Dark Clouds

Posted by Jennifer on December 19, 2010 – 6:22 pm

image        Photo by Leonrw

While I was expecting the fatigue and nausea with the good news of a new baby, I wasn’t expecting the dark clouds. It was suddenly as if the sun stopped shining. I woke up one morning and just was so tired, it was extreme effort to pull myself out of bed. I felt nothing. Not happy, not sad. Everything seemed grey and joyless; everything just required too much work and effort. Forming the words to read a story to the littles seemed an insurmountable feat. This cloud wasn’t really a cloud, fluffy and light -  it was heavy, weighty, dragging me down, making my movements slow and painful.

There were times that I didn’t want to mother; too much energy required. I would wake up, looking ahead at the day. Overwhelmed. I couldn’t make it. Guilt-wracked. Failing.

I just wanted to sleep; to lay down and let darkness wash over me. But often, even when the littles were down for their naps and I had that {hour-long}precious opportunity, my mind would still be a whir of activity. Blog post ideas, like ping pong balls bounced around the dark recesses but nothing writable. Uninspired. The daily tasks, urgent tasks beckoned me accusingly. Yet I lay there.

Joyless. Endless days. Tiredness. Dark. Work. Drowning. Irritable. Then guilty.

God seemed so far away. So distant…or maybe I was far away and distant from Him.

The thought came to me. Unbidden. I dismissed it, angrily. Ridiculous. The thought resurfaced. I faced it. I began to explore. Ideas and thoughts came. Depression has many faces and can be worn by anyone at any time. I’m not an expert on it; I know little of it. I’ve always had my “down’” days from time to time. But this was different. I’m still pondering. Thinking. Exploring. I almost voiced it yesterday. But it seems like such a bad thing, a guilty secret. The words wouldn’t form on my tongue.

Why? Why me? Blessed, abundantly blessed. Yet here I am. Wondering these thoughts, alone in the dark. But not alone, never alone!

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Post partum depression, delayed post partum depression, ‘down days’, mild depression, clinical depression, baby blues; many of us have experienced depression in some form or another though it is hard to admit it to ourselves never mind others! What helped you cope, manage, or overcome?

  • This post was written this fall…but not posted because it’s such a personal post, I guess it was fear that held me back. But here it is, in all it’s honesty! Though still seeking my optimistic, energetic happy self, I am doing much better. In the New Year, I’ll share with you some things that helped me.
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  1. 1. kendal Said:

    been there. i was afraid to voice it for fear i wasn’t a strong enough christian, but it got bad enough to get help. medication has really helped me get back to the mind god intended.

    new to your blog. i found you at (in) courage. I like it here!

  2. 2. JaeAna Said:

    Thank you for sharing this. I had PPD with all 3 of my children. With my first 2 I didn’t know what it was, but with this 3rd one, thankfully, I was familiar with the symptoms and I immediately started on medication. The cloud lifted and life was good again. Bless you!

  3. 3. ShineliketheSon Said:

    It is nothing to be ashamed of, it is real and it is definatly something to speak out about. I suffered depression when my dad was sick with cancer and passed. I was 23. I talked to my college psych professer and then my doctor and then a therapist. Meds helped get me over the hump, but therapy with a Jesus loving family minded therapist was the key. I was off meds not long after and then able to stop therapy after about a year. I’ve gone back to therapy 3 other seasons in my life for one thing or another. The last being post partum anxiety and greiving.On another note, my sister had major post partum depression with her 4th child. It was scary to see what she went through and how deep she did go. We almost lost her. But God has pulled her through with meds, hospitilazation when needed, and trusted therapy. What a testimony she now has, even though she still struggles through it. It is so important to have professionals, who are not in your real life to give you perspective. Take the time to find someone to talk to, if meds are needed, it’s ok. But make sure your taking care of the emotional side not just the physical. Espeically for this time in your life while pregnant. Your baby needs you to be as healthy as you can be in all ways God can and He will! I just read that this was an older post and you are healing, but maybe what I wrote above will help someone else. talking it out is always a good choice.

  4. 4. a sinner saved by grace Said:

    I heard a person sing a song yesterday & the words rang so true. Unless a person has truly experienced struggle they may not understand “My God of the mountains is my God of the valleys”. It is when we have been in the valleys we have drawn the closest to God, learned what walking by faith really means. Because of who HE is, He teaches & strengthens us. I think that the grey days are almost like proof we ARE growing. If your life were not profitable in honoring & glorifying God…then why would satan bother with the attacks on it? There are many reason’s for depression or the symptoms of it, but sometimes it is just dark days & at those times we just need to remember God is holding us (if we are saved) & we need to just trust & do our best, while HE does the rest. Someday you will face these times with more confidence & peace knowing it will pass. You will also have personal perspective walking though it, that will help you to encourage others. If I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that He could solve them & I’d never know what faith in GOD CAN DO! Christ spent time with his father & He ached sometimes. He has shown us all through His Word that some things are physical & need treatment & some things are spiritual & need treatment. Sometimes it is also just a case of being tired & wore out. THIS time of year is very demanding in all ways & very hard on emotions. Traditions are good & they are comforts. But they are also heartaches when they change. Grampa’s part in our holiday traditions has changed BUT someday maybe it will be you or one of your children that take that over. Be of good cheer. Grampa is having his best Christmas yet & we will honour him by showing & building those traditions in this new generation. Chritmas is also family & building the bonds of love. God has mightily blest our families;-)

  5. 5. Beth at Not a Bow in Sight Said:

    Jennifer- I can really relate to you on this one. Pregnancy brings hormones and fatigue in large doses…which for me definitely led to depression. Now that I’m on the other side of it I can see how my depression drew me closer to God and gave me a hunger for Him and to study His word. But I definitely experienced times where I felt far away too. What really helped me was getting out of the house and getting involved at our church. Being around others encouraged me and got my mind focused again. Thanks for writing such an open and honest post about depression. It is real and affects so many people (whether temporarily or permanently). Praying that your new year is merry and bright 🙂

    Much love to you sweet friend. Merry Christmas.

  6. 6. Jennifer Said:

    @Beth
    Thank you. Your encouragement means a lot!!

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