mostly pain killers, I heard an audible voice in my head telling me that if I killed myself my kids would be left to be raised solely by their father. What a wake up call that was! My husband loved his kids but he loved alcohol more and I just couldn't bear the thought of them being raised in that life without me to be a buffer. I was always a buffer between his angry outbursts and the kids, he never laid a hand on us but his verbal abuse was enough to make our house pretty unsettled.
If God had not spoken to me loud and clear that day, I would have swallowed those pills and who knows what would have become of my kids. My love for them was far stronger than my need to escape!  It was then that I made an appointment with the doctor and went back on medication. I also started going to church regularly again, after and invite from my neighbor, and taking the kids with me.

During this period of getting to know the Lord again and doing my best to be happy, I learned some very effective coping techniques that didn't require medication although I would remain on meds for the next several years. You can click the link to download my Free Guide To Coping With Life and learn some of the techniques I use to maintain my emotional health and wellbeing. Am I going to say that this episode in 2008 was my last, nope, because it wasn't, but I did learn a lot about myself that I have been able to build on over the years. Stay tuned for more on this subject next week...


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