Monday, April 20, 2009

Keeping up with all of the P's: PPD, PTSD, and Peace

As much as I hate to even think about these issues, I have to be brutally honest in hopes that my disclosure will bless someone else who is also suffering. Who knows if what I'm experiencing is PPD or PTSD? All I know is that I feel a little extra crazy these days. My mind doesn't want to shut down. I keep thinking about the tornadoes but I also keep thinking about all of the other awful things that could happen to me, my family, my friends, my community... you get the picture. In my head, I'm bargaining with God. I'm working through my game plan for in case A, B, or C were to occur. I keep "waiting for the other shoe to drop" as my partner in anxiety recently said.

Being a mom is hard work. We all know that. One thing I had not considered before becoming a mother was just how scary it would be to be in charge of the safety of three children. I have to deal with the guilt of letting them eat a special, not at all healthy, processed snack at the neighbor's house. I have to deal with the guilt of being the grumpy mean mama who is not happy to learn that they have been eating crap at baseball. I have to deal with the guilt of knowing that something I did while I was pregnant might have caused this little cyst on the baby's head. I have to deal with the guilt of knowing that some of my past decisions could negatively impact my own health and one day leave my children mourning the loss of their mother prematurely. And, heaven forbid, I would have to deal with the guilt of a tornado taking my kids away if I didn't know what to do should a mean and vicious storm be on its way headed straight for our home.

Over the past week, I've been through a lot of different emotional stages. What I keep coming back to in my head and in my heart is that, in addition to praying for protection for my family, I need to also pray that the Lord removes my fear and replaces it with peace and joy. Life is incredibly short (cliche, I know) and I don't particularly want to spend it worrying myself sick. What is the sense in that?

So, that brings me back to the knowledge that I don't know the scripture well enough. I don't know them well enough to recite for comfort in times of hardship and I don't know them well enough to pass them along to my children. I don't have any trouble memorizing things. I used to act in the theater and I could nearly repeat entire episodes of "Seinfeld" at the drop of a hat, no problems. I have just not been disciplined enough to learn scripture. And I want to. Desperately. I feel like I am failing my children, myself, and my husband by not having a better working knowledge of God's word.

I'm not sure where to go from here other than to say that I'm on a search for peace. A sort of resolve... accepting that I am not in control, He is, and that it's okay. It's hard to feel that way in the wake of disaster but I believe that I can. I once did, right after my mom died. Somehow I lost it. I want that back.


  1. Oh, Mandy, I have so been there! But He IS in control, and you can trust Him will all your worries! Learning Scripture is the perfect place to start!

    Praying for your peace of mind... :)

  2. This is one of my favs:
    The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.
    Proverbs 18:10

  3. Thanks so much for sharing, Mandy.
    I believe that as you continue to share and memorize Scripture fear will defintely be replaced by faith and peace.
    A book that i am really enjoying right now that you might be interested in is: "An Untroubled Heart: Finding a Faith That is Stronger Than my Fears" by Micca Campbell. Very good book and powerful testimony from someone who has really known fear. I will let you know when i finished if you would like to borrow it!
    I'll be praying for you....
    Love ya!

  4. Thank you all so much for your supportive and sweet comments. It means so much to know that I'm not alone and that my openness blesses others. You girls rock!

  5. bona fide mama, i am a long time reader but i have read without commenting. this post brought me out of lurkdom. i have no words of wisdom to offer, but wish to let you know that i will pray for you, for your family, i will pray god fills your heart with his peace. be kind to yourself, as kind as you would be to any mother going thru this dark passage. {{{HUG}}}

  6. Be strong and very courageous, do not be araid, do not be terrified, for I the Lord your God will be with you, wherever you may go. Joshua 1:9 (paraphrased). I am a big fan of Joshua and this is the first verse I ever memorized and the first verse my kids ever memorized.

    When I was a relatively new Christian I was fearful ALL THE TIME about everything, then I went and got pregnant and that doubled the anxiety. While prgnant with my firs tI did a study searchign for every time God says "fear" "worry" or "anxiety" in the Bible (by hand, oh the joy of computers). It is amazing that the only times he gives us permission to fear have to do with fearing himself. And then I did a study of all the times he says trust. I have them all written down in an notebook somewhere--an entire notebook full of verses on fear and trust.


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