Thursday, February 6, 2014


Do you get overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities of life? I surely do! I feel I'm drowning in all the duties of my life and doing none of them very good. 

I used to be such an organized person.  Even after we had five children, I had everything done, organized and cleaned.   But since the accident, I can not concentrate on things very well.   I was such a focused person but I cannot maintain focus still.  Some days are a bit better than others.  It's not like I'm sitting around all day doing nothing, I keep busy but not focused.  It is so frustrating to me!

Today I made some decisions that I think will help me.  I bought a big notebook to keep track of the "to do list" as well as other things.  That along with the calendar should help me.   Recently I've used about four different notebooks as well as backs of envelopes, that would get this has to be better. 

We keep our house picked up and as clutter free as possible but I don't have time to deep clean very often so I've found someone to clean my house deep once a month.  To me, this is a bit humbling but at this point in life, I have people in and out of my home day & night, there is just not enough time to do this and I can't stand things not clean!

I've asked someone to take over some of the paperwork responsibilities of the church.

And this may shock some of you but I've made an appointment with a psychiatrist.  The appointment has been made for more than a month but it's like a relief to know I have the appointment set.  Some may see this as a cop out but I recognize the stress I'm under and how I'm dealing with it.  The stress of my life is not going to go away.  Sometimes a person can be in a stressful situation for a short time and can deal with it.  I've been in this extreme situation for a year and a half.  There are so very many different facets to our situation that it is just unreal.  Our lives were changed for the better when we had Sam, adopted Shad, and adopted the girls.  But with each thing came more stress and more responsibility .  Then the accident and the ongoing status of Selah is incredibly hard to wrap your mind around.   I've been asked if I am depressed and really I don't think so.  Because I do have a hope beyond this life, I know one day everything will be ok.  I look forward to that future time but I also look forward to things in our lives now.  We have a lot of responsibilities but we are really pretty happy people.  I've been depressed before, like after the death of the twins and that is not how I feel now at all.  I do feel grief sometimes that overwhelms me about Selah.  But overall, I look forward to what life has in store for us.  There are so many things going on GOOD in our lives right now. 

But what I have the hardest thing dealing with is the lack of focus day to day and the anxiety that something else bad will happen to one of us.  I joke around with my close friends, who all tend to have the same sense of humor I have, and say as long as I worry about it....IT will NOT happen.  For example, one of my friends was going back home on a plane and I made sure I worried about it crashing for her so then it wouldn't crash LOL!  You know they say 99% of what you worry about will not happen so I worry so it won't happen?  Make sense to you?  It makes plenty of sense to me:)

But the serious things is I didn't ever worry about my kids falling into the Erie Canal....and it happened.  They went off in the stroller, down the sidewalk on a beautiful day........So now I worry that random things will happen to us.....Ok are you ready to call in the guys with the white suit yet?   I share this in a light hearted way because I know it is absurd but..... I worry.  And I know that that is not normal to worry so much.  Please no scriptures about worrying....I know them.  I'm also NOT going to a Christian counselor for that very reason.  I don't need to be told I'm in sin for being worried for my family.  (not that I think it is a sin to worry, I think it is human nature as we live in a fallen world where bad things happen that we have no control over.)  If the doctor turns out to be a Christian that is great if not that's ok too with me. 

So I'm hoping I will find some help to let me focus better & to let go of some of the anxiety of my life.  If you knew me "in real life" you probably wouldn't think I battle with these things.  I'm being very honest & open on here because there are so many people who struggle in their minds who are ashamed to get help.  People tell me all the time "you make it look easy"  Well it's not easy....

Of course I believe my MAIN help comes from the Maker of Heaven and earth....I wouldn't be in any way able to function without God.  But just as we have doctors for our bodies, there are doctors for our minds too. 

So I'm being extremely open and vulnerable here......but this is my REAL life and it is where I am at.  I want to be healthy physically and mentally to be able to take care of my children for the rest of my life.  I'm hoping to have many years to care and love on my little ones.  The three little ones will always need us to take care of all their needs so I want to be healthy to do so. 

I grew up around mental illness.  Of course as a child you don't recognize it it's "just the way things are"  But both of my aunts had a fear of leaving the house.  One of them had extreme anxiety about everything from her health to everyone's safety., I understand now looking back.  Obviously there were many dysfunctional aspects to my life, having parents who walked out on me as a child and  who lived like teenagers as long as possible..... so I know I do not want to live like that. 

So I hope my honesty will help someone who is reading this to get help if they need it.  I've told a few friends I was going to share about this and they were shocked.

This morning I read this on a friend's wall  "Dear friends, be careful of the preacher who never has a doubt, a bad day, loses a battle, or always is on top of the spiritual world!"  I thought it was a good quote.  So I guess with me you don't have to worry about that with me.....


  1. It never hurts to have someone to "spill" to! I understand the lack of focus....if you get some coping ideas please share!!!!! Good for you for making this decison (plus the cleaning, notebook, and paperwork help decisions)! Prayers that all of it helps tremendously!!!

