Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Growing Pains

I am still thinking about the wonderful time we had with friends last week.  Long days spent out on the boat, laughing, relaxing, swimming, skiing.  Summer is coming to an end around here.  The kids start school tomorrow.  I am looking forward to some alone time in the house each day.  I spent a lot of time yesterday doing laundry, cleaning, taking care of a sick child, and catching up from being out of town.  Today, I am exhausted and barely had enough energy to fill out a few forms the kids need to take to school.

I don't know who out there has ever dealt with clinical depression but for me, the most frustrating part is the unpredictable energy highs and lows.  There is no rhyme or reason to them.  I have notebooks filled with logs tracking my sleep schedule, my stress level, my medication schedule, my food intake, how many meetings I attended that week, my husband's work schedule, the time of day, the time of year, and other female-specific cycles, all in an attempt to gain some sort of control over my moods and energy levels.  The most useful information I have gained from all of it comes down to what time of the year it is and my stress level (meaning how many demands are being placed on me or how many I place on myself.)

For the last three years, the seasonal pattern has been depression during the fall and winter and as spring approaches, my mood swings upward into some mania and by mid-end summer I am on my way down again.  I am hoping this fall will be different since my stress level has been significantly reduced by the fact that I no longer work outside the home.  Last summer I was forced to quit due to my deteriorating mental health.  I know that I am doing what is best for me and my family right now and that being at home is God's will for me.  In fact, his will for me was to stop working long before I did.  Counselors, friends, and doctors all told me I needed make major changes in my life to reduce my stress.  I didn't listen because I am defiant and think I know what is best.  What a lesson in humility this past year has been.

I am still healing from the damage I caused my mind and body by ignoring the will of God. The support of friends, family, people in the program, working the 12 steps, the talents of excellent doctors and counselors, and ultimately, the grace of God have all helped me this past year, which has been the most traumatic year in my six years of sobriety. 

For me, life didn't get easier when I quit drinking.  Life got harder because I started changing and growing.  They're called growing PAINS for good reason --they hurt!  I am still growing and hurting, some days more than others.  Today, I know God will use me and my painful experiences to be of service to others and for this I am so grateful.

I am grateful to be sober and alive.  I hope you are, too.


  1. Living sober.
    Better than the alternative.

  2. Yes, growing pains are hard, but they are rewarding. Thank you for sharing the inspiration of your growth with us. :-)

  3. I'm there with you sister. Here's a blog hug! I've never been diagnosed with depression but I know what you mean. I do well in the spring and most of the summer and you know what happens then. My school is coming panic. Then I'm good through December and then my mood drops. Jan. is a cold long month in Wisconsin. I also understand what you mean when you say "growing pains". Yep, life on lifes terms is painful but not as painful as denial for at least now we're living. My two youngest start school a week from tomorrow. So rest, and take good care of yourself so you can take care of them......

  4. Fall is a time of nostalgia for me. I see the beauty of fall and it makes me fill up. I guess I know that winter is coming. Take care and roll with the changes your HP puts in front of you.


Thank you for sharing!