I’ve struggled with this post for a while as the intent of my blog starting out was to share the story of our farm and not so much about our personal lives. Well as you would have guessed these go hand in hand. Farming is very personal for us as we are carrying on a legacy created generations ago. This legacy is something we hope to pass on, but in order to do that we have to take care of ourselves. So here it goes...
About six month ago I was sitting in a hotel room, alone. No kids running around, no middle of the night wake up calls to tuck someone back in, no meals to put on the table and no snuggles to be had. I had zero guilt for not missing any of it. I’m usually one that hates to be away for long periods of time especially bedtime, the sweetest part of our daily routine.
I didn’t miss my husband and I didn’t miss my kids. No desire to go home, I really was wondering how long the hotel would let me stay before they got suspicions. I know that there are breaking points for most moms, and moments when we do need to get away. This “getting away” was so different, it wasn’t me holed up in the bathroom for five minutes regaining my composure. It wasn’t me longing to go home for snuggles. It was me hitting rock bottom. A rock bottom of postpartum depression I wasn’t sure I was ready to face.
As I packed up after five days of being gone from home I began to wonder if my family really missed me. Would they really care if I came home? My mind was telling me maybe, but my heart was telling me no. Postpartum depression is a deep demon that tears at your heart strings and in my case makes me believe many lies.
I did the right thing that day and drove home to my family. I didn’t follow through on the lies that the demons were stirring in my soul. The top lie, do they really need me in their earthly lives?
That evening the kids and my husband happily greeted me at the door, but so did a pile of dishes, heaps of laundry and crumbs I could hardly stand to step on. It was as if with each step these crumbs were working in sync with Satan. Crumb one, “you are not worth it.” Crumb two “haha, you really think you can do this?” Crumb three, “don’t make a fool of yourself Lisa, keep it together or don’t.” Each crumb was a thorn and a scar on my heart and mind.
Something prompted me that evening to share these feelings with my husband, was it my last cry? Did I really have something wrong with me? It was decided I needed to call my OB. I pushed this off several days and confided in a coworker. He had a similar tone as my husband, make the call. A few days later a phone call was made and I was prescribed an antidepressant that would take twelve weeks to take full effect. Who has twelve weeks to wait to be happy? Another crumb. Surprisingly they started to work within several weeks and I started to feel less anxiety and more happiness. This only lasted for a short week or so. Pretty soon I was emotionless with no highs or lows. Just steady. Steady felt almost as bad as that deep dark hole.
I recognized this as did those closest to me. Again we knew an adjustment needed to be made, I ditched the pills and confided in a doctor that has been in my life for the past ten or so years. She spoke truth into my heart about my worth and being, she helped me to find solutions or a path to a solution that made sense. She explained what my body was lacking and why I was feeling the way that I was. She spoke truth into me.
Now don’t take this as she solved the issues in that one meeting, she didn’t and I am still fighting the battle six month later. She was a true second starting point for me. Thankfully my husband, family and some very close coworkers know of my struggles. These individuals that I have reached out to are advocating for me. They are being my backbone when I don’t feel as though I have one. In those moments when I want to crack I have someone to confide in. They speak the truth into me that I cannot see in those deep dark moments. As time has passed these moments are fewer, but I also have come to realize that I need to take care of myself. I need to see in myself what others see in me. If I am not healthy those around me will see my dark side not my happy side.
This journey that I am on also makes me worried for all of the others out there who do not have the capacity to ask for or to seek out help. For those who do not have others to lean on. My one request as you read this is, be that person. Ask the right questions but most of all be a listening ear for someone. You taking time out of your busy schedule to listen will be one of the biggest gifts you can ever give someone. I know as I have soaked up many precious minutes of others as they have listened to me as I struggle through postpartum depression. Do not let this person be alone emotionally. Being emotionally alone is one of the hardest places to be as postpartum depression eats away at you. I found that in these alone moments the darkness fell faster.
If you are a normal ready of my blog you may recall this post where I shared my word of the year for 2018. God laid the word deliverance on my heart for a reason. Now I don’t know the exact reason at this point, but I pray daily that I am delivered from this demon that has overtaken my happiness. I also pray that others who suffer mentally from any sort of illness are able to be delivered from it and can rejoice in the hands of our Father. When I look at someone I want to look in their eyes and see Jesus. I don’t want to see their outward appearance, I want to see their inward grace. I want them to know that whatever demon they are fighting there is a greater and bigger God that will guide us if we ask for him to do so.
***If you believe that you are suffering from any sort of depression or mental illness, please seek out help. Find someone that you trust to confide in, this individual or group of people will build you up so you may also see your worth. You are so loved and don't let anyone tell you differently.
Have you ever been at a conference or in a meeting where you wanted to stand on the tables and applaud those speaking? They lit a fire under you and you now have an increased level of gumption. That was me on Wednesday. The only reason I stayed sitting in my seat was because I was in the front row and didn’t want to cause a scene. But honestly I was surrounded by rockstars.
Whether these women worked in the banking industry, production agriculture, education, law, research, etc they all had a reason and a purpose for being in that auditorium. That auditorium has housed the Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference for the last several years. This is hands down my must attend conference every year. The planning committee does a phenomenal job of lining up speakers and tying the whole day together. This year the theme was “Passion for Progress” and the panels of speakers on executive leadership and women’s affinity groups were on fire.
One of my biggest takeaways wasn’t new to me but I appreciated the way it was presented. As women we aren’t “just” anything.
We aren’t just farm wives.
We aren’t just moms.
We aren’t just insurance specialists.
We aren’t just directors.
We aren’t just agronomists.
I think you get the point. When we are in any given situation we need to believe that we are there for a reason. We all have a purpose and a calling. We need to throw the “just” to the roadside and own what and who we are. Here’s and example: I don’t actively help on the farm every day but I do bring warm meals to the field, I make sure my farmer has clean clothes, I pick up parts from the dealership, and I advise on crop insurance. I am not just a farm wife, I am an integral part of the operation.
It doesn't matter if you are sitting in a boardroom or standing in a corn field let your passion and dedication shine through. Your integrity, courage and humble confidence will carry you far. Learn who you are and trust in yourself. Surround yourself with mentors who will be honest with you, but can also see the things in you that you can’t see in yourself. Drop the just and OWN who you are and most of all be humble while you are doing it.
P.S. I geared this post towards women because well hello that’s me, but that doesn’t discount that this same message applies for men too.
I'm Lisa, a farm wife, mom and old lady at heart (or my husband tells me so). Agriculture, quilting, and baking were my first loves and now I get to enjoy them with my family!