The underbelly

Life is full of ups and downs. Everyone knows that. Sometimes you’re in a valley for a while, but the mountaintop is right around the next bend. Then, there are times when it seems you are buried in the valley, under an avalanche or a rockslide. That’s where we were in 2012. For the sake of privacy, I am not sharing details, just my emotional state and the condition of my family, as it pertains to the story.

As wave after wave hit us, I really tried to hold it together, to be supportive and to meet the deep needs I saw around me. We were all struggling, individually and collectively. We limped across the school finish line and I have never been so relieved! I love homeschooling, but frankly, for the first time, I couldn’t wait to put it behind us. Summer is such a great time of year where we live. We are in a very active community with a swimming pool, a lake, tons of bike and walking trails, various playgrounds nestled among the trees, and a golf course within walking distance. The girls love exploring and nothing beats the southern heat like a dip in the lake or the pool.

By this time, I was spending numerous days in bed. The migraines continued and exhaustion was just a regular part of my day. My sleep issues worsened. We were having issues with the kids because I completely lacked the energy to deal with anything. Not just physical energy; I lacked the emotional energy as well. It was all just too much. I knew something serious was going on when I tried to go for a walk with my family one evening. I started out fine, then felt nauseated, dizzy, and faint. My heart was racing unbelievably and I thought I was having a heart attack. I was afraid to continue and turned back. The tears flowed freely that night.

Summer came and went and I was in a fog for most of it. I sank deeper into depression; the guilt was heavy and painful.  I was still researching, trying this and that, praying for the Lord to guide me and earnestly interceding for my battle-torn family.

I don’t remember what precipitated my almost-nervous-breakdown. It was an early October night and I told my husband I couldn’t do this anymore. It was too much. I needed help. I wasn’t making it on my own and it wasn’t for lack of trying to “cure” myself. I had all this knowledge, but couldn’t fit the pieces together. I was done. I’m not going to sugarcoat this, and it was definitely not my proudest moment. It was ugly; the underbelly of our human nature alive and well in suburbia.

He agreed I needed professional help. We were both drowning and neither of us had a lifeline to offer the other. It’s a difficult thing to love someone and not be able to help them.  So where do we go from here?



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