Monday, July 8, 2013

Seasons of Love

I haven't forgotten you. I promise.

God has had me cut so many ties in the last year. With the ups and downs of postpartum depression (which I'm still wading through---thank you all for your prayers and support, bloggy pals) and trying to keep myself together while raising my little ones, I've been more than happy to put this blog and several of my other activities to the side.

That bouquet is for me, you know.
And while I'm OK with the tie-cutting, it leaves me at a bit of a loss. Now it feels like I'm flailing around, trying to grab onto things that make me feel more like me. That may be the reason for this pop-up post. And the reason that I suddenly decided to go on an audition tonight (although I've changed my mind on that). Writing and theater are two things I love---things that feel the most like me---so I feel like something must be missing if I'm not doing one of those things.

But nothing's missing, really.


I've been using the phrase, "It's not my season," lately. It's not my season to be a blogger. It's probably not my season to be gone three nights a week rehearsing for a show (although there are plenty of days I wouldn't mind the break from my kiddos!).

My current season is about caring for myself. That sounds kind of selfish, but I don't mean it in an I'm-the-most-important-person-in-the-world way. I mean it in an if-I-don't-take-care-of-myself-now-I-don't-know-what-life-will-look-like way. I've taken up running. Yes, although I've said I'd only run if someone was chasing me with an ax, I've taken up the sport. And I'm committed to two (maybe three!) 5K races in the upcoming months. I've also started Zumba, which is crazy fun. I've even taken up drawing and painting. I'm not great at it (and the first few paintings were kind of---well, kind of scary), but it's soothing. And we even got a dog! I love her to bits, and she's a great companion. She even goes running with me! It's that kind of caring for myself---emotionally and physically---that's helping keep me together right now.

I do miss my previous season. It didn't last long enough for my liking, but I'm hoping I'll experience it again. At present, God and I have a different kind of relationship. We talk constantly. Most of it is me begging for strength and stability, but that only makes me more dependent on him. I can tell he's holding my hand every day, coaxing me back to life. Some days are up, some days are down, but every day is with him. 

Oh, that face just makes me smile!
If you've got some room on your prayer list, pray for my children and my long-suffering husband. I haven't exactly been the easiest person in the world to live with for the last---well, I guess it's been almost two years, if you count the depression during my pregnancy. Holy cow! Hormones are the worst. Boo. But pray that when I suddenly burst into tears (or suddenly hug them and won't let go) my kids aren't on their way to a life of crime or intensive therapy. My husband has been wonderful and supportive, and he's proven to me that he is pretty much the greatest man on the planet (although he will humbly deny it, which further proves my point). But I'm not the only passenger on this roller coaster that never seems to end.

And last, but certainly not least, I can't say enough about seeking help if you're dealing with depression, postpartum or otherwise. I'm not ashamed to say that I've been going to therapy and that my doctor has prescribed medication for me. It shouldn't be something that Christians are ashamed to talk about. Until I experienced depression, I didn't understand it at all. I wouldn't have understood why someone wouldn't want to get out of bed or wouldn't want to see friends and family. I wouldn't have understood a flash flood of tears or a desire to escape. But now I understand. It's chemical. It's hormonal. It's nothing I did, and there's nothing I can do on my own to fix it. Medicine and therapy help the mind and body, and a healthy dose of prayer does wonders for mind, body, and soul. But don't be ashamed, and don't let anyone shame you, either.

So that's where I'm at. I'm drawn back here every once in a while just to interact with you, dear readers, and catch up on what you're doing. I miss you! So answer me this:

What do you do to care for yourself (or to let others care for you) during difficult seasons?

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I know you need it, too. If you don't ask for it or make time for it, it won't happen. Also, we need each other. We've got to get on the calendar! We keep saying that...

      Delete
  2. Pilates and Zumba have been great for me - they force me to focus on what I am doing instead of my problems. I also have a great accountability group that carries my mat to Jesus when I can't get myself there. And I've learned it's ok to let myself cry, especially when I am crying out to God. I am in a difficult season myself right now, and I am thankful I've learned how to do some self-care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plus I think that focusing on health---even just the physical aspect---makes your whole body better. Plus I'm not doing it to lose weight or to be a certain size this time. I'm just doing it for the time I get to spend running with my dog or dancing (which I love to do). Plus it helps me feel something other than blue. And, whoo boy! The tears! I hope both of our blue periods end soon!

      Delete
  3. Sorry to hear you've been having such a rough time. :( I've never suffered with depression, thank God, but in times of difficulty, I pray, read my scriptures, and blog/write in a journal. Very therapeutic. During a very difficult time, I call in all the favors and honestly tell people that I need help.

    That said, I've also taken up running as a new hobby and did my first 5k this summer! (2 months postpartum). If you want a running buddy, let me know. What 5k races are you signed up for? I am thinking about signing up for another one, this time being much much more prepared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've experienced depression in the past, mostly based on stressful or unhealthy situations which I could leave. This one is all chemical and hormonal, so it's lingering. I'm tired of it, that's for sure! I ask for help on the worst days, but I could probably be a little better about it.

      I'm doing the 5K for the Indy Women's Half Marathon, the 5K for the Monumental, and I'm possibly heading to Cleveland in December for the 5K A Christmas Story run. :)

      Delete
  4. Rachel, I am sure your words here will help someone, and I like the activities you are adding like Zumba, running, painting and a dog. You are smart to seek therapy and medication as necessary. Bless your heart and it is good to see you here in blogland again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Terra! It's funny---I almost forget that I met you through blogging. :)

      Delete

I wrote the thing. You read the thing. Don't be too lazy to comment!