I’m so mad I could…2

This is the conclusion of my gigantic post started yesterday regarding my depression and what happened once I was diagnosed and treated by a professional…

Within a week, I began to feel more self controlled. Not euphoric, not pollyanna. Just less rage. Therapy helped give me tools to use for those trigger moments that can send you off your rocker. Medication gave me the ability to remember I actually had tools to use. Since then, there have been ups and downs, stressors great and small, and constant monitoring of this condition.

I have been running into a wall the last couple months. A medication shift didn’t work so well and threw me into a bit of a tailspin. I am yelling at my children again. Not because I want to hurt them. But because I want control in my current chaotic family season. Sound familiar? My doctors and friends are encouraging me to invest in myself — more sleep, more exercise, back to therapy — during this extraordinary time when our family schedule is overwhelming. The other night, I was reminded of the principle that I cannot lead anyone else well, in this case, my children and home, if I am not well myself. What’s the saying, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” 

The scripture verse from 1 Sam 30:6 says, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” I have been railing against my children in an effort to gain control and train them in the way they should go. What I heard from this verse and in its context was that my reactions to my kids’ behavior was about me, not them. No amount of teaching them will affect how I respond. And so I will spend my time in the coming months caring for myself and strengthening myself in the Lord, my God. I will start physically by going to the health club and letting the kids enjoy their own gym and play time. That will give me natural time alone and quiet–especially in the steam room, sauna or whirlpool. (Did I mention my arthritis?)

If any of this is familiar or touches a nerve for  you–do not ignore it. GET HELP. If you are a Christ follower, GET HELP. Yes, we can all do a better job of being quiet and reading our bibles and praying, ya, ya, ya. GET HELP ANYWAY especially if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others. Tell a trusted friend, family member or pastor. Leave me a comment and I’ll reply. Read a book. A good one on mom anger is Julie Ann Barnhill’s She’s Gonna Blow . Bonnie Keen’s Blessed Are The Desperate For They Will Find Hope is especially good if you work or volunteer in ministry and are depressed and/or find yourself in overwhelming or unexpected circumstances. Go here to see some recommendations for other books.

One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sums it up – “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Denise on February 20, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Excellent blog, Joni…and incredibly courageous…
    I’m here for you, Sister!

    Reply

  2. I am amazed with your candor.

    I have found that my blog has allowed me to process things that have happened to me/my family over the last couple of years… a kind of therapy. However, I still see the mental health guy down at the VA hospital once a month.

    When my son-in-law was killed in action on Feb 19 of 07 I became… all kinds of things. That’s when I got back into “the system” at the Va.

    I too found myself with a very short fuse with those whom I care about most in life. I began taking their prescribed meds. However, when I began developing tremors in my hands I became alarmed and eased myself off the meds. Although I do still take an occassional sleeping pill.

    The little four year old boy we are adopting has been having problems with “anger management” at his school and his counselor taught him some coping skills. Deep breath in through the nose. Exhale slowly through the mouth. Count to ten slowly. He’s responded remarkebly to that! Praise God!!

    You may find this interesting.
    http://mssc54.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/comfort-is-a-gift-which-must-be-received/

    Reply

  3. you are incredible, joni. you truly are. i love that you are so open about this and willing to say…”hey, its ok to take care of me.” im proud of you!

    i know some women going through “shes gonna blow”. it is transforming the way they parent and live day to day. i need to get the book too.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Stephanie Gulland on February 21, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Hey Joni! Thank you so much for you honesty and realness. It is very refreshing to see in a fellow Christ follower.

    Blessings to you & your family!!!

    Reply

  5. Posted by annetteoatright on March 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for being transparent and authentic. How vital for us to be that way with each other….so true community/family/etc can be achieved.

    Reply

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