Friday, September 25, 2009

Keepin It Real Part 1

I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but just haven't had the time to collect my thoughts. For those of you that know me you know that I am pretty transparent. The Lord and I have walked some pretty rough roads together. I want to use the valley's I've walked through to bring Him glory so I'm sharing this with you in hopes that someone who reads this might have hope.

Depression is real. Anxiety is real.

My first real battle began in the winter of 2002 after a bout with the flu. (I say real because as a teenager I would have short bouts of depression that never lasted long and was usually over something stupid.) I had it (the flu) three times within a month's time. The dizziness associated with it remained even after I had recovered from the flu. It wouldn't go away. Fear and worry began to overtake me. Months later my body began to fail because of the heavy stress I had placed on it. I began to have weird symptoms that at times I couldn't even explain. By the summer of 2003 I was bad.

I had my first MRI in June of 2003 to rule out a possible brain tumor. Obviously it was negative or you would have heard about it. I continued going to my family doctor looking for answers. The only help he offered were multiple anti-depressants. I tried four all to no avail. I was even on Xanax for a time just to be able to settle down for any length of time. Fear of dependency caused me to go off of it.

Most nights were absolutely horrible. Joey was awakened most nights by me asking him to pray over me just so I could have some peace. Sometimes it worked sometimes it wouldn't. I feared I was going die and that fear kept me in bondage for nearly two years.

I suffered multiple panic attacks which landed me in the clinic on one occasion for an EKG. I thought I was having a heart attack. I feared public places and large crowds of people. I remember walking into Wal-mart with Joey one night only to have to turn around and walk back out because of fear something bad was going to happen to me.

Some of the symptoms I experienced were rapid heart rate, shaking of my hands, feeling detached from my body, tingling on the side of my face, pain in my jaw from clenching my teeth so often, feelings of insanity, and intense fear and worry are just to name a few. Some of them I can't put a name to.

I was without hope. I cried every day for two years. Nothing was worked. I probably spent more time in the Word during that time than I had in my entire life and there were days that I would read it and close it and nothing changed. It would encourage me for a moment and then I was back to square one. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was grasping for anything and everything that would work. I researched everything I could on anxiety. I wanted to know I wasn't alone and that I wasn't crazy. The symptoms were real.

My journey led me to the FemCentre. This place was recommended to me by a friend who went primarily for infertility. Her and her husband had tried for ten years to have a second child all to no avail. Within months she conceived. Since I was grasping I called the next day. Money was an issue for us, but then again it wasn't. Joey said we would do what it took to pay for it if it helped. My first visit was over $300 but I left encouraged for the first time in nearly two years.

Their protocol for me consisted of radically changing my diet, putting me on several supplements including some homeopathic remedies and a referral to a nutritionist and an acupuncturist. My journey to healing had begun.

I began to notice some improvement in about 4-6 weeks. The change was slow, but I continued going to Emily (the nutritionist and acupuncturist). In addition to the other supplements I was taking, she put me on a specially formulated Chinese herb made just for me. Tasted like dookie, but I gagged it down. I was symptom free after about 7-8 months of treatment. I also lost 63 pounds in the process, all without surgery or meds. I did continue with the acupuncture treatments for infertility, of which was successful, but that's another post.

I have been symptom free since 2004. I am not taking any medication other than a couple of supplements. God has been so gracious and long suffering as it took me a while to trust Him. He was faithful and His mercies new every morning. His grace was sufficient when I was weak.

There is hope. As long as you're alive there is hope. With Christ there is hope. I don't think I would have made it through without my husband either. He was my rock. My prayer warrior. My constant. He would always tell me, "Jennifer, God is bigger than this. Trust Him." When I wanted to die. Christ was there. When I didn't think it would get better. Christ was there. He was my ever present help in my time of trouble.

Looking back I don't know how I ever made it through those years of intense suffering (it seemed that way at least to me), but I did and am better because of it. The Lord allows times of suffering in our lives to bring us forth as gold and to give Him glory. I now have more compassion on those who suffer with anxiety and depression. It is real. I have been able to comfort those with the comfort I have received from the Lord as 1 Cor. 1 says.

Stay tuned for my next post on my most recent bout with PPD (post partum depression).


THZ said...

Thanks for being transparent and honest! You are doing a good thing to talk openly about where you have been and what God has done! Sorry I didn't call this week... things have been sooo busy. I hope we can talk this next week and catch up. Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Jenn, I just love you so much. I knew the Lord had a plan for the things you've been through. It's to encourage those who might be silently going through the same thing. You're such a blessing to me and those around. :D

Anonymous said...

Hey babe, I did not think myself as a prayer warrior but i do remember telling you that our God was bigger than that. I am glad that God delivered you from depression and anxiety. He is so good!

Pixel Perfect said...

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