Tag Archives: depression

This is the Real Life

This is real life

Life comes in stages, in chapters, in periods, in eras. Some are excited and full to bursting. Some are more monotonous. Some are full of passion and go-getting. Some are lacking and have a want of backing off and simplifying.

This is real life

This current chapter in my life has been all over the place. This whole year has been a crazy ride: We moved out of our townhome because we couldn’t afford rent when I stopped teaching. We moved into my parents’ basement. My sister got engaged and planned a wedding in two and a half months. I found out I was pregnant and then a week later, Justin got laid off.

Needless to say, my hormones were all over the place. Not to mention that I felt like absolute crap physically during the first trimester. My depression and anxiety came back, even though I was taking my medication. To be completely honest, there were times I regretted getting pregnant again. Especially because of an off-hand comment someone had made: “You can’t even afford rent right now. Why are you trying to get pregnant?” Rhys was already literally sleeping in the closet. Where would we put our new girl in my parents’ basement if we were still living there. If Justin hadn’t found a job by January, how would we pay for the entire pregnancy and birth without income or insurance? Were we rash in even trying when things seemed so uncertain?

But, Justin was a rock when it came to our precious daughter. He said the fact that she came so quickly after we started trying meant that she was supposed to come now for a reason. Once I heard her heartbeat for the first time, I started to calm down and fall in love with my second child. Although my worry about affording her never stopped until Justin got this job.

We were so thankful for the job opportunity Justin received. It would pay more than either of us have ever made, it would allow us to move to Texas for an adventure, we had stability again, and Justin would do what he loved for work. It was a whirlwind of interviews, accepting the job, leaving the state for training, coming back one weekend to move, leaving out of state again, and me setting up house all by myself.

That was hard. I was alone with no support system close by. I was almost halfway through my pregnancy. I had a 2 year old who was having a little trouble transitioning to a new place. It was over 100* each day with humidity. One day I ended up on the floor of my bedroom just crying and crying, opening my heart up to God, telling him how alone I felt, how I needed companionship and friendship. Immediately, Rhys was by my side, hugging me. He took his pacy and put it in my mouth. He covered me with his blanket and kissed my forehead. (That is my absolute favorite place Justin kisses, so it really warmed my soul when Rhys did it.)

Rhys was my constant companion. His smiles and his cuddles always lifted my soul. Even two months later, when I now have friends, the house is completely set up, and I am content with my life. Whenever I have a low day because of my anxiety and depression, Rhys is there to brighten up my day. I love him so much.

Now, two months after moving, I have a sense of contentment. The house is set up and feels cozy, even though it is smaller than we are used to (I still worry a bit about where all Evelyn’s stuff is going to go). I’m getting used to the heat (just a bit, but I still yearn for some real fall weather!). Our new congregation is wonderful about fellowship–they are so warm and welcoming. We are searching for a second car so I don’t feel trapped at home everyday. I feel content. And, if you know me, you know that I struggle with contentment a lot. However, I still am suffering a bit from panic attacks (over who knows what), anxiety, and depression. There are still days where it’s a struggle to get out of bed and be present for Rhys and not just have the TV on all day. But, that is the real life.

So, it surprised me when I realized that I seemed to be pulling away from social media a bit. My heart isn’t into blogging as much as it used to be. I don’t feel as inspired. Reading blogs or curating Instagram posts sometimes feel a chore. I always struggled to understand why my friends would just step away from their blog and never write in it for months, or publicly announce that they were done blogging for the foreseeable future. It always saddened me and I was always determined not to do that–blogging is too important to me. True, I’m not a big blogger. I don’t focus too much on “growth” or monetizing. Blogging to me has always been about friendship and a hobby, a way to express myself. But, the more and more I thought about this, I kept going back to last summer. My old laptop was dying and I couldn’t get the screen to work or have it turn on longer than like 10 minutes.. Then, Justin’s entire family went to Bear Lake for a reunion for a week. Justin and I purposefully left electronics behind (and I forgot my camera behind). I had the absolute best time of my life being present and enjoying the now with family. It was just what I needed after a stressful year of teaching and transitioning to a SAHM. I felt free. I felt content. I felt at peace.

