Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fuzzy Images

As I mentioned in my previous blog, we've had some pretty crazy weather in Colorado over the past few days. This is a picture out of our front window on Thursday morning--blizzard conditions. We could hardly see our mailbox, let alone our neighbors' house across the street.

That night as I laid in bed, this image from our front window stuck with me.

Blinding conditions

Limited vision


Seemingly endless

Over the past seven months I have struggled with a sickness no one seems to want to talk about. Everyone knows it exists and that 10 to 20 percent of new mothers experience it. (80-90% of new mothers experience some amount of it for shorter periods of time).

Everyone knows about it, but they don't seem to know how to talk about it. I still don't.

The thing about Post Pardum Depression is that no one would have to know that someone is suffering from it. There aren't necessarily any outward symptoms or signs. For me, at least, I haven't suffered from sudden outbursts of crying or extreme mood swings. I have no trouble taking care of Anders--especially because God gave me a baby with such a great personality. I don't think that I've isolated myself from families or friends. And I haven't quit doing the things I enjoy.

My problems occur inside my brain. And it's so frustrating.

Picking out a card for a friend. Choosing a movie at the rental store. Which box of crackers to purchase. How to begin working on a complicated project. Knowing what paper to choose for my scrapbook page.

All of these routine activities can be absolutely paralyzing for me. Debilitating. The situations seem to create "blinding conditions" for me, with "limited vision", much like the blizzard we experienced last week. Joel describes it as my "glazed over" look because my eyes literally glaze over and I am unable to make a decision. It's a strange feeling for me--one that is difficult to describe. I know when I'm in the moment--because I'm usually so decisive--but it's like the U2 song--I'm stuck in a moment that I can't get out of.

Making lots of decisions right in a row can be even more complicated for me. And exhausting. Complete "white-out conditions". Enough to close down the roads. Or in my case, my brain.

The other situation that causes anxiety for me includes large groups of people--people I may or may not know--small talk, periods of time longer than about an hour, almost any hour of the day--but even worse after about 6pm. I think sometimes it makes me come across as disinterested or rude. Or cold. Like the bitter temperatures that accompanied the snowstorm. I'm not disinterested in people. And I really hope I'm not rude. I literally just can't spit the words out to start up, let alone maintain, a conversation.

The worst part of PPD is that it is seemingly endless. It has been 7 months since Anders was born. I would think that life would have moved forward for me by now. And it has, in many, many ways. I love Anders. He is such a great kid. I love my job. I have great friends. Joel takes great care of me. And we have so many other blessings in our lives.

But parts of my life are just like the picture. Blurry. Fuzzy. Seemingly endless.

As I laid in bed last week, I believe God gave me this image to hold on to as a promise. Even though parts of my life appear to be stormy, He's still in control. Even though the storm seems to go on and on, it will end. Storms always do. Even if the roads are closed now, they will re-open.

And my blurry picture will one day end up clear. It is Springtime, after all.


Flogger said...

Wish I could offer you some sage advice but I can't. Hang in there, kiddo! God bless!!!

Emily Kaye said...

Dealing with depression (which I'm still doing) does, at times, seem endless and blurry. I'll be keeping you in my prayers and hope that the blurryness goes away to reveal the beautiful sunshine!

ski said...

Oh Sarah, I wish I could help. Thank you for sharing, I am suffering from depression dut to perimenopause. In reading about it I am learning so much about hormones and how when they get out of balance how much it can effect us, in ways we don't connect to hormone inbalances. I wonder if ppd is similar? All those hormonses changing so rapidly. I am glad you have support and hang in there.

Jeni said...

Sorry you're going through this storm. :( It's a great promise to know that He will bring you through it. He's right there with you through it.

Beverly said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Sarah. I've been wondering how you were doing with this and will continue to pray for you.

Aimee said...

I do understand and you said how I have felt many times. Sorry we had to share this...Love, Aimee

gergandnique said...

Its been a while since I have been on your blog. Thank you for sharing your heart. I pray that I can be a friend to help you through to sunnier days... :)

alhirsch2010 said...

I too haven't visited your site in a while. Dearest Sarah, you have an army of friends who want to help you and encourage you. Please let us know what we can do: Do we call and ask you out for coffee? Do you want to get out of the house more? Do you need help doing chores around the house? Do we just write a note to let you know we're thinking of you? Do we back away and give you a little more space so you can process what God is teaching? What do you need and what can we offer?