The big "D"...

I made a commitment when I first started this blog that I would be real. that I would be honest. So at the risk of being very VULNERABLE I'm going to share what's going on.

I am struggling. some of you might say, "no kidding". On top of a UTI, I also have another infection... the kind that deals with baking bread... you know what I mean. I also have been feeling crappy. very crappy. very frustrated, tired, anxious, overwhelmed, and tearful.

I think I have been driving Mike crazy because I've been very withdrawn, distant, and closed. I feel like my head is in a fog and that I'm shutting down. We had a good talk tonight. I think I was actually able to explain my feelings not only to him but to myself. He was saying something to the affect of trying to understand me and wanting to know what the real issue was, the bottom line.

So I said it. I dropped the "D" bomb.

"I think I'm depressed."

There it was said. It has been spoken. As much as I love my husband and my children and my children on the way I think I am really depressed. I am very overwhelmed about moving, about trying to juggle 2 toddlers, by my pregnancy, about mentally trying to wrap my head around having 2 more children at the same time, about staying in this 2 bedroom apartment, about sharing a car, about being unable to clean or vacuum or do laundry or do anything really. I'm depressed about my sister's death and have been dwelling on the fact that it was her husband's birthday today... and being sad because I don't know him anymore. Sad that she's not alive to celebrate with him. Sad that Sam is not alive to hug or kiss or make cookies and valentines with Libby. My Libby who probably wouldn't have even been named Libby had my sister been alive.

I don't feel like the sky is falling. I feel like the walls are caving in and that my brain is in a funk I can't escape out of.

I think my head is going to explode from all the emotions and hormones and stress. I don't want to be in the hospital again. I don't want Samuel to be in the hospital. I don't want to have to take him to see a G.I. specialist (Gastro-Intestinal). I don't want to deal with it all.

It doesn't help that I can't exercise and that I can't get out much. It doesn't help to have tons of crazy hormones in my body.

So now comes the time where I know I'm supposed to say something good and positive. I know it's there somewhere. I can still say God is good and He is faithful. I can also say that He knows I'm hurting... and He's not afraid of it.

don't worry though. I'm not jumping out the window or doing anything crazy. Just expressing what's inside. Knowing that this too will pass. Knowing that nothing is too "big or small" for God.

I bought a friend whose husband has terminal cancer a book. It's really a wonderful book. It's called, "My Beautiful Broken Shell: Words of Hope to Refresh the Soul" by Carol Hamblet Adams. In the book a woman compares herself to a shell she has found on the beach. A shell she wants to discard because of its imperfections and its brokenness but she keeps it because she sees herself in it. here are some quotes from the book...

"But then I stop... go back... and pick up the broken shell. I realize that this shell is me with my broken heart.... This shell had to fight so hard to keep from being totally crushed by the pounding surf... just as I have had to. yet this shell is still out on the beautiful sandy shore... just as I am. Thank you Lord that I haven't been completely crushed by the heaviness in my heart... by the pounding of the surf."

" If our world were only filled with perfect shells, we would miss some of life's most important lessons along the way. We would never learn from adversity... from pain... from sorrow. Thank you Lord for all that I learn from my brokenness... for the courage it takes to live with my pain... and for the strength it takes to remain on the shore."

"Broken shells mean lots of tears... lots of pain... lots of struggle... but they are also valuable for teaching faith, courage, and strength. Broken shells inspire others and demonstrate the will to go on in a way that no perfect shell could ever do. Broken shells are shells that have been tested... and tried... and hurt... yet they don't quit. they continue to be. Thank you Lord, for the great strength it takes to simply be.. even when I hurt so deeply that there seems to be nothing left of me."

"As I look at my beautiful broken shell, I see that it has nothing to hide. It doesn't pretend to be perfect or whole... its brokenness is clear for everyone to see. Lord, may I be strong enough to show my pain and brokenness like this shell. May I give myself permission to be human. May I have the courage to risk sharing my feelings with others so that I may receive support and encouragement along the way."

Anyway, it's a beautiful book that encourages and speaks to my heart and will hopefully speak to my friend when I see her tomorrow at Bible Study. It also has painted illustration of the ocean and beach- very soothing.

