I’ve had several down days in these past couple of weeks. I cried in my therapist’s office. I beat myself up about my past parenting. I’ve caught myself using self-deprecating words to myself, speaking negatively to me about me.
My husband has noticed – he’s very tuned in to my moods. In fact, he saw it before I did. But I’ve noticed a lower rating on my daily mood scale. So I’ve known something was going on.
We had a week or more of rainy days, so I was lacking in natural Vitamin D (I take a supplement anyway). I had some serious self-evaluation going on, and had to fight my own negative voices with God’s truth about how He sees me. My left leg is causing consistent shooting pain; it could be lumbar stenosis, which doesn’t really get better except with pain relievers and gentle stretching – when whatever inflammation exists subsides. Walking hurts, so exercise is hard(er) for me.
I realized today the foundational truth of Fresh Hope, the peer-led support group we’re starting at our church. Their mission is: To empower individuals with a mental health challenge, along with their loved ones, to live a full and rich faith-filled life in spite of having a mental health diagnosis.
I can choose to live a life that is rich and faith-filled. I can choose mental health vs. mental illness.
I have a mental health diagnosis – Major Depressive Disorder, Moderate to Severe, Recurrent. But that doesn’t mean I’m always depressed. Right now, my depression is in remission, and I’m relatively healthy (except for my leg pain).
It means, like I told my therapist today, that I realize that sometimes I can coast, and other times I have to fight for my mental wellness. So I’m fighting for it a bit right now. That’s ok.