All of my life, I think I've dealt with the blues a little bit more than most. Having a baby put those blues into a tailspin. Then I got pregnant with our second baby. I remember getting a few disapproving looks and halting congratulations from some who knew of my struggles with postpartum depression with Linus. And then having our third daughter, I can only imagine what some were thinking when there were the occasional "Isn't two enough?" or "Oh, wow, I thought you had your hands full with 2."
So, despite the risk of postpartum depression, the risk of possibly making my depression worse, I chose to have 2 more kids. My husband and I chose to have our family grow. I realized that things are bigger than me. What ultimately is best for my family and myself, may sound ludicrous or crazy, it may cause trials and difficult days and a few meltdowns. But sometimes, just sometimes, there is a method to the madness and there is the voice that starts out small and then turns into a scream that can not be ignored that something needs to happen. I can't explain it any more than I can explain coincidence or intuition. I can't explain my need to have this last baby to complete our family any more than I can explain the random occasions that I've thought about someone and reached out or did something for them at just the moment they needed it most.There is something bigger than me out there.Something that kept Matt and I single for so many years and kept running us into each other. Something that kept his desire to be with me strong for nearly 15 years. Something that kept my interest in him piqued even after dating him in High School. There is something that always said in the back of my mind that I'd marry him, that he'd be the one I shared my life with.
From what I've been reading, depression is a treatable condition, but it takes more than medication. Successful treatment usually involves some combination of medication, therapy, and even making some lifestyle changes.
I've decided to make it a little easier on my primary care physician and go to someone who specializes in brain chemistry medication, hence my new pseudonym. It kind of makes me feel famous and that I need one to protect my identity. hahaha. Anyway, I've also worked on therapy a little bit, but most places don't want your kids there and I'm not in a place right now that I want to find a babysitter once a week or once a month to do that. So that will have to wait, or I can write, or I can talk to Matt. He's pretty great at listening. The next thing I've done is making some changes in my lifestyle, or more exactly, changes in my spiritual life. My instinct is to apologize to all of my friends and family that are Christian and may be offended by the recent choices I've made with my spiritual practice, but the amazing-ness that I've found won't let me. I can't apologize for a lifestyle that has completely changed my life and is therefore changing those around me for the better.
I'd like to first thank my good friend Darren for introducing me to the idea of Buddhism. He has always been there for anyone to do anything. He is the most amazing friend and has always gone above and beyond for everyone. He is the one that married Matt and I. Then I met the wife of one of Matt's co-workers and she introduced me to a type of Buddhism that is focused more on the layman so we can each change our own karma. We are responsible for our actions, our wishes, our desires, and for the outcome. It is Nichiren Buddhism and I chant twice a day. Not only does it help me center and focus my energies on positive thinking, it reminds me that my problems are small in the scheme of things and to keep them small. It has been a humbling experience and has helped make me a better mom.
What else has helped me be a better mom? Watching my friends from India interact with my kids and other kids. They are amazing and seeing the cultural difference in their roles in family as compared to what we are used to here, it is such a blessing to see. As a stay at home mom and still learning my maternal side, it is a breath of fresh air and an pleasant reminder that children are such an important part of our lives. How we treat them and others is how they learn to interact with others. I want them to be more loving, accepting, and patient with those around them and to always think in the manner that they aren't walking in your shoes so they don't know what you are going through. I want them to always remember that someone needs something even if it's just a smile and there is always room for a kind word, that there is never a place for belittlement, disrespect, and harsh or mean words, and to live life knowing that to we are all made of the same elements, if you disrespect someone, you are disrespecting yourself. I want them to literally live by the golden rule, but to expand it that they do unto themselves as they would want done. I don't want them to think or treat themselves poorly.
All in all, I am healthy, happy, and things are really good. THAT is what is important.
Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda
Thursday, October 11, 2012:
Thursday, October 11, 2012:
It is important to have a sufficiently elevated life-condition so that you will be able to calmly accept whatever happens in life, striving to put problems into proper perspective and solving them with a positive attitude. Happiness blossoms forth from such a
strong and all-encompassing life-condition.