  2. Yvonne there is absolutely nothing wrong with you - you are human and you experienced trauma! You have been through so much in such a short time. I suffered a near death experience 5 years ago and life has never been the same. I too have a history of anxiety and other mental health issues. My world changed because I was no longer in control. What happened to me came out of no where (anaphylaxis from a medication). One minute I was swallowing a pill and the next minute I was unable to breathe and covered in hives. What followed was awful. Now I expect things to just happen for no reason. I am so proud of you for getting help and speaking out. You are an amazing woman and an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Best wishes for a journey of understanding and healing...I think honesty is the only way to deal with things. And quite honestly living with and caring for special needs is stressful no matter what anyone says. People that don't have special needs children don't have the same worries, appointments, schedules etc. And while we did chose some of it other things pop up along the road of parenthood that we didn't chose - that is stressful too. Thanks for being honest and again, best wishes that you get the inner calm for all these things :)

  4. I'm glad you're being pro-active and getting help where you feel it is necessary. Raising 5 kids is hard enough, in addition to meeting their needs leaves a lot of room for stress on a good day. It also takes a while to figure out a system of organizing everything that works for YOU, and when there is a constant change in variables finding that system, and trying to make it work can be very overwhelming.

    Given the loss of your twins, the accident and everything you've previously been through, you are doing amazingly well. Please know that none of it had anything to do with sin, it's just real life and you're following the Universe's (God's) plan for you. If you didn't have any anxiety surrounding such things, then there would be really something to worry about.

    I'm glad you're seeing a psychiatrist, because of their ability/training to objectively see things to help you, instead of placing the uncontrollable circumstances you've experienced in your lap, calling it "sin" and harming your mental health. Sin is acting on the intent to hurt another being. Keep in mind that there is potential that you won't mesh well with your psychiatrist, because of personality differences etc. but keep at it until you find the one that's the right fit for YOU.

    I wish you all the best on this part of your journey, and I hope it will help you in all the ways you're hoping for too.

    Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming......

  5. I was curious why you would see a psychiatrist, and not a psychologist? A psychiatrist is trained in medicine, a psychologist teaches you to control anxiety. Just wondering! I think you would absolutely LOVE being in excellent, insightful therapy. It is truly amazing how God made our brains to change just by the way we think of things! Brains literally change from good, hard work in therapy. It is almost unbelievable how God has made us! :) Wishing you all the best -

  6. Thank you for posting about this. I think in a lot of Christian communities there is the perception that people who trust in God will not suffer from depression. This is not a Christian principle. We are told to bring our troubled minds to Him; we are not told that we will never be depressed, nor that being a Christian will guarantee happiness. Indeed, sometimes choosing a Christian lifestyle will bring hurt, disappointment, and grief. What we are promised, is that God will be with us.
    From what you have revealed, I would think that you are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder - and I speak from experience. Your recent stressful situation/s have put your body into a fight or flight situation, from which there seems no release. Your decision to seek the support of a psychiatrist is a wise and practical one. Someone who can listen to your fears and anxieties and assure you that your body's response is a legitimate one. One of the counsellors I have talked with in recent years has likened my situation (similar, but not the same as yours) to being in a war zone; with absolutely no control over what is happening, and the toll that this takes on your body and mind is similar to that suffered by both civilians and soldiers in a war situation. I am sure that you will get the help you need, and that you will learn techniques to reduce the stress you are experiencing, and once again be able to become the organised, enthusiastic person you remember.
    My husband and I foster a now 11 year old with severe disabilities. Throughout her life, beginning from six months of age, we have been told that she would not survive; and there have been times when her life has hung in the balance, when body systems were shutting down, when there seemed no hope; then again when she suffered severe brain damage from an infection, remained in a coma for six days and we were told that she would not recover. By God's grace, each time she has recovered, although suffering significant physical or cognitive losses, but proving that she is not ready to leave us yet. But the burden of carrying this knowledge for the past 10 years has been heavy. And although there have been times when we have been able to 'forget' about the diagnosis and prognosis, we frequently have reminders that although she seems to be doing well, her grasp on life is indeed tenuous, and could end at any time.
    One of the most helpful things told to me was when I confessed that I felt powerless; no longer in control of my life and I was reminded that it was the condition of our foster daughter that was in control; my job was not to control, but to 'manage' - and that was something that was much more attainable.
    At the beginning of last year we spent three months in hospital, and since that time I have found it very difficult to do even simple tasks; the pile of paperwork on my desk grew and grew; simple tasks were left undone; I seemed to be busy all the time, without achieving anything. I had no energy, no interest in taking even a small amount of time to do the things I wanted to do, or needed to do to promote my personal health.
    Thankfully, that fog is slowly lifting, and I am little by little accomplishing those tasks I have long neglected. I have a long way to go before I feel I am again even 'managing' things, but at least I feel as if I am on the way.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you; I have followed your story since Sam and Selah's accident, and can just imagine stressful your life has been. God bless.

  7. How "big" of you to take good care of yourself including mental health. God has given us the brains to seek out the help He has provided in His people and psychiatry is a field of medicine like any other. Go for it!

  8. Good for you for taking care of yourself....psychiatry is a field of medicine that God has given us and He provides for our physical and mental health through the people He has created and gifted. Go for it!