Category Archives: About Me

PTSD and Depression

I didn’t want to write this post nor did I want to share the contents of my heart so publically. For a long time I knew that I needed to write this post, but I deleted it many times before finding the courage to finish and post it. I am not writing this for sympathy, nor do I want sympathy.

It’s been nearly two years since PC’s heart stopped.

Quick review, my husband’s heart stopped one morning about 3AM due to Brugada Syndrome (it causes an irregular heartbeat that stops the heart, previously called sudden death syndrome).  Mercifully, God had different plans and PC’s death wasn’t permanent. I was able to do CPR until the paramedics came and shocked his heart back into rhythm. As a result he has an internal defibrillator.

Two big results of this traumatic experience are that I struggle with PTSD and Depression.

My PTSD caused nightmares at first where I would wake up screaming. I haven’t had any nightmares for a while now.  If I hear any disturbance in PC’s sleep it causes me to wake up and sometimes I have flashbacks; though they are growing less frequent.  Certain smells or images will also cause flashbacks.  It makes it very difficult emotionally for me to leave PC overnight for any reason. I have panic attacks. I can’t think about this difficult time without an emotional response.

Early 2009, I started to sink into a deep depression. I stopped many of the activities I enjoy like writing, reading and taking pictures.  I withdrew emotionally from my friends.  I quit “fighting.”  I no longer felt the need to defend myself or defend issues that were important to me.  I felt so hollow and empty inside.  I prayed and read the Bible but felt disconnected and lonely.  In retrospect, I wish I had the courage to talk to my friends about how I felt.

My co-workers noticed the change in my mood. I didn’t realize how much my mood reflected my soul until now when they comment that they’re glad to have the old Anna back. 

I assume that PC’s heart stopping and the PTSD caused my depression. I was prone to occasional down moods but never had such a long dark period in my life.

It took me a while to realize that something was wrong with my mood.  When I finally realized that I wasn’t doing the things I enjoyed and that I wasn’t happy or excited about things anymore, I knew I needed to do something. I did pray whenever I felt my dark moods coming. I prayed for rescue and deliverance. I forced myself to do the things I used to enjoy, even if I didn’t find enjoyment in them at that moment.  I talked to my husband about my depression.  My mood started to lift and I started to enjoy life again.  I still had dark moods, but they were becoming less frequent.

In December we found out that we are pregnant.

I am aware that after the baby is born that I could relapse or suffer from postpartum depression. I now recognize the warning signs to let me know something is not right. If I find that I’m slipping I know that I need to force myself to do the things I love even when I don’t feel like it, to exercise, and to talk to my friends who can walk beside me and hold me up when I need help. I pray the dark moods stay away, but if they come, I am better equipped to combat them.

I am not a professional and none of the advice is professional advice.  If you are struggling with depression or PTSD, especially if you are having suicidal thoughts, it is important to find help as soon as possible. I do not recommend trying to fight it on your own, like I tried to. Don’t let depression steal your light.

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My God-Sized Dreams for 2010

I am participating in an (in)courage blog carnival where bloggers answer the question “What are your God-sized dreams for 2010?

There is a chance to win a special limited edition (in)courage t-shirt, but that’s not why I’m participating. I’m participating because I have some really big God-sized dreams for 2010, and this gave me the perfect excuse to tell you about them.

I dream that I will be able to go from working wife to stay at home wife. 

Right now I’m so frazzled between work, church, family, and costuming that I don’t have time to keep the house properly. It’s habitable, but I feel like it needs so much more.  Of course, giving up my day job will mean we have to make a lot of sacrifices. My husband is a teacher, and teachers aren’t paid well in this State. We are cutting expenses, especially the discretionary ones, but God is really going to have to come through on this one.

I dream that we will buy a house this year.

Our dream home is becoming more affordable. Not only do I want to buy a house, but I want to buy a house that we can afford on my husband’s salary alone.  I do know that our first home may not be exactly what we always dreamed of, but I am trusting God to work out the details and bring us to the right house.

I dream that I will finish a book suitable for publication.

I write all the time and have a lot of stories in the works.  I have four viable books in different stages. I let self-doubt creep in and tell myself that no one will want to read my stories. I know this is not true since God gave me the gift of writing and many great ideas. It is my job to write and polish and God’s to inspire and work out the details of publication.

Fashion Designer President

I took a Jung Career Indicator that I found linked on one of the blogs to which I subscribe. Click here if you would like to take the test.

My results:

I am a: ENFJ

Strength of the preferences:

Extroverted 11% (Slightly expressed extrovert)
Intuitive 50% (Moderately expressed intuitive personality)
Feeling 25% (Moderately expressed feeling personality)
Judging 44% (Moderately expressed judging personality)

The surprise, other well known people with similar personalities: Bill Clinton, Ronald Regan, Clara Barton and Tony Blair.

I think I’m more than a slight extrovert, but go figure.

Suggested careers: fashion and politics. (There were others too like Education, Management, Science, Computer Programming, Social Work and Counseling.)

So, what do you think? Does the test sound like me?

May I influence your opinion by saying that I will run for president in 2036 and that I also have a blossoming Costume Design business?

Heart Songs

Today dawned clear and hot.  Now, at nearly four, the sky is overcast, and the wind in blowing.  Thunder is rumbling in the distance.  Nothing makes my heart sing like a thunder storm.  I watched the storms develop all afternoon. Now, it’s game time, and I’m off in just about an hour to enjoy them.

Living in Las Vegas, we get about ten stormy days a year.  It’s probably more than that, but storms are few and far between, and the storms we get do not last very long. I came from Colorado, where the storms were not only frequent, but so violent that the reverberating thunder set off the burgler alarm.

At work I recently changed offices from an office where I could lean 12″ or so to the right and see out a window that faces South to an office with two windows directly in front of me that face West. Amazing what windows and storms do to my heart.