• Depression
  • Dearest Momma,

    letter

     

    Dearest Momma,

     

    First of all, I want to tell you that you are doing an awesome job raising your little one/s! You are an awesome wife! You do a wonderful job managing your home, you keep everyone on track. You make sure everyone is fed, you make time for everyone even when you feel like you have nothing left to give. You give that meaningful hug and kiss! Even putting a Band-Aid on that boo boo is important and life-changing to your little love!

     

    You are an AMAZING WOMAN, Wife and Mom! You are a Jane of all trades!

     

    I know that you may feel overwhelmed with work, school and things at home…I know what you’re thinking:

     

    “If I hear the word, ‘Mom’ one more time” or

     

    “I just want to go to the bathroom ALL by MYSELF, no hands poking through, no knocking on the door for me to get a cup of water or juice” or

     

    “If my husband looks at me this evening with that look in his eyes, seriously? I have been smothered by little humans all day and now you want your turn?” or

     

    “I just can’t do it ALL!”

     

    I know what you’re thinking, why? Because, I am right there with you, Sister!

     

    Overwhelming times are like a perfect storm for us Moms, who think that no one really understands. We go into survival mode and become a ticking time bomb about to go off. We stay focused on the everyday tasks with our families that we forget to take care of ourselves, physically or spiritually!

     

    I get it, it isn’t easy to pull away from the realities of how hard being a Mommy is! BUT, I am here to tell you that it’s going to be OK!

     

    I want you to know that it’s ok to pull away, to take a drive down the street to gather your thoughts. It’s ok to cry because you are stressed. It’s ok to go to your bedroom and take a breather/time out. It’s ok! Your husband and your kids will understand!

     

    It’s OK to be overwhelmed! You are NOT a bad wife or Mom for feeling that way!

     

    What’s not ok?

     

    Doing things on your own and going on an empty Momma tank! Not finding anyone to confide your feelings in. Talk to your husband, he will listen. Seek out a girlfriend that you can also talk to. Find that friend who will just sit and listen or bring your favorite snack or desert to take your mind off of things!

     

    When I was overwhelmed and going through depression,  I found it easier to shut feelings away. I also shut the need for help away! I didn’t understand what I was going through until it was too late. I thought that I would be judged for struggling the way I was. I was afraid to get help! I regret this so much!

     

    I urge you, Mommas, take a break from time to time! Let that laundry sit for a while, let those dishes stay in the sink. The floors can be vacuumed and mopped later or tomorrow. Curl up and read a book while the kids are in school or get a cup of coffee with a girl-friend. Go shopping. Go walking, go get a Mani/Pedi. Get a massage, or go nap with the baby! There is nothing wrong with taking the time for yourself, for all you know, you definitely need it.

     

    When was the last time you took time for yourself?

     

    So wherever you are, right now, I want to tell you again, you are awesome and doing a great job! Let’s walk through this Mommy-thing and life together!

     

     

    Lovingly,

    from one Momma to another MommaJ

  • Depression
  • Dear friend,

    img_4232

     

    Dear friend,

    As I write this, I am also reminding myself these things. Please hear me out:

    I see you struggling. I know how you feel when it seems as if the world is falling apart. No one seems to understand what you are going through. Some days you are as happy as those around you. Those days, you aren’t really faking it to make it. There is a glimmer of hope. Happiness IS attainable! Some days, you aren’t as hopeful because you are disappointed with how things are. There are also days where you have had enough, you just want to hide or sleep forever. Your body just cringes at the thought of the word interaction!

    I want to remind you of something very important today:

    You are not the sick person you think you are. What I mean is, your identity is not Mentally ill or Depressed or Suicidal or Anger or Loneliness or Bipolar or cancer or Hopeless or whatever comes to mind when you are thinking of where you are and how you are feeling!

    You are God’s beautiful creation!

    You are a Child of the King!

    You are chosen and adopted into His family!

    You are sealed with His Holy Spirit!

    You are loved!

    You are an heir to His Kingdom!

    You are and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing!

    You are who God says you are!

    You are made for a purpose and you are here for such a time as this!

    You are given life so that you are able to tell your story because you CAN make a difference!

    Wherever you are right now and whatever you are going through does NOT define who you are and what you will be!

    You matter to those around you but most of all, you matter the most to the Heavenly Father!

