I dig that word. Radical. I'm sure many people have probably thought I was a little "extreme in regards to traditional forms" at different points in my life. Like when I got engaged to Jonathan about 5 weeks after our first date. Or how about when we found out at 22 weeks that I was having identical twins. Yep, pretty radical. I'm sure it was definitely an adjective used when we announced we were adopting another kid in 2007 and there's no doubt it was muttered again when we did it again just 19 months later. Yes, it can be used to describe parts of my life, but is it really who I am?
Who I am? I've thought about that a lot the last few weeks. Over the past year and a half, I have struggled with the pits of depression. It's been bad. I look back over those last 18 months and often wonder who I was during that period as I know for me, I was even a stranger to myself. I faced a lot of dark days and made a lot of bad decisions, but I also learned so much about myself and I literally fought my way back. And it was a hard fight. Talk to someone who is real with you about depression and has really struggled and they will tell you that it's probably the hardest thing they have ever done. For someone like me that is totally a "glass half full" kind of gal, the fact that the glass looked empty and dirty for 18 months truly sucked. Depression is a very isolating disease. You don't want anyone to know what you are dealing with, how you really feel and you certainly don't want to be any more of a burden on someone when you already feel like the biggest pain to begin with. Satan can truly make you think that everyone is better off without you, that your mistakes are actually your successes, and that you will never get better. I'm proud to say I told Satan to stick it and I proved him wrong.
What did I learn through the process? Well, first and foremost, I learned that I seriously think every person should be required to see a therapist at least once in their life. I found an amazing one that helped me get to the roots of what made me be depressed. She gave me tools to deal with the anxiety that weren't medication. She loved me for me and didn't judge. Second, I learned to stop feeling guilty about taking meds. I was convinced that if my relationship with Christ was more firmly rooted, I wouldn't be depressed and yet as my therapist put it, "would you argue with a diabetic because they had to take insulin?" Third, I've learned that although it seemed so daunting 5 months ago, I'm ok with talking about it. It's part of who I am and to be quite honest, I seriously think it's made me really put things back into perspective. Christ first, marriage second, family third, friends fourth. It's made me realize that no matter what kind of house I live in, no matter what kind of car I drive, and no matter what kind of clothes I wear, my JOY comes from the Lord, not in physical things in this world.
I think that last statement has totally scared my husband to death. You see, I'm the free spirit in the relationship. AKA: I like to shop and spend money, a lot. I also tend to have hoarding tendencies with some things and yet purge things others might deem important. A few weeks ago, it's like a light switch was flipped. Not that I cared much what people thought of me before, but now, I REALLY don't care. I just want us to focus on what's important and shed the not so important stuff. I've started cutting back my spending, like big time. I've starting looking at the big picture on things that I used to not think about. I've started being more real, not only with myself but hopefully with those around me. I'm tired of being chained to depression and I'm determined to live a radical life that is centered on my relationship with Christ.
There you have it...probably one of the main reasons I haven't blogged and honestly, I don't know that I will from this point forward except a few random posts a few times a year. I'm excited about the possibilities in front of our family. I'm excited to be at a point mentally, physically, and financially that our family is able to jump into what HE has in store for us. I'm excited for the ride ahead. I'm excited to be radical again.