Posts tagged ‘depression’

Stuck in Molasses Swamp

20170718_Candy Land Spread Out

I’ve been in a stuck in a swamp of major Bipolar depression for nearly three months now.  When I first felt myself falling in, I reached out to my counselor, with whom I had fallen out of contact.  I patiently awaited my psychiatrist appointment, which wasn’t until in mid-July.  My counselor didn’t want me to wait until then, however, suggesting that I “get evaluated” at a mental health institution.  That was NOT going to happen.  I have a “fear of commitment,” especially considering what happened the last time I was there.  Anyway, I saw my Psychiatrist a few days ago and she adjusted my medication quite a bit.  Of course, it’s too early to have taken effect but I am hopeful.

Everyone has ups and downs in their lives.  It is just so much more extreme for people with Bipolar disorder.  But God promises to be there every step of the way, even when our burden gets too heavy for us to bear.  Of all the symptoms a depressed person experiences, “hopelessness” has not been one of them for me.  Hope is the one thing I have been able to hold on to, to get me through this valley.  It’s a “Footprints” in the sand sort of situation:

Footprints in the Sand

If you’re unfamiliar with this poem, it’s worth the read!

 

The twins’ birthday was at the end of June, I now have two threes!

20170701_Birthday Blowout - Brooks

Though they bring me lots of joy, they are about three handfuls nowadays, stretching borders and testing limits.  I have implemented a “Stop Light” behavioral system.  Each morning they start out on green and if they stay on green they get a reward at the end of the day.  But if they misbehave, they get a warning and move to yellow, then red, then it’s Time Out.  If their behavior improves, they can move back down the color chart.  Bella often ends the day on green, but Brooks (my rough-&-tumble, all-boy, mischief maker) is usually up at the top on red.

20170718_Stop light Chart - Right thing to do

But the other night, they both ended their day on green and as a reward, I offered to play a special game with them.  I pulled out “Candy Land” and explained how to play.  They were so excited at first, but Brooks quickly became bored with the board game (pun intended) and wandered off to play something else on his own.  Bella and I continued and she got “Queen Frostine” rather quickly, which put her way ahead of me, which made me happy because I wanted her to win the game her first time playing.  But then I drew “Princess Lolly,” then got double blues which put me ahead of her.  She was cool about it, though.  As we both approached “Gloppy at Molasses Swamp” I warned her, jokingly, “Now don’t draw a red, don’t draw a red card, if you do, you’ll get stuck until you get another red card!”  The tension built as we both got closer and closer to the red game piece with the black dot on it, when low and behold, she got a purple, just past the red.  And low and behold, I drew a red and got stuck in “Molasses Swamp.”

20170718_Molasses swamp

As Bella got closer and closer to the end of the game, and I kept drawing cards that weren’t red, she started to get visibly concerned.  Finally, when she was just two colors away from winning, she took her pawn’s hand and used it to grab my pawn’s hand and pulled mine up with hers.  “I saved you, mommy, Now we both winneded!” she exclaimed as she put both pieces on “Candy Castle.”

Tears welled up in my eyes as I tried my best not to cry.  Little moments like that do save me.  In those moments no one loses.  And even the smallest of victories count.  We can’t always save ourselves but God can use others to pull us out of the swamp.

(Mica 9, Hope 8, Brooks & Bella 3, Asher 2, Audrey 5 mo)

Double Talk Quote: “Oh my gosh, I never seen that in the world!” – Brooks 6/17 (in awe at Mica’s super-long Chinese noodle)

Bible Verse: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Word that has Lost its Meaning:  stuck

Relatable Lyrics:  “Quiet you with my Love” By Rebecca St. James

“Come to Me, all who are weary
And take My yoke upon you
My burden is easy and light

Lay your head down on My shoulders
Be still my child, rest a while

And I’ll quiet you with My love
Rejoice over you with My song”

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Claiming Victory

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I made the drive home from church.  Making it there to serve in itself was a miracle.  I probably shouldn’t have driven home but it was the only place I wanted to be.  So I took some medicine and took deep breaths the whole way home.  See, in the parking lot as I was leaving, I felt a panic attack coming on.  I’ve been struggling with bipolar depression lately.  The deep, daunting, paranoia-filled affliction has encompassed me, debilitated me, and encumbered me from doing the simplest things, such as taking a shower or washing dishes, to my most important job, mommying.