Knowing that, I feel a little better about what I am feeling about social media now. Last week, I did a huge cleanse on all my social media platforms: I unfollowed, unliked, unfriended a lot of friends, blogs, pages, companies, etc. It felt relieving. My own numbers and stats may suffer from that, but I’m ok with it. I tried planning out an editorial calendar for my blog and came up lacking. Three times a week seems like a chore.

No, I’m not giving up blogging. I will never ever give up blogging. It means far to much to me–it is part of my soul (a horcrux if you will–and no, I never killed anyone to get it!). But, I’m not going to stress over my blog. My goal will still be twice a week, but if I don’t hit that, I’m not going to worry. I’m not going to worry about my numbers or stats. What will happen will happen.

I want to rediscover myself…on the one hand, I feel happy and content with life right now. I’m glad with my current situation. On the other hand, I’m having a bit of a quarter-life crisis. I want to feel important, productive, improving. Blogging isn’t it right now–I can’t afford to try to grow my blog (literally). But, what else: teaching again? tutoring? finding a grad program? learning more about graphic design and maybe possibly starting an Etsy shop? diving into learning about photography? I’m not sure. Maybe that’s one reason that I’ve felt a pull away from blogging: I’m feeling a push in a different direction. All I know is I want to dive deeper into my relationship with the Lord, be a better housemaker, wife, and mom, read more, and find out who I will be as a true adult.

Wow, that was longer than I expected. But, again, that is the real life. I am so grateful to all of you who stay with me and will continue to do so through this next chapter in my life. Who knows? I may rediscover my blogging passion and come back fiercer than ever. Or, I may be the next Etsy shop or photographer you make a purchase from. Who knows. I’m taking this to God and He will guide me. He has been good to me the past few months and I put my trust in Him.

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

How to De-Stress While Pregnant

Pregnancy can be anxiety inducing in of itself, but it you already suffer from anxiety or depression, these tips on how to de-stress will really help.

If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you know that I have suffered anxiety my entire life. However, since first becoming pregnant with Rhys, it just continued to get worse, even after I gave birth, eventually turning into PPD. Now that I’m pregnant again, and after going through a rough summer financially and full of transitions, it’s really important for me to focus on my mental health. I know that I’m prone to getting PPD again with this second child, and I want to avoid that. I still do have some panic attacks or pits of depression. There are some days that my anxiety gets the best of me. But, I try to use different techniques to try to overcome my anxiety and to de-stress.

Pregnancy can be anxiety inducing in of itself, but it you already suffer from anxiety or depression, these tips on how to de-stress will really help.

[ctt title=”FIVE ways to de-stress while #pregnant! @themorrelltale” tweet=”FIVE ways to de-stress while #pregnant! @themorrelltale” coverup=”rzsU0″]

Have some alone time

This is the biggest one. When I’m having a bad day, my husband always gives me a bit of time to de-stress and de-compress when he gets home. I go in our room, close the door, turn off the lights, and lay on the bed. Sometimes I’ll watch some TV, sometimes I’ll take a small nap, sometimes I’ll surf through social media on my phone. This works regardless of being pregnant or not!

Take a shower

Thankfully, Rhys is so well behaved when I shower. I let him know I’m going to hop in and ask him to be a good boy. He’ll go play in his room with his toys or sit on the couch and watch a show. Whether or not I need a shower, the warm water and enclosed space is very relaxing to me. I’m not really a bath person–plus, I haven’t really had a good, big, bath-taking tub for years. But, I could stay in the warm water shower for hours if it didn’t run up the water bill and if I didn’t have things to do! Just make sure it’s not too hot when you are pregnant!

