Today we have a guest post from Amanda Pelser, author of the just released ebook Finding Joy in Depression. Amanda writes: I was impatient.
I was a screamer.
I couldn't handle change.
I was a bad mom.
When I realized all that, I decided I was ready to face the elephant in the room: depression.
An old friend said to me recently, "I had no idea you dealt with depression. I thought depressed people sat on the couch all day and watched Oprah."
I thought to myself, "Of course you didn't know. That's the way I wanted it." I couldn't bear the thought of someone knowing that I was depressed. I did everything I could to hold it all together in front of others and then fell apart at home when no one else could see, except my family. And most of all, I couldn't handle the perceived stigma of failure if I were to go on medication for controlling my depression.
I was trying to juggle it all. I was a mom. I was working full-time in a church. But, I came to a point when my son was almost two years old that I couldn't hold it together any more. I started having panic attacks before going into work. I had to face the fact that I was depressed and I couldn't manage it on my own.
I went to see my OB/GYN, who had for several years been nudging me to face my depression. He diagnosed me with dysthymia, which is a mild but chronic form of depression. Unfortunately, or so I thought, medication was my best option for treatment.
My husband and I noticed major changes in a matter of days. I was calm. I was more patient. I didn't get so easily frustrated. I was able to go with the flow more easily. I wasn't so hard on myself. And most importantly, I was able to better connect with my son. He deserved a mommy whose inside matched her outside. He deserved a mommy who could care for herself properly so she could better care for him.
Have you ever prayed that God would just take a problem or situation away from you? I prayed and prayed that depression would go away, but that never happened. Instead, God walked with me through my depression. He comforted me. He led me to a place of humility and a place of asking for others to help and support me.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV
It seems that more often than not, God doesn't give us an instant solution. He takes us on a journey. He takes us through a process. But, why? Because as 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 tells us, He wants to use us to comfort others. He comforts us so we can in turn be used to comfort others.
Are you suffering under the weight of depression? Are you afraid for anyone else to know? Make a choice today to take the first step out of hiding. Seek out a doctor, counselor, pastor, or trusted friend and tell them you need help.
Has God comforted you in the midst of your depression? Have you found successful ways to manage your depression? Then share your story. Show others that they don't have to hide and be there to comfort them.
Don't have depression? Create an environment where it's ok to talk about depression. There's likely at least one person close to you who is either hiding from depression or trying to manage their depression.
Together, we can be better moms and find joy in depression.
Finding Joy in Depression is a story. It’s a story of facing depression and learning to manage it day by day.
Hiding from your depression? Finding Joy in Depression will encourage you to face depression and take your first step towards finding joy.
Learning to manage your depression? Finding Joy in Depression will give you tips for managing your depression and encourage you to share your story with others.
Don’t deal with depression? It’s likely that you someone close to you is battling depression and needs your support. Finding Joy in Depression will give you a glimpse into the life of someone with depression so you can support a loved one and create environments where it’s ok to talk about depression.
Amanda Pelser is a former church communications director turned stay-at-homeschooling-mom. She's been married to her high school sweetheart, Josh, for almost nine years. They have two young boys, Jonathan and Jacob. She opens her home as a shelter for the heart of women at The Pelsers where she writes about faith, motherhood, and homeschooling. She is also the author of the book Finding Joy in Depression in which she encourages those struggling with depression to seek help, gives tips to those trying to manage their depression and offers a glimpse into the life of someone with depression for those seeking to support a loved one suffering from depression.
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