Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It's hard to say whether I'm relieved or embarrassed.

My doctor put me on a two-week Leave-Of-Absence from work, beginning today. I'm relieved, obviously, because I need some down time after Christmas. I'm embarrassed because we just had a two-week break, and I still need more time. However, for anyone who has children, two weeks at home with them doesn't necessarily add up to a "break." I'm also embarrassed because I have to admit my lack of ability to function in my life. I have a hard time not worrying about what other people think of me. I confess that that's been an issue for me for most of my life. I know that my "success" in life doesn't add up to what other people think of me, but it's still hard to let it go. So, in order to prescribe a leave of absence, my doctor had to write a letter saying that my symptoms of depression are worsening. I feel like it makes me sound like a coward instead of having a legitimate diagnosis. However, I know that my brain needs time to rest and heal since depression is a real chemical chemical imbalance caused by chronic stress. And, yeah, I've had a little bit of chronic stress in the past year; stress that has left me unable to process simple thoughts and words, with poor memory and a very short fuse. I just wish there was a balm that I could rub on my brain just as easily as putting lotion on dry skin. What my body and brain need are time - down time, non-stressful time, peaceful time.

Now let me qualify my ongoing battle with depression. I do not, in any way, shape or form, think that I am incapable of self-help when it comes to depression. I know that there are things that I can do to help the process, but these are the very things that I've been less than capable of doing during the past year.

First and foremost, I know that I need to pray - more than anything else on my list - I need to pray and I need to pray often! I had a lot more time to pray during the summer, but I've let it go quite a bit since school started.

I also need to exercise - good, heart-pumping, endorphin-raising, cardiovascular exercise. But again, time is lacking. And energy, of course, is also lacking from the cycle of lack of exercise and lack of prayer, etc. etc. etc.

And I need to re-train my brain with positive, Bible-centered thinking, and probably a trained psychologist, which is why I'm returning to therapy this week, after taking a year's hiatus due to Al's stroke.

Now that I've let myself get into such a rut, it's time to pull out all the stops and work on getting myself healthy again. And of course, I need time, rest, and the Lord's healing as well.

I hope 2 weeks is enough time!


  1. Medication is a blessing too! I am encouraged that you have the desire to change and be healed. God can do it! Please don't worry about what others think really its none of your business anyway. You are a beautiful woman inside and out! No one has a perfect life.You have been through so much recently. I will pray that God will give you an extra measure of hope. Hope that life will get better and that you can do all things in Christ who gives you strength. You are very loving and loveable! ;-D

  2. Jen - I think it's so admirable to stop and say, "I can't do it all." Seriously, this is my biggest struggle (just ask Jon, eh heh) and I tend to just keep going and pushing til something blows.

    So kudos for knowing your needs and limits. From the outside looking in, this seems to be an incredibly smart idea.

    May the Lord multiply your time! Blessings and hugs.

  3. Congratulations! I think your decision and your doctors support is very courageous...not embarrassing. It is a fact. You have been through and are going through a lot. You need this time to do what needs to be done. Two weeks for all you are dealing with seems like a tall order...I hope you make great progress and get an extension if need be. Best wishes!

  4. I think you'd be surprised how many women struggle with worrying what other people think of us. The strong ones admit it. :)

    I've had a year of seeming failure-I haven't worked in a year. I never ever thought I'd be in this position, not with the great resume' I have and running Franciscan's conferences. I mean really. I had a plum job and now I'm jobless?

    But God, in his kindness, is ever with us where we are at. Be there with him. It's harder to struggle to not admit it than it is to admit it and deal with it. So you took time off? So, I'm living with my brother! So what?!

    I am so glad you post on FB. I often say a prayer for you when I see you. I know suffering sucks, but after every cross I've carried, I've been graced to be able to see that I grew. We always have a choice to choose God in the struggle, we don't often see the benefit until afterwards. So choose God, forget what others think (they are too busy thinking about themselves anyway) and be good to yourself.

    Thanks so much for sharing yourself.