Winter can be particularly hard for those of us with mental illness. This winter has hit me harder than usual.
When January 1st came along, I gave birth to our sweet baby “Ryn”. It was a much desired end to a difficult and tiresome pregnancy, and the birth went well but it was fast and painful. I had seemingly no time to just rest and enjoy my newborn. My older children were gone for just one night, and then I had the main responsibility of caring for them and our home again. I had to prepare to attend my aunt’s funeral, and my mother was in mourning. I felt alone, and very busy.
I struggled to feel attached to Ryn because of everything going on. I loved her, no question about it, but I lacked the elated over-the-moon in love feeling I usually have. I felt depression wrapping its sticky arms over me, and anxiety climbing up inside of me.
I reached out to my husband, family, friends. I let people know “hey, I’m having a hard time here.” It helped, and I was able to spend some time alone with Ryn; I developed that intense love I had been looking for.
We were also hit with the flu in February, which in a big family takes weeks to go through everyone. It felt like I was hit by a truck, while caring for sick little ones.
I felt a need to distract myself all the time with mindless things. Simple tasks felt impossible and overwhelming. The less I did, the more stressed and worried I became.
My husband and some friends reminded me to focus on only the most important things. Dishes in the sink, laundry to fold? That can wait. They gave me permission to not be perfectly on top of things.
I have slowly gotten better and better, but I’m not fully there yet.
Another thing I have to remind myself of–prayer. It seems that when I need to rest in His presence the most, I hide and rely on myself. Very foolish thing to do, because when I finally do open scripture and go to Him in prayer, I feel relief and peace.
Spring is coming soon. My oldest child will be turning 8 YEARS OLD! I’m looking forward to the sun warming my skin, and the smell of the earth renewing its life. I dream of long hikes with my children, and time spent playing outside.
In the meantime, I have to keep trying and believe it is enough.