In the Midst of Darkness
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Kristin Reiswig March 28, 2017
This post was scary for me to publish. I let you take a glimpse into my shame. In the end, after debating with myself for a week, I decided that it is important for us to share our stories and to listen to others stories. We bring Light to our deepest, darkest, secrets when we share. Uncovering the darkness and shame. Fighting off the darkness today. I hate depression. I hate everything about it. It's like no other "disease" or alignment I know. There is no cure. No medicines to take it fully away. I share my story to help others. Let them know they are not alone. All the while fighting my own daily demons. Some days you fight off the darkness better than others. And it seems that no matter how much support and love you have from others, you can still feel alone some days. Today is one of those days. Feeling lost in my own thoughts. My own defeat. I constantly question: Why can't I just cope with things like a "normal" person? Why do the stresses of life hit me so hard? Why can't I just look on the bright side and deal effectively? I am a person of faith that used to shame myself for not being a "good enough" Christian. Not believing or trusting in God enough with my life. Thinking that those things would "fix" my depression and anxiety. That is just not the truth.
Having more faith or "being better" won't change the fact that this is a burden I carry. My cross to bear through life with the knowledge that God is walking BESIDE me in my depression.
I've tried several times to get off of medication. Always, ending in disaster.
Disaster that has damaged relationships and hurt people I love. I thought, "this is just a mind strength issue. If I just do this...believe this more...change up that, I will be able to rid myself of this annoyance--depression."
After this last try to take myself off of medication, I finally resolved myself to the fact that this is a chemical imbalance. I finally believed, after 13yrs, that this was medically, a "real thing".
Even tho I have come to this conclusion, it does not mean that I still don't get angry that I have to take medicine, every day. That I still don't have thoughts of "you are capable of doing this on your own." "You can do anything with Christ." "Why can't I do this with Christ?" "Why can't you just be okay, Kristin?!?"
And, It does not mean I still don't feel heartache over this.
Being a mother, I see tendencies in my children that scare the shit out of me and bring on feelings of shame and guilt. But, I would take it 100x over if it meant they didn't have to experience it. I *know* what a struggle depression and anxiety are. God please spare my children, please!
I'm so tired of defending what I've become because of depression. An adulteress, an angry person, a mental hospital patient, anxiety ridden, and a person driven by emotion. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for the pain I've caused you. I am living in your grace. In Gods grace.
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The Imperfect Parent
Kristin Reiswig February 13, 2017
This picture of a magnet was something I posted on facebook 6 years ago. My kids would have been ages 12, 10, 9, 7, and 5.
I really did feel this way most days. That I was trapped with no means of escape. I was "stuck" being a stay at home mom. I was struggling between what I thought I wanted (to be working outside the home) and what I thought I was stuck with (being a stay at home mom) I would see other moms who just loved being a stay at home mom. I observed and judged that other moms had it all together. I also judged myself... A LOT. I couldn't understand people who would say to me "Enjoy it while you can. They are only little once." Why, couldn't I enjoy it?!?! Was I just that selfish? Did I not love my kids as much as other parents loved their kids? I did not do good with my kids when they were young. I loved the baby stage. But 18mo-6/7ish...meh. I struggled during those first years of my kids' lives. We were going through a custody battle for the oldest two. I was anxious all the time. People were out to get me...the Stepmonster.(I'm not joking😬) My integrity, character, parenting skills, and motives were constantly being put into question and monitored under a microscope. I experienced some of the hardest years of my life during my kids' young lives. I could look back on those years with guilt and regret. I could see those years as a waste. But that is not the truth. Yes, those years were hard. Those years I was not the best mom I could be. However, the truth is, I was doing my best. My kids knew that I loved them. My kids knew mom was a little crazy, but loved me anyway. I tried SO hard and judged myself terribly. Those years took a toll on my physical and mental health. It wasn't until about three years ago when a crisis forced me to do some serious self-seeking, soul searching, and healing counseling that things turned around for me. If I were to say I feel guilty about anything during those years, it is that I was too hard on myself. I was so consumed with "mom guilt" and perfection that I missed out on the acceptance of myself, that would have in return made me the mom I so desired to be. No mom is perfect. No mom has it all together. We all have struggles. Please, please remember that. Also, don't fall into the dangerous game of comparison. YOU were given your children--no one else! Your child wants YOU. All of you. Try not to be the mom who is so consumed with guilt, shame and judgment for herself that it is deterring her from being the best mom. Please reach out and be vulnerable if you need encouragement. You will quickly come to realize you are not alone. <3 Kristin
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