Anytime I start to think big, I feel like Satan rallies his demonic troops and launches a full-blown attack against me.  Some might think I’m paranoid.  But this is backed by the Bible (which is my test to see if I’m being paranoid).  And this is Biblical:  Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  I’ve got some big things coming up.  At the beginning of last month, I started actively pursuing a way to get my “Think Big and Be Big” scriptural affirmation cards off the ground.  I also got the idea to start a topical small group for writers at my church.

It’s so hard to claim victory in the midst of despair.  I know God has won the war for my soul but that doesn’t mean I don’t get wounded in battle.  But it’s the little victories that lead back to the path of stability.

The other day I was too weary to get out of bed.  I had to ask my mother to keep the kids.  After sleeping for over 19 hours straight, I woke up, and prayed my simple prayer, once again, “God, please help me.”  Then, I got up and cleaned my daughter’s disaster of a room, which took about three hours of concentrated effort.  The twins came in and climbed on everything and wanted to get into big sissy’s stuff and play (which of course, I took some time to do).  Cleaning and spending time with my little ones… It was a small victory, but a victory none-the-less.

Throughout this depressive episode, I’ve tried to get out and do things even if I didn’t feel like it.  I dragged myself to a few play-dates and tried not to isolate myself, which is what I usually do, claiming that I’m sick.  I am sick but “depressed” is a more accurate description.  I hate claiming that over myself.  I’ve been deeply depressed for nearly a month now, but I’ve got some important milestones coming up that I pray will help pull me out.

I seriously considered canceling that writer’s small group, which is set to begin this Thursday (and I’m supposed to be the “leader”).  Me, in my condition, leading a small group of any kind will be, well, another miracle.  But God wouldn’t let me let go of that idea so I know that with His help and guidance, I can do it.

So I have to claim victory, not defeat!  Regardless of how I feel, I know that God’s got me and He has His purpose and plans to build me up and NOT let me down!  I believe that.  I put all my hope in that.  I have faith that He will pull me through this storm.  I claim victory now, Lord.  I have the victory in Jesus.

Double Talk Quote: “Mommy, I’ll sing a song to you so you’ll feel better.” – Bella 5/17/17

Bible Verse: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

Word that has Lost its Meaning:  defeated

Relatable Lyrics:  Victory In Jesus – the classic hymn

AND THEN I CRIED
“DEAR JESUS,
COME AND HEAL
MY BROKEN SPIRIT”
AND SOMEHOW JESUS
CAME AND BROUGHT
TO ME THE VICTORY!

20170526_funny big red chair - 5 earthquakers, Audrey

Bella (2), Baby “Rain” (4 months), Mica (9), Brooks (2), and “Hope” (8)

 

Bless your heart, little “Rain”, I know how you feel!

*Note:  Sorry if this was a “rambling” post.  At least right now, I’m able to think in full sentences!

What To Do When…

 20170505_Super Brooks Sleeping

When so much is going on around you that you just can’t respond…

When you feel like you’re in the center of a hurricane…

When you force yourself out of bed just long enough to throw lunch together for your babes…

When your hands are shaking so hard you can barely type…

When you don’t even have the energy to change the sheets from the pee-pee accident that your little one made in the bed last night; the very bed you can’t get out of, just covered up with a towel….

When there’s nothing on TV; at least nothing you could possibly focus on…

When you don’t know the day or date without looking it up on your phone or computer for the 3rd time today…

When you look at your to-do list and freeze…

When you can’t laugh…

When you can’t cry…

When you don’t even care that they’re getting into your jewelry or makeup or other breakable / messy things…

When you don’t care that there’s rice sprinkled all over the living room furniture…

When one of them asks you for help and you say, “in just a few minutes, baby.  Mommy’s resting…”

When you lost your confidence overnight…

When you read a journal entry from just last week and can’t relate nor do you even remember writing it…

When you can’t think in complete sentences…

 

Double Talk Quote: “Mommy, mommy, look what I can do!” – Brooks  (Jumps from on top of desk to bed as I try to type this), “uh-huh, that’s nice, son.”

Bible Verse: “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalms 121:1-2

Word that has Lost its meaning:  awake

Relatable Lyrics:  “Everybody’s Changing” by Keane

“So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same.”

Upside Down

upside down TP toilet paper

Despite toggling among 6 different psychiatric medications, I still have up and down days.

