I was recently told I must be pregnant because of my “amazing glow”. I remember how bad I was feeling that day. I was trying not to spiral into darkness that day. Still, someone managed to see light in me…
You know how they say every pregnancy is different? I didn’t have all-day-sickness with my first two pregnancies. But with this here third?! I haven’t been able to keep food down. I’ve been to the emergency room twice. I’ve dehydrated. I’ve been on antibiotics. Did you notice there wasn’t a Serenity Sunday post last week? That’s because it’s been rough. I took my doctor’s advice and rested. I’m a week away from starting my second trimester and, Lord, am I grateful. I am just. Grateful!
Another thing that’s been pretty heightened this go-round is “prenatal depression”. I’ve been in a few funks.
I went to exchange some shirts to Children’s Place in the mall and when the clerk told me the return date had passed, I nearly cried at the register. I told my husband I was “tired of losses”.
I then recapped past insecurities and began to (re)tell myself how big those things were. One might say I was reflecting on garbage that had been hauled off to the landfill.
I even got a no-lye relaxer after being natural for six years…a decision that brought me out of a funk actually.
It’s interesting how depression thrives on the negative messages we send to ourselves…
“I’m not worthy.”
I was sending such messages to my own brain. And then, one day, I opened up my journal and began to pour my pregnant heart out. I bonded with and prayed over my sonogram pictures. I reflected. I pondered. I cringed at the hard truths that came to mind and hesitantly wrote them down. I traced the emotional linings of my heart, and five front-to-back pages later, I felt different. Like I was getting free from the funk I was in. On that paper, I called out everything I was battling, and came up with a combat plan to deal with my emotional highs and lows. I used the following Bible verses as a guide:
Psalm 40: 1-3
2 Timothy 1: 7
Psalm 55: 22
Luke 12: 22-26
Philippians 2: 3-5
Now, I’m not saying I was counting on these verses to “fix me”; I’m saying they became the foundation on which I built a sacred, inner action plan to get better and get out of my series of funks. While I erred toward a spiritual solution, I realize that there are many types of depression that require certain healing strategies and processes. There’s not one/exclusive way to undergo the depression journey and it doesn’t hit us all the same way. For example, some people rarely appear sad because they manage their depression with humor or by offering wisdom.
It… Depression. Can be learned. Unlearned. It can be genetically traced. In my case (early pregnancy), hormone changes can easily cause depression and anxiety. While some forms of depression may be countered by daily devotionals, personal mantras and stress management techniques, severe depression is an illness that requires medical attention and counseling. Whatever the level, it’s important to acknowledge the type of funk that you’re in, call it out, and remember:
- You don’t have to pretend everything is okay. It’s okay to not be okay; and guess what? …You gone be okay!
- Talking about what you’re going through doesn’t have to be a platform to wallow. It can definitely be an opportunity to hear yourself out so you can get the clarity you need to get better, change perspectives, and shift your life.
- Talking about your issues to professionals, loved ones, or people you trust (your tribe), shows strength, not weakness. Also, recognize the strength/patience of those on the receiving end of your vulnerable moment. While we think what we’re going through is “not a big deal”, they continue to show support. They even manage to find our lost words and express exactly what we’re feeling. God bless ’em…
- Like the woman who noticed a “light” in the midst of my dark place, you are filled with Glory! There’s a divine light in you that is inherent and ethereal. Be kind to yourself, love the life you’re in, and let your light shine.
- You can always trade in pity for peace. Instead of going to dark places, go for quiet places. Some dark places are actually silent. However, in quiet dark places, circumstances remain extremely loud and everything seems heightened and accelerated. Going to a quiet place of peace means you have managed to quiet your mind. You literally feel “at peace”.
Thank you reading this. You are amazing. You are glowing. ♥
Clinnesha D. Sibley is an award-winning playwright and published poet/essayist. She is the Literary Arts Instructor at Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, MS. For more information, please visit: http://onepagerapp.com/clinneshadsibley.