When I look back at my life just over a year ago it couldn't be more different than it is today.
This time last year I was submerged in a black hole so deep I honestly didn't care if I ever came out. I had lost the desire to fight for the light. The trigger for this hole is different for everyone so the "reason" is irrelevant... the experience of the pain is real!
It terrified me and comforted me at the same time.
I found solace in the idea of death. After all, everyone would be better without me right? My kids wouldn't have their defective mother and my husband wouldn't have to deal with a wife who couldn't manage to meet the perceived (and real) expectations no matter what or how I tried. The more I considered the idea, the more reasonable it sounded. My friends and family would recover and go on with their lives and I would be out of the head/heart pain I was in. Win/Win right?
Until the psychiatrist said to me: "If a mother kills herself, at least one of her children will want to be with her. Please don't do this to them. Your anger and heart ache is real and needs healing. Please don't give up. Get the help you need, if only for them."
So I did.
Psychiatrist for medication to deal with the physiological misfires in my brain, a counselor for my thought patterns that need changed, and a small group to be instrumental in speaking life, challenging lies I believed and a workbook that we would work through together finding freedom in God's unfailing love for us.
Early on, I had a friend come and pick me up and take me to a meeting where one of my favorite speakers was sharing. I felt like the guy in the Bible who was taken by stretcher to where Jesus was and dropped through the roof to find healing. I walked in the door, but there is no way I would have left the house without her coming to get me, talking to me all the way there, and not minding the fact that I hadn't showered in days.
Later on, I continued to battle multiple panic attacks every day but they were less than five instead of over ten. I rarely left the house, tried to engage with my kids more, let go of aspirations of joining the PTA, and settled in for the JRP (Jennifer Recovery Plan). I attended hardly any school events because I couldn't stop the panic attacks, I tried to keep tabs on my kids behavior at school only by emails with the teachers, and continued to choke down the fact that I was not going to ever be the same again.
More months go by and I am getting better but still not wanting to be seen. I felt like all my flaws, mistakes and malfunctions were hanging off me like warning flags. I was gaining weight, barely sleeping, and while the darkness of the hole was brightening, I still wasn't able to see out.
I had more days that felt better, more days I could "show up" for life, more days that the end of the tunnel was getting closer and even, occasionally, I could see the end of it...