    Friend, I know it is hard! It’s tough! It’s discouraging at times BUT, there is Light not just at the end of the tunnel but where you are right now! Take His hand, walk with Him! He is NOT silent! He is close and He is right where you are! Speak to Him! You don’t need fancy words to tell Him how you feel, He knows, He wants you to ask Him for help! Know that He loves you so much!

    “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18

     

    Praying for you,

     

    May

  • Depression
  • OK is not enough

    There are days where things seem so easy and OK

    Often I hear that I can easily “get over it” or get told to “chill out”

    If you only knew how I really felt inside

    I feel like my whole body and my mind is going out of control

    There is an intense feeling of being “on the edge” with no particular cause or trigger

    I always fear this would be worse than the last episode

    My family, my friends, my whole surrounding is affected by this thing, called depression

    Some days, it is so easy to get going,

    To put my feet on the floor

    To take that first step into a new day

    To function as best as I can as a wife and Mom

    To even go to work

    To put a smile on my face

    BUT

    There are days that are SO HARD to even see the LIGHT of day

    sadman

    No, my faith is definitely not weaker in these moments

    Inside, I am begging and crying to God, my Heavenly Father, to set me free

    I am begging Him to help me

    To restore me

    I am begging Him to take this from me

    To make me whole again in my body and in my mind

    I want Him to just take this away from me

    I know He can

    I know that He is my Healer

    I know that He is bigger than this

    I know that He is definitely able

    So, while I wait

    I will continue to trust

    I will continue to hold on

    That even in these dark times, dark moments

    He is still with me

    I cling onto those promises!

    Pray for me, please!

    For you dear friend, who may be out there going through this or worse:

    Please, do not keep silent!

    Find someone to talk to!

    Get help! 

    My prayer for you as I write this:

    Wherever you are right now, lay that blade down, lay that note down, whatever it is that you are planning to take your life away-put it down!

    You’re life is important!

    You are important and you matter! 

    You are dearly loved!

    Heavenly Father, please God, encounter my dear friend wherever they are right now.

    Make Yourself known to them.

    Please, surround them with Your presence,  speak to them.

    Comfort them!

    Let them know that You created them for a purpose and that Your plans are good.

    Remind them that You have not abandoned them.

    Help them to know that Your love is so HIGH, so WIDE  and SO DEEP for them that You sent Your One and Only Son to die on the cross for them.

    That You rose again and are coming back again for us. 

    Help them to know that even in these situations where You don’t seem near or even real, that You are right where they are!

    Let them know that You are real!

    That YOU are everything they need right now! 

    Comfort them!

    In Your name, I pray,

    Amen!

    If you are in need of anyone to talk to, find a local Pastor or counselor or

    call National Alliance on Mental Illness at

    CALL THE NAMI HELPLINE
    800-950-NAMI info@nami.org
    M-F, 10 AM – 6 PM ET
    Find Help in a crisis or Text “NAMI” to 741741 –

    www.nami.org/Find-Your-Local-NAMI?state=CA%20v#sthash.Oe7CaBfA.dpuf

    or

    Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-talk

  • Encouragement
  • From the depths…

    image

    From the depths of my soul, I cry out to You

    Come near

    Restore me, restore my Joy

     I am holding onto You for dear life

    Storms rage all around me

    The waves of trouble are engulfing me

    Doubt, worry and stress plague and haunt me

    My heart is broken

    This night seems long

    But I will REST in You

    I will be still in the midst of all this

    I will sit at Your feet

    You quiet me with Your love, Your voice and Your singing

    I will rest my soul

    I will rejoice in these hard times

    I will rejoice because Your presence is always before me

    I won’t fear anymore

    My mourning will turn into dancing and singing

    You continue to uphold me with Your right hand

    Joy does come in the morning!

  • Encouragement
  • Don’t give up!

    We give up easier than trying…

    We don’t fight hard enough for those near and dear to us because finding a way out is easier!

    Don’t you know that there is Someone who fights for us daily? We struggle with thinking that we are alone in our situation.

    No matter how hard life knocks us, God is FIGHTING for us!

    His ultimate show of fighting for us was sending His Son to die on the cross for us with a promise of rising again after 3 days and a promise to come back again for us!

    What a VICTORY we have in Christ!!

