Every trial is God’s priceless gift to me that He patiently wrapped in fears and miseries, boxed in anxiety, tied with a plain-colored ribbon, with a card on top saying, “You can do it, my precious daughter, I am with you!”
My Millennium Bug
Seventeen years ago, as everybody was fearing the millennium that was approaching because of the threat of the Y2K bug, I never thought that it would hit me earlier than expected.
My husband out of nowhere packed his things and left us without a word, and my youngest son who was very close to him got depressed and fell ill.
I distinctly remember how I listened to every tick of my watch, stared at the wall of the hospital, walked to and fro the hallway hoping for good news, and then the doctor came out breaking the news no one wanted to hear. The inevitable had happened. I will no longer see my son go to school because I had to walk him to his grave, the most painful phase of my motherhood journey.
I thought that was all, but no, God was not done yet. Another surprise came a month after, another sad news. My mom had a heart attack and was declared DOA.
At that time, I was a single mom of three kids, and since my mom passed away, I also got to take care of my sick dad.
Anxiety And Depression Kicks In
Months passed, and still, I got these sleepless nights. Every night was just the same as all the others. I just tossed and turned on my bed trying to catch that elusive sleep, but all my efforts were of no use. I couldn’t go on that way, so I went to my doctor who gave me some sedatives. I avoided my caffeine and took herbal alternatives, which were supposed to induce sleep but all to no avail. The best they provided me was 2 to 3 hours of sleep.
Is this stress? I hope so.
I turned to read my Bible as I lay awake in the middle of the night, listened to gospel songs because they comfort me, and prayed that whatever I was going through, I hoped God will cure me.
Sleepless nights were then followed by hot and cold flashes and night sweats. I felt afraid and, in panic, I just cried and cried. My doctor finally told me that it was anxiety disorder combined with depression. “Anxiety is a kind of looking to the future, seeing dangerous things that might happen in the next hour, day or weeks. Depression is all that with the addition of ‘I really don’t think I’m going to be able to cope with this, maybe I’ll just give up.’ It’s shutdown marked by mental, cognitive or behavioral slowing,” said David Barlow, PhD, director of Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.
It explained the sleepless nights. According to Katie Hurley, LCSW, “People struggling with depression are likely to have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.” My doctor then gave me some more medications and said that we should be able to identify the triggers to address the problem adequately.
Acceptance Is Never Easy
For someone who often looks down on mental health issues, this is nothing easy to take. It was another blow, but I needed to accept and embrace my doctor’s suggestions for it’s the only path I know that would help me get on the road to recovery finally.
Julian Humphreys, PhD, PCC, wrote, “[T]he more open and accepting we are about what’s really going on with us, the more likely it is that we will find healthy defenses that contribute in sustainable ways to our own and others’ long-term growth and development.” I needed to be healed because I’m a mother, a daughter, and I had a small business to run.