We had some great things happen in 2011. We finally moved into a new house after a brief stint in an apartment. All three of our girls were baptized, my husband’s job was going well, and we were looking forward to getting settled into a new neighborhood. Blessings a-plenty and we were so very grateful beyond measure!
At this point, I was having a difficult time completing tasks around the house. My husband and kids cleaned and unpacked most of our stuff. (I still can’t find some of it, but that’s another story!) There were so many things I needed to accomplish, but I was having consistent migraines that would put me out of commission for a couple of days. I missed out on life: gatherings with family, friends and my church community, because I was too tired or felt too sick to go. Indescribable pain in my joints, my head, and lower back. The girls and I would run errands and I would have to find a safe spot to park, lay my seat back and sleep, sometimes as much as 20 minutes, because I simply could not stay awake driving. This was in broad daylight! My temperament was not good. I fluctuated between being irritable and overly sensitive to apathetic; I didn’t care about anything. Looking back, I recognize the depression, but often when you are in it, the abnormal becomes normal. My oldest daughter had completely taken over making breakfast, and usually, lunch too. Unfortunately, this was out of necessity because they weren’t sure when I would wake up in the morning.
My great sleeping time was early in the morning, between 5 and 9 am. It was a dead sleep. I heard nothing and felt nothing. I can’t remember the last time I had a dream. I would drag myself, groggy and spent, out of bed, try to eat something, but the only things I could muster were almond butter and carrots. A strange combination, for sure! I had no appetite, no energy and looked like a walking corpse!
In the months that followed, we mostly unschooled, because that’s what I could handle. Documentaries, small art projects, lots of Lego building, reading aloud, music, dance – nothing mentally strenuous or taxing for me and things that didn’t take much prep. Our diet was still organic – more on that later, but processed organic foods because, again, those didn’t require much of me.
I muddled through several months in this fashion: barely existing. Lying awake at night, I would cry out to God, pouring out my frustration and anxiety, my self-loathing for my condition and how I was hurting everyone around me. Yet, it was a private struggle I had not shared with anyone outside of a very close, immediate circle. To break my wall of silence would be momentous. I don’t trust very easily and if I shared my pain with someone, I had to know, without doubt, that the person could be trusted. I was desperate, yet terrified of breaking my silence. Something had to give. Eventually, that something was me.