    He didn’t give up on us!

    He WILL NEVER give up on us!

    So, wherever you are right now,

    Don’t give up!

    image

    Keep running this race.

    Keep fighting for those things that are near and dear to you, family, marriage, life…

    Hang in there!

    Trust Him! He IS fighting for us!

  • Encouragement
  • Hard Prayers

    “Savior, He can move the mountains, My God is Mighty to save”

    May Chappell – Daddy, Bella and Gabbi singing

    We went to the emergency room close to midnight. Bella was so sick that she had to go through all these tests where they poked and prodded her everywhere. We were just being entertained by so many doctors and nurses who simply had no answers for us.

    Chris and I couldn’t let ourselves be too worried because we knew that if we showed any kind of panic or worry around Bella, it wouldn’t be good. Besides, she was singing at the top of her lungs at this point.

    My heart and my mind was out of control, though.

    For almost 5 years we prayed to have this little one. Now, she is lying on a hospital bed. We didn’t know if she was in any kind of pain either, because if you know Bella, she is just like that. She doesn’t let on how bad she hurts any where. Before the age of 2, she had 4 major surgeries on her clubfoot. When I say major, I am talking about 4.5 hours in the OR. She came out of each of those surgeries fine, smiling and sometimes laughing.

    Our couple of hours turned into almost 6 hours in the emergency room and none of those hours were we left just hanging out in the room by ourselves…I mean, the doctors and nurses were constantly drawing blood, checking her for any kind of infection, getting x-rays, etc. She just hung in there like a champ and still singing Mighty to Save.

    Finally, around 5:30am or so, we were all sent home to get some rest. We would wait to hear back about the results of some of the other tests. We saw our first sunrise in Maine that day!

    Late into the afternoon, we were all at the church cleaning and practicing for praise and worship. Clearly, Bella was not herself. She was very weak so our practice was not as productive. Gabbi was crawling everywhere with no care in the world and we were so tired from all that happened the night before.

    The phone suddenly rings with the ER doctor on the other line:

    “Are you Isabella’s Mom?”

    “Yes”

    “Please come back to the ER right now, Isabella has bacteria in her blood and we need to start treating her right now. All her results just came back.”

    Chris and I didn’t ask questions. We just packed the girls up in the car and made our way back to the hospital.

    We got to the hospital and Bella was just as lethargic as she was when we first brought her in.

    Everything became a blur but her singing…her voice, a little weaker this time:

    “Savior, He can move the mountains, my God is Mighty to Save

    Forever Author of Salvation

    He rose and conquered the grave”

    Over and over she kept singing this…Chris and I held the miracle baby beside us and Gabbi, who was 8 months old, hung onto her sister tightly. We prayed for God to heal our little girl as the nurses started her IV line. I didn’t know at the time how to really react to what was going on…I was in pain inside.

    I had a long talk with God.

    It took ALL I could to pray this way:

    “Ok, God, I know You can heal Bella

    I know You can make her better

    But if Your healing isn’t exactly the way I think it is and Your plan is different from ours

    Then, I am OK with that

    I thank You, for gifting us a wonderful 2 years with this little determined little girl

    Do what You have to do to make her better,

    Amen”

    We  called our church prayer line and in NC to help pray for Bella. A friend from NC said that he was asleep and had a dream about Bella that day. He didn’t even know she was sick but knew when the phone rang Bella was not well before answering. In his dream, Bella was taken away by a big dark shadow but then a white and bigger shadow came for her and the dark shadow dropped Bella and told the white and bigger shadow, “Fine, you can have her back…” and went running away from Bella and the white bigger something held Bella tightly and close. Bella was safe and sound.

    God did something that night.

    He taught us how to completely surrender again.

    First, He taught us how to surrender almost 5 years before the desire to have children. Then, He taught us how to surrender the gifts He has blessed us with, no matter what and how that would look like.

    Bella responded quickly to the IV’s given to her but we were instructed to go to ER for the next 10 days to have her injected with high doses of antibiotics.

    Many prayed for her and the sweet little girl recovered quickly from the bacteria in her blood and after 3 days, she was able to be on oral antibiotics. God healed her, God answered the way I prayed and begged that He would.

