Anxiety: Giving Myself Grace

Anxiety: Giving Myself Grace

Many of you have heard Rob’s and my good news: we’re expecting! I’m 14 weeks along, so just beginning my second trimester. After a miscarriage, pregnancy can feel like a tentative and uncertain thing, but as the weeks have gone by, we’ve become more confident and I’ve allowed myself to get excited.

But I feel like there are two people living inside my head right now. One person is more happy than she’s ever been before: I can’t wait to have a baby and February can’t come soon enough. That person, though, is wracked with self-disappointment and anxiety. Pregnancy and mental illness can be a bad combination.  Continue reading “Anxiety: Giving Myself Grace”

Pray for me

Pray for me

“What can I do?”

That’s a difficult question to answer when you’re depressed. You want to say a magical formula—“do this for me and I’ll feel better”—but there isn’t one. You want to be able to respond positively since you’re grateful for the care that went into that question, but you can’t. You even feel a little guilty that you can’t give a satisfying response.

“What can I do?” is probably the best question my husband can ask me when I’m depressed. It’s unassuming and empathetic. It’s also incredibly frustrating, because sometimes there just isn’t anything he can do. But what else is he supposed to say? I guess I’m glad he asks it, even when I don’t know how to respond.

I was recently asked what depression feels like. I didn’t know how to answer. I told my friend that it it’s a physical feeling, a heaviness—if hopelessness was tactile, that would be it. I didn’t know how else to describe it, except in obscure metaphors that might only make sense to me.

So it’s difficult to answer “what can I do?” when I can’t even articulate what my depression feels like. Usually, I end up answering the question with: “Just pray for me.” Sometimes, that’s the only answer I have. Continue reading “Pray for me”

When “Healthy” Is Not Healthy

When “Healthy” Is Not Healthy

When I was growing up, there was a lot of pressure on girls to be skinny. The women on the covers of the magazines were very thin, sometimes emaciated.

So, not surprisingly, I knew a lot of girls who struggled with eating disorders. Anorexia was common in my junior high and high school.

When I was 15, I too had anorexic tendencies. I obsessed about calories, analyzed what was on my plate, skipped meals, and perused pro-ana sites (websites that actively encourage anorexia).  When I looked in the mirror, I saw a body that was completely different from reality.

Thankfully, my parents were wise enough to put me into counseling to get me some help. It was their care that brought me healing.

Continue reading “When “Healthy” Is Not Healthy”

The Heartbreak Prayer: Miscarriage

The Heartbreak Prayer: Miscarriage

She told us there was no heartbeat. She said it matter-of-factly, in a quiet apologetic voice. I felt my stomach instantly drop, emotion immediately clogging my throat. I wanted to tell her to check again—oh, please, please check again. I could see it right there on the screen, right there in front of me. How could the baby be dead?

Continue reading “The Heartbreak Prayer: Miscarriage”

How do you feel?

How do you feel?

How do you feel?

When I’m feeling low, it’s really hard to answer the “How are you?” question. Most people, when they ask that question, are not looking for an actual answer. When the clerk at the grocery store asks me how I’m doing, she doesn’t exactly have the time to hear me list every single one of my problems. She’s paid to swipe my bag of Bolthouse carrots across the scanner—the “How are you?” is just polite. (Duh.) “How are you?” is simply the cultural acknowledgment of another’s existence. But when I’m depressed, being asked that question stings a little.

Continue reading “How do you feel?”