It was Sunday (the day Satan loves to attack the most) and I got up early to prepare my lesson for the Church’s kid’s ministry.  I felt fine, energetic even.  After reading the lesson plan, I had all kind of supplemental ideas and gathered the material I’d need for it along with everything else I’d have to take to church that morning.

But then, seemingly out of nowhere, I started feeling tired.  At the same time, the babies started to wake up.  I went and laid down to cuddle them.  For some reason, tears started pouring out of my eyes.  I didn’t feel sad, just heavy and tired and overwhelmed.  My back was hurting too.  So, after much mental debate, (and the realization that I was running out of time), I sent a message to let the church know I wouldn’t be able to make it.  I needed a “down day.”  Amor and Grandma took care of the kids all morning until around nap time.

The last time I was this “sick” (Ok, yes, let’s call it like it is – “depressed”), I had come out of it only to find myself extremely frustrated by the house being upside down and things not having been done “my way.”  I was angry at Amor for not doing things more thoroughly, but mostly I was mad at myself for not being able to handle it all.  I thought about that.  

I was so down, though and isolating, that I didn’t want to get up to go to the bathroom or leave the comfort of my room to grab a soda.  I kept the babies in my room watching Curious George II from about 3 – 5:30pm.  Their sweetness brightened me, but I was still very tired.  So I sent them outside with Amor.  Grandma was in her room.  I hurriedly threw pizzas in the oven and microwaved veggies and set them up for dinner.  I did my nightly “side work” and went to bed at 6:45pm.

I woke up at 6:45am in a rush to do devotions with Mica and Hope and get them ready for school only to discover the following:  

  • Kitchen table with yesterday’s dinner not put away, covered in ants
  • Cat vomit on the floor
  • Dishes piled up in the sink
  • Toothpaste still on the toddlers’ toothbrushes (they hadn’t brushed day or night)
  • Crackers smushed into the carpet that I’d just vacuumed
  • Every trash can in the house full to the brim
  • Pointy toys littered the floor, out of place, just begging to be stepped on
  • (later:  daughter and neighbor T.P.ed the backyard!)

I shook it all off and tried to stay calm about it, but Amor sensed my irritation.  I had an appointment with my therapist but no one to watch the babies.  I really needed to get to that session!  I contacted six people before I finally got something worked out (Grandma and Mica to the rescue)!   

I spent some time turning the house right-side up again.  And it feels good for me to be right-side up again today, even though I’m still struggling.  At least I’ve got my family and they’ve got my back, and that’s what really matters.  And God’s got this.  I know.

(Written Monday 6/6/16, Twins 23 months, Mica 8, Hope 7)

upside down - Mommy Belle, Bella Brooks

Double Talk Quote: “Oh my goodness, this place is upside-down” – Amor upon coming home early to a bit of mess (ok, a lot of a mess) in the living room.  6/10/16

Bible Verse: ”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Ephesians 6:12

Term that has Lost its meaning: sick leave

Relatable Lyrics: “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson

“Who’s to say
I can’t do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren’t always just what they seem
I want to turn the whole thing upside down.”

Challenges

Draconian Time-out, brooks by Micaela

Within the past 12 hours, I’ve been tagged for challenges both on the Blogosphere and on Facebook.  They are simple, fun, and easy to accept challenges that, under normal circumstances, I’d jump right to doing:  Posting a picture of myself during a good mommy moment and putting three of my favorite quotes on my blog would be fun, right?  But circumstances are never exactly “normal” with me.

On Friday, while going through my mail after our mini-vacation, I got some daunting news; well, several pieces of daunting news that have sent me slipping.  I’ll spare you the details, but just know, it was bad news and I have to respond it.  It’s anxiety-provoking and I’m overwhelmed at the fights I’m up against.  These are real life challenges and they are hard.  I feel like I have several mountains to climb and only a few days in which to climb them.  It’s made me weary just thinking about it and trying to get organized enough to fight the battles.

Yesterday, I did the bare minimum to get by.  I made sure my family was fed and that homework got done and cleaned a little, but it was so hard to force myself to accomplish much more than that.  This morning I could barely get out of bed.

I want to rise to the occasion and give these challenges to God, not sink into depression, which is exactly what Satan want me to do.

Dear God, please give me the strength I need to persevere and attack these challenges without getting worried or depressed over them.