    Knowing that Bella may not have survived that event, we are truly grateful for God’s hand on her life. We know that from the very beginning, God truly made her special. She is so determined to do a lot of things and nothing stops her. She inspires me everyday to keep going and not to let things stop me from chasing a dream or a goal! Our mountains may be high and hard to climb but with our Savior, He can move those mountains. He always saves us because He is always with us. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Keep trusting Him! Don’t give up!

  • Depression
  • Child of God

    One of my last episodes entailed a scream and a very loud cry for help.

    I was sick and tired of where I was and how I was feeling.

    I kept it all bottled in.

    Suddenly, I became a volcano that erupted with very hot lava and it just came out with a vengeance. Like the lava not only boiled inside of me, but the height at which all my emotions came was high and fast…

    I was tired.

    I was angry.

    I was sad.

    I was stressed.

    I was not myself anymore.

    Then this song came:

    “I am no longer a slave to fear

      I am a child of God

    From my Mother’s womb

    You have chosen me

    Love has called my name

    I’ve been born again into Your family

    Your blood flows through my veins

    You split the sea so I could walk right through it

    My fears were drowned in perfect love

    You rescued me so I could stand and sing

    I am a child of God”

    My biggest fear was that I would not be able to fight this good fight well because of my condition. I was afraid that I was failing at this thing called life…failing as a wife and Mom.

    But the song reminded me of something about me…I am a child of God.

    Fear has NO grip on my life.

    Fear does NOT have me.

    Fear is NOT going to kill me.

    You see, I am a child of God.

    As I have said before in other posts, I am not less of a believer in Christ because of mental illness. I am a child of the King of Kings! Sometimes in these episodes, I forget that I am His…that no matter what, He is always with me. I may not understand why things are the way they are but He sees everything. He knows what’s going on. He is always where I am and I can’t go anywhere where His presence is not around or with me! That is how much He loves me!  As far as fighting well, we just need to STAND! He is fighting for us! He has the Victory!

  • Depression
  • Just OK

     

    For a person who struggles daily with any kind of mental illness, there is always this voice inside that says there is little value in living.

    EVERY.SINGLE.DAY is such a struggle.
    Every day we have to find ways to be OK with just being OK. For OK to be JUST enough and good enough. To be content with the fact, that for us, it’s OK not to be over the moon excited about life when those dark times come OR ALL the time!

    BUT if I am completely honest, those dark days are the worst because it seems that you can just turn the light switch on and off with depression. I could be extremely happy and excited about something one moment but then something happens. It could be something I see or feel and then it is back down the doldrums! Also, when those dark times come, there is also fear. The fear of how bad it can be or if it would be worse than the last episode. The struggle is more real than anyone could ever comprehend. Unless, you, yourself have experienced this!

    The worst part of all this is that people who have never ever experienced these struggles try to empathize with you. I know for a fact that many are just trying to be compassionate and loving but I would just forgo hearing any kind of sympathy. For me, I would rather be hugged or be heard. Sometimes, withdrawing from people is almost a part of healing. For some, withdrawing is the most dangerous thing a person who has mental illness can do.

    All we want is to know that you are there…

    All we want to hear is that you will listen…

    All we want to hear is that you will be by our side no matter what…

    All we want to know is that a hug can be offered…

    That a shoulder that is available to cry on…

    All we want to know is you won’t fix it and you won’t try to fix it with your words…

    That we are NOT alone…

  • Encouragement
  • Just Stand

    sadman

    To the one who just can’t take it anymore,

    I see you in your struggle

    The fight to stop all the bad thoughts from swirling in your head

    I see you

    I know you just want to throw your hands up in the air and give up

    I know you feel like everything you do is worthless

    Unrecognized

    I see how much you want to run away from it all

    To escape

    But you are exactly where you are right now for a reason

    A reason you may not understand

    No, God’s not picking on you

    He is doing something far greater than you can ever imagine

    No, He didn’t cause you to feel like this

    BUT whatever “THIS” is

    He has promised to ALWAYS see you through

    He has promised to ALWAYS be here for you

    He will never leave

    Know this, when you feel like you can’t fight these battles,

    He is fighting for you

    All He requires is that you stand

    Take heart

    Be of good courage

    Trust in Him

    Because this WILL pass

    In the meantime, cling onto Him

    Hold tightly

    Don’t lose hope

    Have faith

    He WILL see you through

    “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

    Ephesians 6:13