So I'm depressed, but I'm NOT despairing.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. "


Anonymous said…
From one broken shell to another, how good it is to know that nothing can ever separate us from God's love no matter how we may "feel" because we know feelings come and go. As the Psalmist said, "when my heart is overwhelmed, I will trust the Lord. My times are in His hands and as thy day is, so shall they strength be." I found that when I find myself in that condition of the big D, praise will turn the tide of depression because where praise is, the enemy of our soul cannot exist. Sending love and hugs...and praying for strength moment by moment. XOXO G'ma
Amy Storms said…
I found your blog through your comment on Ungrind, and I just wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you. I've been there. I had three kids in 36 months with a miscarriage in the middle, and I've had two bouts with anti-depressants. Trying to make my sweet husband understand the "darkness" of depression was impossible. And oh, I've also had a UTI and yeast infection at the same time, too, which is basically hell. :) Just wanted to encourage you to hang in there. Things will get better...(my children can all buckle their own seat belts now, and it's heavenly :))...You are so right that in Jesus, there is no reason for despair. And I think I'll look for the book you mentioned, too. Sounds beautiful!

Sorry this is so long, especially from a perfect stranger. :)
Sarah said…
Thank you for sharing, for being honest, open, and having the guts to be real in the middle of it all. For completely different reasons to yours I've been frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed and tearful the past week too. I'm praying for you, just that God would be everything you need right now. For you know that this too will pass, but that doesn't make it any easier to see through that fog sometimes...

Thanks for the scripture.

Lots of love to you xxx
Caren said…
Thanks for being real Jenn. I am praying for you all!
Ashleigh said…
Jennifer, as we've talked about via email I understand to some extent (but not fully) what you're going through. I'm praying. I love you!
Les said…
When I break down and share my struggles (like you did), it seems God's spirit aways sweeps in with a fresh breeze of grace to lift me up and make me new. Even when I didn't think he would. He is so good. Might I suggest having people pray for you aloud- Prayer is strong!
Wendy said…
We just heard a message on the verse where His power is made strong in our weakness. I forget where it is...

You have chosen a great one to cling too in 2Cor also. God is a mighty force and we must cry out for help with our unbelief (Mark 9) in times when life feels crushing.

I am praying for you!
Anonymous said…
my dear sister,

what a wonderful example you are of christ-like honesty and psalmidic transparency. you truly inspire me--as one who almost never shows my true self--and encourage me to be less opaque. your love and perserverance are prominent petals in your beautifully blooming life. and make no mistake, your life if beautiful and it is blooming: into authenticity, into motherhood, into strength, and into a person after God's own heart. thank you. be encouraged. see the end of the storm approaching and feel warmth in the midst of depression. more importantly, know everlasting love in the foggy and disconcerting times. thank you, jennifer leigh, for being an incredibly specimen of the human race. i may not know of a more honest person. and that, to me, is one of the highest virtues. please, for your sake, for your children's sake, both inuerto and out, for your wonderful and caring husband's sake, and for the sake of the one who put himself through hell to redeem you, continue to persevere. your reward will be great, and your savior's affirmation worth every single second of trial. i love you, dear sister, and support you in all your endeavors.

Jessica Rockey said…
Hey friend. I know it's a tough time of year for you... even without being pregnant and UTI's. I'm sorry to see you hurting and depressed. You just want someone to understand what's going through your mind. I'm sure feel alone despite never having time alone.
When I'M feeling depressed, it frustrates me that David just can't wrap his mind around what I'm dealing with. I want him to 'get it'.
Last week, Brett gave a message on Jesus being tempted in the desert. Has was fully man. He was physically weak and hungry... He has been tempted in every way and He is able to empathize with are needs. I've just been trying to imagine that lately and to wrap my mind around that.

It's ok to be sad... It's ok to be vunerable... It's NOT ok to jump out of a window! Love you friend.
Bethany said…
I have been there and can relate. I am praying for you. Try to get out in the sun a little bit, talk to a friend a day (I know you can't get out much with being pregnant) I know for me being alone was what I wanted to do but it made it worse. So invite people over even when you don't want to.

I am praying for you.
anne said…
thanks for your honesty Jen! Praying for you, pregnancy, kiddos, and Hubby. I have a friend who is preggers right now and is dealing with the same infections you are. Not fun!
Thank God for God right?!!!
Praying for you!


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