Recently I have been opening up some about depression - anxiety - and the stressful way my own mind works. For as long as I can remember (it honestly probably was an issue that started in Jr. High) depression has been this "Black Pit" that tends to take place in my mind. When its sunny - life is easier. Not sure if its the added Vitamin D or the fact that there is simply more daylight in General - allowing me to get more things done around the farm... but the truth is. That Black Pit tends to eat me alive.
Its something I have fought during both pregnancies and the three miscarriages that Jason and I have went through over the last few years. It hung over my head during my Series 7 Study and then when I failed it - it set me down a rabbit hole. Failing that 6+ hour test that I had studied all through HaySeason... I let myself down. I knew that my job wasn't on the line - I knew that I hadn't necessarily let the office down --- but I had disappointed my own self.. which is something I tend to bring onto my OWN self. I get down when I can't figure something out - if something comes easier to them but not me .. I feel stupid.. and of late I've found that my nine year old .. has now picked up on the need to be "perfect" - and Heaven forbid if he doesn't know how to do something... He gets frustrated and upset. Jaelyn is more like her daddy -- she'll yell. There's times of self-hate... feeling as if I can never be "Good enough"/ I stroll with being enough in so many things. Being enough wife - being a good enough momma - being enough as Jason's "Business Partner" to now trying to take up the slack as his hired hand too - Being enough of a Cowgirl to train Leo & build Shiloh Up ... Being enough had its original blog.. but it stands to say... I also let what others say effect how I am - I react .. even if I Don't always say a word. It tends to be written on my face. .. Jason thankful is complete opposite -- which helps keep me a little more balanced.. where I worry about everything that could wrong his mindset is strong --as if to say "so what - if its gunna happen.. it'll happen".
Growing up I was the "head strong" silent sister - I took on the responsibilities to make things work. After my first marriage "failed" per say and I was now divorced .. I had to suck up "failure" and move on. Even with the Blackhole thing to suck me in. I had a baby to tend too. Now days I have a whole lot more at stack.
Keeping my mind healthier is probably the hardest things I do - exercise and eating right come naturally.. What I have found though in this last week or so; is that depression and anxiety can affect everyone so differently. Where I may cry -- others.. well may yell. Depression is an ugly disease that often times gets swept under the mat. Depression isn't just "suicicial thoughts" its over eating then never eating to spending imaginary money on a credit card then having to find a way to pay that debt off.. causing more stress - anger - depression.
This is me being open - honest.. this is very unlike me .. it'll more than likely be the realest post you ever read.. its that important. It's weighed on my chest like a heavy brick. Depression sucks. Post-Partum Depression is awful - and mothers shouldn't have to go through that too after every thing else we've just went through the last nine months.. but we do and so often times it doesn't get noticed or even treated. All you want to do is sleep and snuggle and protect your babies -- I mean that's what Mommas of the wild do--- I've got Cows that Jason's out there trying to tag their newborn calves just a few hours old and they're blowing through their nose and having a fit -- the SAME cow we just let the kids mess with a month prior.. it's natural instinct. #MommaBear mechanism takes over. We're supposed to step back into the same clothes ,and wear the same thousands of hats we did prior to pregnancy. I was out raking hay for Jason the same day I was discharged after having sis nearly two months early. Its what we do. We're supposed to make dinner, fold the mounds of laundry, and let everyone else just "hold" the baby. Darn it NO! I want to sit back while YOU do my chore list.
And over the years and as my bestie and own sister have had their babies -- I often want to snuggle their cute newborn selves but I know.. I KNOW what they've went through. So instead I cook up some meals that can easily be a microwaved heat up on the couch meal & offer to do some housework. That's just a tad bit maybe of how I feel on babies.. depression.. because I suffered harder with Jae then I did at twenty-one with Keaton.
As Hay Season ended the anxiety started to set in .. for whatever reason - I felt as if I didn't exactly have a purpose once the baler was washed and put away for the winter and the kids went back to school. It turned colder sooner than normal and yes the winter blues sank in. What most that don't have depression don't want to see is how it will effect everyone else around you. From my marriage to the relationship of some friends. I distanced myself from nearly everything. I even stopped riding for a while. The Devil inside the Depression -- maybe I should write about that next.. because in all reality that's what it is.. this evil pit inside of you (or at least for ME) - one where I no longer recognized my own self looking back in the mirror. I started to run on a fake autopilot system; just going through the day to day motions of life. Wake up - Chore - drop kids to school - fight with Jason - come home cry - hate myself - dry the tears & fake a smile to grab kids at school and be "mama" -- trying so hard to fake it through it all. Trying to be enough when all I felt was broken inside. I stopped seeking the Lord.. I no longer felt worthy - I didn't reach out to Christian friends - instead turning further away; seeking the wrong things.
