July 25, 2011
For those of you who don't know, when Seth, our firstborn, was about 9 weeks old I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression with Psychosis. It was a VERY difficult time for us as a family. That's a whole other story in itself. However, the reason I'm bringing it up right now is because that time in our lives has been brought up 5 times this past week. Firstly, when we went to fill out papers to apply for health insurance we had to record our health history for the past 10 years. Therefore, I had to name the psychotherapist who diagnosed me, all the antipsychotics and tranquilizers and anitdepressant medications I was on during that time. I sat there, in the insurance office, feeling very raw, very fragil, and yet very blessed that I, and all my family members, specifically Randy and Seth, were actually still alive.
The same day as the insurance visit I was meeting my best friend from high school for dinner. (Bear with me here as I do a little bit of circlular writing. I need to share a short story first before I go into how the psychosis came up.) I had wanted to break up with her for a while because I was hurt by a few things that had happened between us. But, ya know what? There aren't any “break up cards” for best friends! I hadn't talked with her about these things earlier because I just felt stupid. I just kept telling myself, “Megan, people and friendships change. Just deal”. So, back to the dinner date. We had dinner and were driving to Kohl's when we started talking about some things that might be awkward between us. This was the perfect time for me to mention my hurt to her. You see, when I went through my post partum I had not wanted to see ANYONE. I was hoping that Brigitte, being my best friend, would ignore my wishes and spend time with me anyway as I was really suffering. She hadn't. So I brought this up to her. She looked at me with her jaw dropped and an astonished look in her face. “Megan, I was with you once every week during that time! My mother rearranged her schedule so she could watch my baby, so I could be with you and Seth. Your brother would come in the morning and I would take the afternoon shift”. Up within me came a pit of sorrow (wait, a pit doesn't come up does it....well...you know what I mean). I heaved with emotion and cried the ugly cry for about 10 minutes. I didn't know what I was more upset about, the fact that Brigitte wasn't as big of a jerk I thought she had been for a few years, or the fact that I couldn't remember this loving gift she had given me and therefore....I realized, again, that I really was VERY sick during that time. (p.s. we're still friends:) )
The third time it came up was when I was going through boxes and BOXES of stuff we had packed to store while we were in Madagascar. I found a bunch of cards I had saved. I opened one to read it and it was a card from my dear friend Julie. She was very good at keeping in contact with me and encouraging me through cards. This one was dated 3 days before my first psychotic attack. I remember talking to her and telling her that I just wasn't feeling right. I felt like God was dead and that I was feeling distant, almost removed from the daily activity of just living. As I read that note I realized again, not only the depth of pain that I and my family had gone through, but the amazing miracles and ways God had shown Himself faithful to us through that time of suffering.
It then came up again, two days later, when I was talking to a friend about having more babies. She asked if Randy and were done having babies. I had stated how, for 5 years the thought of having another baby petrified me because of my fear of getting psychosis again. I would have never had Cole if God hadn't made it happen. (I was still in the middle of my post partum when I got pregnant with Cole). But, I shared with her that for the past several months God had put the thought of having another child back on my heart without ANY fears.
Then this afternoon Randy starts playing a song on the piano. I started singing with him and got all emotional. I said to him, “Why am I getting so emotional about this song?” He said, “We sang this song together when you were coming out of your Post Partum.”
Why is this coming up so many times this week? I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in purpose. So, what could be the purpose of the journey with this disease coming up 5 times this past week? Well, I know that when we go through very tough things, suffering of some sort or another, we often need to go through ALL the steps of grieving. They say that grieving the loss of a loved one takes up to 7 years. Therefore it doesn't suprise me that grieving the losses lost to this disease will take many years of healing. My sickness was full of losses but was also full of Godly gains. Thank you Lord for reminding me of the loss and the gain that I have received through that suffering.
So, I ask you, “What have you lost lately? What have you suffered through lately? Are you able yet to look back and see blessing in it? Are you able to look back and see God's hand through it?” I pray that if you can't yet, you will soon.