Friday, August 08, 2014

Hinting At a Sleep Chapter

I'm going through postpartum depression for the eighth time. However, this time I am very greatly benefiting from my past blog posts. I found that Satan has tried the same tricks on me over and over and over again. But this time I've had my blog posts to remind me that it's happening. They have also helped me to remember the lessons that I've learned in the past and to apply them to my life right now. I've been wanting to write a sleep chapter for a long time (because I know that sleep disturbances and lack of sleep can cause PPD), so I have done some research on how sleep, or the lack of sleep, affects postpartum mood disorders. It has been quite intriguing. Sleep disturbances and deprivation cause and aggravate the already delicate balance of Estrogen to Progesterone, as well as the thyroid hormones and ones that are associated with satiety and growth. I knew how important sleep was before, but I'm finding out that perhaps it's even a little more important then I realized. But now as well as in times past, I am left with the question, "so, how do I get more sleep?"
Lessons learned: getting enough sleep usually takes more sacrifice, prioritizing and prayers then I want to, but it is always worth it when I put forth the effort to do a bedtime routine (started early), calm down before bed, and don't get too stressed out during the night. It's important to wake up with a prayer in my heart, praying for the sleep that I got to be enough sleep for the day.
Some great news about the postpartum experience this time is that because of the new perspectives and knowledge that I have gained, through study, faith, journaling, temple attendance, prayer and blogging, I have fewer issues with taking supplements for hormone balancing. The trouble before, and I suppose with many other experiences, is that I (we) get into a place with the hormone imbalance where it is so easy for us to hear Satan's voice. We are also in a weakened state physically, and mentally because of the sleep deprivation, that we don't feel strong enough to withstand the fiery darts of Satan. And, the last things he is going to tell us to do is to believe in Jesus Christ, think with common sense, and fix the hormone imbalance, and get more sleep, exercise, water, resist junk food, eat great foods, etc.… so we run into the very discouraging thoughts, "I am so evil, and I never seem to get anything right... I thought I worked through this yesterday.... Why can't I just get over it?" We may think that we have caused our feelings of unworthiness by our actions or lack of, and so deserve to be feeling this way, so we don't consider medication or supplements to be something that would help us.
Ignoring anything that IS a real problem can turn into a bigger problem though, so here is a suggestion on how to take medication or supplements and prevent the feeling or thought that you are not just frosting coating your problems. Before you get on the hormone balancer, write down your mental problems that you can't seem to solve while not on the meds/supplements. Include in-law issues, feeding problems, health problems, issues with your husband, anger issues, problems with children, with society, testimony, house work, money, etc... Then after going on the meds/supplements, you will hopefully start feeling better quickly, but after a week or two, evaluate your problem list, praying first to know which problems you still need to deal with, and which one to start with. Create a journal entry (or several) about this, your experience, the problems you need to address and how you will address them. Remember that God is on your side as well as on the side of everyone you are having problems with. He loves us all more deeply than we can understand.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Power of Words: 40 Things To Say To A Woman Who Has Had A Baby Within The Past Year

The energy of your words can make all the difference in a woman's postpartum experience. It is my opinion that women know exactly what they are supposed to do, just maybe not how to do it all right now. Unless they ask you for advice, they probably need more cheering on and understanding than anything else; words of encouragement and just plain help. Satan tells childbearing women so many silly lies, and if the body is weakened in any way, it makes it more difficult to fight against those lies. Some of these things are in direct contradiction to those lies that are so common among these women. (Honestly, this is a list I made in an effort to record what things I would want to hear in the postpartum year, when I was recently recovered from my last PPD experience. If you have any to add please leave a comment :)
1. You are a glorious person!
2. Thank you!
3. I love to see you using your power for good!
4. You radiate light with your laughter and smiles!
5. What can I do to help you?
6. You are an awesome warrior!
7. Let go of the bad.
8. God is with you.
9.  Say nothing - just give hugs.
10. Treasure the good.
11. I love the way you...
12. Wow! Way to speak truth!
13. You always seem to be doing such awesome things with your life!
14. Wow! What faith you have!
15. Just hold on a little longer.
16. You have more power than you realize!
17. When you meet resistance, you really push through it!
18. I love the way you allow yourself to feel joy even when things aren't perfect!
19. Motherhood is radiance!
20. Mothers are beautiful!
21. Nurse away and love every minute of it!
22. Can I do the dishes for you?
23. Can I read your kids a book?
24. Do you need a foot rub?
25. Would it be okay if I rubbed your scalp?
26. I love you!
27. Can we do lunch sometime?
28. I brought you some soup and bread!
29. Take charge. You' da woman!
30. Being the Mom is such a great blessing.
31. You can do it!
32. Would you like me to teach you how to...
33. You are beautiful!
34. What do you want?
35. Is there something you need help with?
36. What do you need?
37. You are doing a great job at being the best you!
38. You are doing it!
39. Wow! You have so many awesome righteous desires!
40. You're making a big difference with every little thing you do!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Past

There is something about our pasts that seems to bind us somehow - in good ways and bad. Much of my postpartum depression has come from me holding on to the past too much. There were wrongs that I felt never had been righted. There were intimidation issues which came from past experiences. There were hurts that I had not healed from. All of these things would tend to come to the surface and "haunt" my postpartum experiences more often than not. Most the time, when I finally learned to let go of something that was haunting me from my past - or finally worked through it enough that I felt I could let it go, I healed from my postpartum depression as well.
Recently I have been thinking about letting go of past hurts and moving on from where I am at right now. I know that I need to allow healing. I know that to let go of that thing in the past would mean that something else would take it's place. I am daring to hope that the thing that takes its place will be good. Or shall I say God. If I let go of the past (bad), I am allowing myself to move closer to God. There is a motto in my church ... CTR (choose the right). The right side of our bodies represents the future. "Choose the right" recently took on another meaning to me, which is choose the future. Don't focus on the past, focus on choosing things that will make your future brighter. Choose things that will make your today shine bright.
A good counselor can help you heal from past hurts, right past wrongs, and let go of the bad. I have said it before, and I'll say it again. I am thankful for and testify of the "wonderful counselor" Jesus Christ who takes away my sins, who has born my greifs and carried my sorrows, so that I do not need to.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Hope Is Never Lost

In hopes of reviving my own hopes, I am writing this post about hope never being lost.
I thought of this phrase after wondering how to get rid of the "giving up" feeling I have been having lately. This is not just the passing, "Oh it's no use..." statement that we sometimes give when we are going about our day sometimes, as a figure of speech or a tiny giving up, but this is  a feeling of really believing that it is no use to even try to do much at all. Just now as I was writing that, though, the phrase "gird up your loins, fresh courage take, our God will never us forsake" came into my mind. Earlier when I was having the utter giving up feelings, I thought about the remedies that might be out there for this negative emotion and so I was thinking of the opposite - hope - the belief that your good efforts WILL pay off some day, hopefully in the not-so-distant future. Then the voice of Jeffery R Holland came into my mind. "Hope is never lost!" He gave a great talk  last conference about how to make it through a mental illness - mainly deep depression. It was a beautiful talk and I am glad that those words came into my head because the feeling I got from the Holy Ghost entered my heart when I thought of those words. I am especially glad that I blogged about them just now, because I needed to hear the other words too about girding up my loins!
Be of good cheer. (John 16:33
Be strong and of a good courage! (Joshua 1:6
Come unto me all ye  who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28

God bless you, help you, and keep you!