(April 5, 2016 – Twins 21 months, Mica 8, Hope 6)

Double Talk Quote: “I put Brooks in time-out” – Mica (above photo)

Bible Verse: Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.  Psalm 55:22

Word that has Lost its meaning: Normal

Relatable Lyrics:  “Overcomer” by Mandisa

“…Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer.”

Previous Post Update:  An Unfrozen Moment!

A NEW song for your brain (a second refrain)

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This past week, one of the pastors at our church preached a sermon about gratitude and thinking patterns, both from a Christian and a scientific perspective.  The sermon really ‘struck a chord’ with me, so to speak.  It was so in-line with what I write about that I just had to repeat This Article  I wrote over a year ago:

In a depressed mind, neurotransmitters do not work properly. Often the problem is complicated by the fact that neural pathways that have already been formed are often the “go-to” route because they have been used so much. They are the “beaten path” so to speak. A tired brain which is not functioning properly anyway says to itself, “Go the way you know.” In a depressed brain that way is usually a depressed path.

Current path: negative thought –→ acceptance of negative thought –→ obsession on negative thought –→ negative feeling –→ possible negative action

It is very difficult to break that pattern. However, brains are very resilient and are abundantly blessed with neuroplasticity. It is like any muscle movement that has become a habit. Have you ever learned to play a particular song on an instrument and always seem to err at one particular place every time? Your fingers have learned to take the wrong pathway. You correct the problem by practicing a new movement. The same is true for our thinking patterns. The brain has hardwired itself to think a certain way, but it can be retrained! Reprogram Neural Synapse Pathways using affirmations and scriptures.

New Path: negative thought → recognition of thought → replace with TRUE thought backed by scripture → positive feelings → positive action

Satan is the author of confusion and a proficient liar. Why do we even think negative thoughts? They are the whispers of Satan to God’s anointed people. Give your brain a new song today!

 

This is the basis of my Think Big, Be Big cards, that helped me get out of a spiral of bipolar depression and mania, which I would like to see published one day (and soon)!

The anointed sermon regarding the power of positive thinking and retraining your brain to be grateful, was delivered by Pastor Eric Freeman and is available via podcast here.

(12/3/2015, Twins 17 months, Mica 7, Hope 6)

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Double Talk Quote: “Hope is not my sibling or my friend, she’s my cousin.” – Mica, justifying why she hadn’t volunteered to “serve” Hope.   (Her God-Time Card had challenged her to secretly serve a sibling or friend.)

Bible Verse:  “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Word that has Lost its meaning: ungrateful

Relatable Lyrics:  The Thankfulness Song by Veggie Tales

“…A thankful heart is a happy heart”

(Thanks to Starla Ward for the Starlagraph Photography)

Updates & About

“Take a 10 minute, well deserved break                         & see that you, too, can relate!”

Well, I’ve had this blog for over a year now and those of you who read consistently may have noticed that I have changed a few things around.  I have:

  • Updated my “About” page (See Here)
  • Changed Theme
  • Revamped a few settings
  • Obtained a new (easier to remember) URL:  SuperMommyOfTwins.com, which matches my email address SuperMommyOfTwins@gmail.com
  • I have cards that carry my information that I can pass out to fellow “Moms Of Many” (or any mom, parent of twin, person with mood disorder or relative of person with mood disorders, or relative of someone with twins, really)

My website is not used for commerce.  I don’t sell anything.  I am giving away things here.  My thoughts, my words, my work, my prayers, my time, my ideas, and my energy are worth something.  My prayers are that:

  • with every word that I type, I am leaving a seed in the hearts of those who read it,
  • my writing is inspirational to other moms,
  • I give hope to others who also have mood disorders such as Bipolar disorder or depression,
  • I am pleasing God by obeying and glorifying Him with my writing,
  • this may be a stepping stool to getting “Think Big” cards in print somehow.

So, please see my updated “About” page and feel free to comment here or directly at the above email address.  I’d love your feedback on the site and your thoughts about what I’m trying to accomplish with this blog.

Thanks for reading!

Me & my girls, Magnificent Mica & Beauty Bella

Me & my girls, Magnificent Mica and Beauty Bella

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Me & my Super Son, Brooks

(Twins 13 months, Mica 7)

– S. Michelle Ward Mendoza (aka SuperMommy, aka SuperBelle, aka Belle)

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