Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Conquering PPD: Step 2 Recognizing the Changes

I spoke in the first installment of Conquering PPD about step one of my healing process. I spoke about finding the shift. This means that I searched myself and my life for that time in which my outlook on life changed. When did I go from being positive to negative? Please....I really encourage you to go back and read it!

I don’t want to bore you with a thousand and two details....because God knows I will. So, I’ve written and rewritten this next post probably 30 times! ;-) It’s also difficult not to intermingle the steps.

Each step was significant for me and came at separate times, but when looking back they over lap so tremendously that it is hard not to forecast to the next post! So bare with me if I see a little jumbled!

You see, once you admit you need help (which is a very hard step) and see a doctor....it doesn’t just magically go away. Oh...how I wish it did.

In all reality, it becomes a daily struggle that you need to work through. You need to learn new coping mechanisms and figure out what triggers you.

But you have to begin somewhere....
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and by no means am I a psychiatric professional. I do not attempt to in any way claim expertise on the matter or suggest that a person use my words as a means of therapy. This is merely my experience and what helped me.

STEP 2: Recognizing the changes.

Does that seem redundant with step 1? Okay, it’s not I promise!

Step two came as I realized when it started to change....I started recognizing why. What changed that caused the shift?

Maybe....so that you can understand where this is all going....after I started figuring out what changed....I then asked myself why those changes affected me so tremendously. {See why it’s easy to mix these two steps together! But it’s actually very important that we don’t. You see, the effectiveness in the process was the process itself. I didn’t understand why those changes effected me at the exact moment I realized what changed! It came later...and so will the post!}

Like I said, it began with the job. It seemed so great and then we fell apart. We let the distance take over and it led to me making a decision to stay working where I went for training. By the grace of God though, we overcame it and eventually Hubby came to me. I praise him for not giving up.

But my attitude didn’t change. Things between us had shifted and we were too young and inexperienced to truly know how to begin rebuilding. So rather, we attempted to just pick back up again.

We tried going on, having a good time, and moving forward. While this wasn’t wrong....it wasn’t right. I knew already what was missing...God.

{From here I will highlight the changes in pink writing so you can pinpoint them and understand better the process I experienced!}

That was when I started to shift again. I started giving my life slowly back over to God. I wish I could say I jumped back up and said, “God, things were so much better when I had let you be in charge so please take over again!” I didn’t though. Instead, it was slow. A little piece here and a little piece there.

Hubby and I had had problems, but we’d managed to sort that stuff out and had moved away from our own place back to Ma’s by the sea. From there we’d decided as a family to move in land to where Pa was working. We didn’t like all being separated. Overall...I was floating at this point. The change to going back to where we’d first lived seemed like a good idea because we’d been okay then. Sure....we had fights pretty much everytime we were drunk...but they were done by morning and we thought nothing of it. And besides....we were going to handle it better this time. We thought we had learned from our previous party mistakes!

Still, when it was suggested we all go to Pa....it seemed perfect. Back together as a family! That is exactly what all of us needed. We had high hopes of finding jobs and getting on our own again.

I guess a little too much changed. We left our jobs. We left our home (and basically the only home I’d known in South Africa). We had just gone through some pretty disadvantageous humps in our marriage but were blessed to have come past it. We left our friends. We left our environment, because any one who has lived by the sea can tell you how dramatically different moving in land can be!

Then of all things....I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant, while working a temporary job, two weeks before we were moving again to where we would finally settle down. It was a time of extreme highs and lows. Hubby and I were ecstatic to be soon-to-be parents. I immediately fell in love with the little one inside of me.

Hubby was amazing and did his best to keep me calm and positive. What was supposed to be the happiest time of my life was quickly taking a negative perspective. I feel I must say that I was blessed to have always remained positive about our future bundle of joy and the parents we would be. I was grateful to have a strong family support as well.

The next part, I feel shame to admit. The next change I started noticing was our social life. I had always been very social with Hubby. I had gone out with him on the weekends and we had recklessly partied until the wee hours of the morning. At first, it didn’t bother me that we weren’t doing this any more. Because, well, both of us weren’t doing it. We didn’t know anyone.

I started leaning more into God. Which was wonderful. I realized I wanted different values for my child. I realized I wanted a more grounded, solid, faith filled life. And again...I just expected Hubby to fall in. But I’ll speak more on this later.

You see....there were moments of extreme joy. Learning about Lil Mister and all the milestones through pregnancy, getting jobs in our new town, meeting new people, and finding myself in God again were all extreme highs. But these joys were peaks in my days, weeks....they weren’t a lifestyle yet. My daily life...my daily mindset was....slowly becoming more despondent....more recluse....more negative.

There you have the second step of my healing process. It wasn’t so easy looking back. It took me weeks to recognize. It took me multiple journal entries to pinpoint. It took a lot of self reflection to see the image clearly. But I worked through it. I found when the change happened. I recognized the beginning of my depression cycle. I realized what changed to cause the spiral I’d taken. The next step was to figure out the why. Join me for the third installment!

This post was written as part of a series following my conquering of a PPD diagnosis. Click the link to read more.

If any of this sounds even slightly familiar, please clickity click a few of the links below. Some are blogs, some are just information. 
And please don’t feel alone!
Postpartum Progress
Surprising Symptoms
Ivy's PPD Blog
First Time Mom and Dad
PPD to Joy

If you just want to talk to someone...I'm up for that too! Send me a little emailor drop by my twitter! I'd love to chat with you about everything and anything. We'll have a cuppa (or a bottle of wine ;-) through our virtual cafe!

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Shana Danae..

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