Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sometimes life gets messy...

I have had bits and pieces of this post swirling around in my head for quite sometime.  You may have noticed my absence from blogging in the past several months.  For lack of a better way to put it, life has gotten a bit messy at our house.  I have had a need to focus on my family and as little as possible be wrapped up in writing and reading blogs.  Each of you is still important to me, I do check in when I can and am keeping many of you in my prayers.

A new illness reared it's ugly head in our home.  It's called depression.  It's a real disease and just like T1D, it effects the whole family.  This post is a bit tricky becuase its not completely my story to share and I need to respect my children's privacy while at the same time I take the bull by the horns just as I have T1D and advocate and educate. 

Both of my teenagers have a form of depression.  Both of my teenagers have been seen in the ER for their depression.  Both of my teenagers have weekly counseling sessions.  Just like activity or mac-n-cheese effects every T1D differently, depression is different for every person.  Also like T1D for no rhyme or reason a bad day can hit and send one spiraling down out of the blue.  One of my children is currently in the pediatric psych ward of the hospital. She is getting the help she needs to not just survive but to hopefully thrive!

I have this urge to go through the pediatric psych ward, which is very plain and almost dingy, and paint "YOU MATTER"  in big bright letters on every wall in every patient room.  Please do me a favor, if you know someone who is down or maybe suffering from depression make sure they know they matter.

I feel like it is important to both educate and advocate for my kids (and others who suffer) becuase mental illness can be so misunderstood.  Mental illness is looked upon as a bit taboo.  As a parent it is difficult to press pass the judgments or the assumed judgements that I did something wrong.  That I am a bad mom becuase my kids are not happy and thriving.  This is where T1D is helping me becuase I know that I did nothing to cause Bekah's T1D and I (still having to convince myself at times) know I did nothing to cause my children's depression. 

I don't have statistics in front of me but we all know that suicide rates are growing especially in our teens.  We as parents have to realize that depression, anxiety etc are a growing epidemic and we can't just tell our kids to snap out of it.  If only it were that easy.  To us they may seem dramatic or needy but in reality they are suffering and many times in silence.  Just like when you have a bad cold you go see a doctor, it is ok to see a counselor, therapist or psychiatrist if you are feeling depressed.  If you have a learning disability, you are not dumb and if you have a mental illness you are not crazy.  I'm not sure where the idea came in that we are less than if we need help. 

Here is another T1D analogy.  Low blood sugar can be lethal and is one of those things that when gets to a point a person doesn't know how to fix on their own becuase the brain runs on glucose.  Depression can be the same.  I don't know the science behind it but there comes a point with depression where you no longer know how to find your way out and if left unattended can spiral down to lethal levels. 

I used to tell people that were going through a tough time that "God will never give you more than you can handle" and I well meaningly thought those words brought comfort.  As life has unraveled and we have had some tough times, I have to say that saying is BS.  The truth is that no matter what gets thrown your way, God will NEVER  LEAVE YOU.  He will never forsake you.  He walks through the mess with you.  If you chose to free fall in to His arms, He will catch you...every single time.  He loves my kids more than I do and He has a purpose and plan for their lives. 

Have you met my kids?  They are AMAZING!!  They love and serve others with passion.  Both of my teeneagers with out the other knowing it and at separate times said they wanted more than anything to take their diabetic sister to a concert (Josh wanted to take Bekah to Taylor Swift and Megan wanted to take her to Justin Beiber) and they were willing to sacrifice a birthday gift and party for themselves to be able to do this for their sister.  Unfortunately in both cases the tickets sold out before we had the money. 

It would be easy to sweep this mess under the carpet and not share.  It would be easy to put a smile on my face and make you think that we are one big happy family.  Fake it 'till you make it right?  I am not judging but too many people do that. I am guilty of it myself.  We don't want people to see our mess because they might judge or think they are better than us because our mess is ugly.  I think we as human beings have so much to learn from each other and some of it has to do with watching others walk through the mess.  I will try not to sugar coat it and I don't know how often I will blog about it becuase there is life to be lived but you are welcome to watch how we walk this out.  We are not going to do this perfectly but God will be glorified and we will praise Him in the mess!



  1. Heidi, you are the BEST mom for your kids! You Rock! YOU and YOUR family are covered in my prayers. Depression is so hard, so lonely and so ugly. I, myself struggle with it and so does my oldest son. My son's didn't show up until he was over 18 and now we can't make him get the help he so needs. So glad you are getting help. Many blessings, Cherie

  2. So glad that your children are getting help for their disease. Many parents as you say dismiss the disease. Thanks for sharing and educating others. God bless.

  3. Heidi, you are great mom and such an a amazing person. I am so glad to know you!! Sending hugs and love. You will get through this ...stronger and happier. ((HUGS))

  4. Thanks so much for writing this for us all, Heidi. Your life speaks VOLUMES to my heart about this scripture passage:
    Romans 5:1-5 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." I love you so much my friend. <3

  5. Glad to see a post, friend. But sad that it's a post like this. Praying! I know what its like to deal with these types of things minus type 1.
    *praying hard*

  6. So many people suffer from serious depression at some point in their lives and it's important to recognize the seriousness and treat it. Because teens are so impulsive by nature, and their hormones are undergoing extreme change, their bodies as well, first love interests so intense, I believe they are especially at risk. But they have good medications out there and I believe the doctors can get your kids back on track. I don't think it has to be a permanent condition. Hoping they will respond to the medication and get well shortly. You must be so worried. I'm aure the docs will get them stabilized; may take a few months. Hang in there.

  7. Thinking of you and your beautiful family sweet friend!!

  8. Praying for your family, my friend. I hope your precious children find the help they need to avoid the traps that accompany depression. May today be the start of a healing road ahead.

  9. Take care Heidi...and don't worry about being judged (I know easier said than done), but the mere fact that you know your children struggle with depression is amazing, many parents are clueless. I was raised in a home with an older sibling with bipolar disorder, it was rough, not because of her disorder but because it was often ignored - I grew up not knowing that the chaos had a cause and often questioned myself due to it all. So...bravo to you for tackling this head on, making your children of the utmost importance and not shying away from informing, too. Take care ((HUGS))

  10. Been thinking of you and your beautiful family Heidi. xo

  11. Thinking about you and your sweet family.
    Sending huge hugs from Texas to each of you!

  12. Praying for you and your sweet family.