I’ve struggled with depression for a lot of my life. I feel like it got worse after I became a mom. Before I had a child I figured I would be a good mom. After having a kid, I realized I often didn’t feel like a good mom. Through struggling with nursing and deciding to exclusively pump; feeling guilty for “giving up” nursing, feeling guilty I didn’t like pumping. Stressing through toddler tantrums, struggling with being consistent, struggling with discipline, feeling guilty for wanting time to myself, and much more. I had thought about talking to a therapist, but never did for many reasons:
- I thought my depression was wrong: I thought I needed to pray or read my Bible more to make my depression go away. But then I started praying and reading my Bible everyday and there would just be days when I was feeling down for no reason.
- I care too much what people think about me: When I am in public and with my friends and acquaintances I feel that I am a generally happy person. What will they say if I tell them I’m going to therapy? Will they judge me? Think I’m not a good mom? Feel awkward around me? Not want to talk to me anymore?
- I am blessed with my life: I have a wonderful husband; a wonderful son; I always have food on my table; I can leave my house without worrying if I’ll be safe.
- I’m too busy: How often will I have to talk to a therapist? I don’t have time to go there every week. I could be using that time to volunteer or spend time with my family.
- I don’t want to be selfish: I should be using that time to volunteer or spend time with my family.
One of my friends in my life group told us about how her therapist helped her with her anxiety and I thought it was probably time for me to find one to talk to. The Sunday after I scheduled my first appointment, the lead pastor at my church was preaching on the desert of depression. I had been feeling pretty down that week and it was helpful to hear my depression wasn’t wrong and I should get help if I needed it. At the end, he said if anyone is struggling with depression they can come up and pray. I felt like I needed to go up, but I was also thinking, “half of the church is going to see, they’re going to know I’m struggling, they’re going to judge me.” I went up and cried and prayed. My wonderful, supportive husband came up and prayed for me, too. I had my first therapy appointment after that. I’ve only had a few therapy appointments, but I feel like they have already been helpful. If anyone is feeling the same way I was I wanted to let you know, there is nothing wrong with going to therapy or taking antidepressants if you need them.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV