Monday, November 21, 2016


It's November - one whole year since the worst mental health dip that I've ever had, just 10 weeks after the birth of my third child.  My daughter is no longer a wakeful newborn/infant refusing to sleep through the night; she is now the 15-month-old definition of a toddler.

God's grace sustained me over this past year, and I can honestly say that I had more good days than bad ones.  This summer and fall have been especially good.  I'm so grateful that the anniversary of my mental crash didn't trigger another one.

sliding down the slide of mental health ocd anxiety depressionI have been struggling a bit over the last couple of weeks, though, although it has been fairly manageable.

  • Scrupulosity - doubting God and feeling awful about that, asking for forgiveness for my sins compulsively
  • Checking appliances, and (for some reason) now the water heater and furnace
  • Experiencing high anxiety out of the blue

Just today I struggled through thinking that maybe I had sinned and that I had to ask God for forgiveness or else He would be angry with me or maybe my salvation would be in jeopardy.  My head knows that He has cleansed me from all unrighteousness through Christ, even if I don't say the words "Please forgive me for..." or "Thank You for forgiving me for..."  I did end up praying about it and also asking God to help me not give in to compulsions.  My 5-year-old promptly interrupted my quiet prayer from the back of the van, which interrupted my compulsive behavior.  Thank God for His grace.

This afternoon, I saw that I had a missed call from someone I  was supposed to accomplish a task for weeks ago.  I instantly got anxious (and it hasn't gone away yet).  After putting the kids down for naps, I pushed through this task I've pushed off for so long and then returned the phone call.  Of course, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

My stress level has been higher the past few weeks - health issues of family members, joining the board of a nonprofit, possibly taking on a leadership position in our homeschool group, being too busy...  I think it may be time to pull back and just breathe deeply.  Because I know that these dips can come on so incredibly quickly, and I want to do everything within my power to avoid another one.

How do you handle the stress of life?  Do you thrive on it, or (like me) does it make things difficult?