Wednesday, October 09, 2013

What Is Normal Anyway?

I have throughout my childbearing years had many varying perspectives on what normal is. Google defines normal as "conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected."
If you are reading this and are going through a PPMD (Postpartum Mood Disorder) you are probably thinking that normal is "anything but what I am going through". And you are right. Sort of. What you are going through may just be normal for what situation you are in. Yes, you are not experiencing the same things as those who are not childbearing, and you are not experiencing the same thing that men are experiencing, so that, in itself puts you in a pretty small category. You are not experiencing their normal. You are experiencing a different normal.
When we experience hundreds of negative thoughts a day, and an abundance of feelings of resentment towards ourselves, our children, spouse, or extended family members, though, our normal is generally something we would rather not be experiencing. This is when we need help. Perhaps household or babysitting help. Perhaps a hormone balancer (like Vitex). Counselors and psychotherapists were trained to be able to help people going through this kind of thing. As much as I wish that anyone else of my choice was trained to deal with my issues and help me through them, no one else is really going to do the job. Some would love to be able to do it, others would rather go scratch a chalkboard than listen to you explain all your emotions to them and expect them to have any kind of solution for you besides, "Go get on some medication, lady, because you are seriously messed up!"
And in your head you may be thinking, "I know I am! That's why I'm talking to you!"
I always wished that people in general would acknowledge my feelings as normal for my situation. I was very surprised when even people with a lot of children seemed like they didn't have any notion of why I might be overwhelmed, sad, depressed, short tempered, etc... I have come to the conclusion that they were either just a lot more talented than I or a lot more forgetful than I.
Many of my emotions stemmed from my basic human need to not be alone. I wanted to feel supported, helped, and like I had a cheer leader and comforter there at all times.
I am so thankful for the wonderful sisters, mother, counselors, friends, and children that I have that brought me through the experiences I had with mood "disorders" throughout all of the years past.
The biggest and most precious lesson I have learned through all of it, is that I never do walk alone. I HAVE cheerleaders, support, and I have a comforter. I just don't see them with my mortal eyes. I know they are there though because I have felt them with my heart.
I have had counselors and my unseen cheerleaders who have helped me to see that the Savior really is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Normal is relative. I don't think the Lord expects us to be normal, according to the world's definition. He stands at the door and knocks whether we hear it or not. He knows the work of women. He knows you, your life, your heart and your family. His love is always there for you and you never walk alone. Just open the door.
Here is a link to a talk given by the prophet about how we never walk alone.
https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/general-relief-society-meeting/2013/09/we-never-walk-alone?lang=eng

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