That was my "wake-up cowgirl" moment. That becoming THAT Broken and realizing I had to change my Negative Mindset Myself. No one else can do that for you. YOU Must choose it yourself. Your Path may be set by the Lord... but if you derail .. you aren't going to make it. I wrote this draft last week ... it's handwritten with tears laced on the pages... a little dirty from where my hands had been working through some other stuff --- when the Voice prompted me. Yesterday I sat in the back row of church. The first time in months that I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. That will be for another day .. but needless to say .. I know where I am at finally. Where I am supposed to be .. the last five days on the Farm has literally been filled with all Cattle. I think I might of gotten hurt each day doing something -- yes I've got bruises, some missing skin, sore muscles .. but in that moment I realized that God was there all along. I had just shoved him so far away that he'd given me the space " I thought I needed " to learn my lesson the hard way.. God doesn't want us to fail .. Hell was not created for us - yet so many of us are headed that direction.. there's times I feel like I am .. this year one of my personal goals is to make it though the Bible & His word. I have found some scripture verses that I've posted in my notebooks -- plastered on my office walls - will take down to the tackroom and probably written somewhere in the '52 too.. You have to learn to be strong enough to say " you are better than this" something I am learning as well - - depression can be overcome.. turning to the Lord and not towards the Hell Hole.
I had to learn to forgive myself - another thing from church yesterday. God has - but I haven't - I must learn to let go of the "self-hate" and negative mindset that had consumed me. A few weeks ago I hit my knees in the horse barn, Thats been "my" spot for the better part of the last seven years now - Its where I run to find a smile - hide my tears in the stalls - yell out while mucking horse poop - learn patience with Leo and find the confidence in my own self with Shiloh. It was a kick in the pants per say. I cried a lot that day. I let out the hurt, the anger, the humiliation, the disappointment in my OWN self. I was the root of my own problems. And that was very hard to admit. But because I went through this trial ... I realized just how BLESSED I truly am. My marriage is stronger today and becoming a little better each day forward - except maybe when we're working livestock.. then it seems to be a natural "farm marriage rule" of some sort of yelling at each other - I am not perfect .. and yes we still fight and push each others buttons. But I know now that the Lord works in ways I will never understand for us to learn something.
Jason has this "it will all work out" attitude - one that combats my anxiety ridded mind of "this will never work". His determination balances out my worry-wart mind. And for that I am grateful.
The mind works as a revolving door; you have to work past the anger - the depression - take responsibility for your actions, words and yes mistakes too. Learn to not just seek God, but learn to ask forgiveness of others & repent with the Lord (Im working on this too!) and commit yourself to finding His light .. because it's there --
Sharing my own story has sparked the "Rescue Series" that will come later on.. it's already wrote out in six sections -- I'm now just waiting for the Lord's time to post or put it into a Pod. However I am afraid if I send it through on PodCast you might hear me crying in the background. This is my way of self-help - writing allows me that .. Writing is God's Voice for me to share my story. Not just my Farm story but my Life story... somewhere its going to help someone ..
Find like minded people that want to help lift you up when you can't do it yourself. And yes there's going to be those "Groups" of people who say "they'll help" and want to see you succeed until you're hitting their own goals first. Regardless if its in the barrel racing land to the cattle operation or even having your own business. Keep your faith - dig out that Bible -- study his word and He will put the people in your life that you need. Your Faith will grow - your friend list might shrink .. and that's okay. Because the Lord takes and gives you what you need... when we need it .. not when we want it.
This blog came straight from the Raw Heart..it will more than likely be the most open I will ever feel comfortable with.. but I know there's a reason behind the tears on the keyboard. This is my own way of healing too.. so now as I head out the door to head to the Barn and Chore.. I say a prayer for whoever reads this and who might be struggling.. know you aren't alone.. you are never alone.