Take a nap and cuddle time

Rhys still takes a two hour nap in the afternoon. Some bad days, I’ll take a nap as well. Regardless of if I physically fell more rested after the nap (only about 50% of the time), more than likely, I’m calmer and more positive. I am so lucky to have such an adorable, sweet, caring, sensitive two year old boy as a son. He knows when I am having a bad day and will try his best to be super cuddly or comfort me. I let him. I relish his cuddles. A lot of times, I’ll nap when my arms wrapped around him as he naps. Hugs really do wonders, especially when they come from your children!

Think of the positives of your new baby

There was a time during the first trimester when Justin had just been laid off that I had a hard time accepting the timing of this pregnancy. It was a source of stress: would we be able to afford the pregnancy and birth, what if it’s a girl and we have to buy everything, where will we fit her in a small 2 bedroom apartment (or if we were still in my parents’ basement, where!?!?!–Rhys was already literally in the closet). The space issue and getting girly stuff still is a source of stress for me, as is wondering how I’m going to do 2 under 3 with different schedules and needs. But, I’ll just rub my little bump and relish in the movements that Evelyn makes inside of me. Everything will turn out for the best.

[ctt title=”De-stress while pregnant by thinking of the exciting future! @themorrelltale” tweet=”De-stress while pregnant by thinking of the exciting future! @themorrelltale” coverup=”3drq9″]

Bring it to God

I can’t tell you how many times I have been on my knees during the day, crying to God, in the past two months since moving to Texas. Even before then, even before Justin found a job. Without fail, always, God comforts me when I’m having stress, anxiety and depression. It may not be immediately, but I always do stop crying by the time I’m down praying. Having faith in Him to get me through my stress is a huge uplifter.

How do you de-stress when you are pregnant?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

My Experience with Anxiety and PPD

Anxiety is a true mental disorder.

I have anxiety. I have always had anxiety.

However, I guess I was just too stubborn and prideful to accept it that I forced myself into believing that I could handle it, it wasn’t a mental disorder for me, and that I just overreact.

A few other members of my family have been diagnosed with anxiety, (as well as a few other things) and have been to therapists and been on medication. I never wanted to do that. Again, I was too stubborn and too prideful. I thought of myself as strong and able to handle it myself.

Quote on PPD and Anxiety:Things are neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so." William Shakespeare
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Throughout my life, it’s never been real bad. But then, in college, I started having a few anxiety attacks. However, I didn’t know they were anxiety attacks–I called them breakdowns. Not just school work, but friends, love life, finances, church responsibilities, personal responsibilities all piled up on top of school work. There was actually a week during the middle of the semester that I flew home because of the anxiety attack. During my engagement to Justin, he noticed an anxiety attack of mine, baked me cookies, and took me to see Hunger Games at 11 pm to help calm me down.

During the past three years of being married, out of school, and teaching, I’ve had very few. But, it started to exacerbate when I got pregnant. Now, anxiety and depression sometimes go hand in hand…they are cyclical and both cause each other. Although I was super happy and excited to be pregnant and finally have the chance to be a mom (I had been very baby hungry), I started to have a lot of down days…and they were continuous. I just thought it was pregnancy blues because of the effects of having my 1st trimester during the late fall/early winter. And, I had never heard of “pre-postpartum depression.” So, I pushed through it.

Last summer, with my pregnancy rapidly coming to a close, issues with credit for Justin’s graduation, Justin unable to find a full-time job, trying and failing to find an affordable place to live, and the decision on how I was going to teach, I had quite a few bad anxiety attacks–debilitating anxiety attacks–on the floor, crying, unable to eat or think rationally anxiety attacks. Again, I thought it was just normal stress from normal “becoming adults” situations paired with crazy pregnancy hormones. I thought I just let myself get carried away.

Then, after I gave birth, my confidence went down. I started to doubt myself as a mother, as a teacher, as a wife, as a Mormon, as an individual. Our situation wasn’t what we expected it to be those first few months of Rhys’s life–Justin still didn’t have a job or a full degree, and I was worried about Rhys’s weight gain and silent reflux, losing weight, and balancing all my responsibilities. My libido disappeared–I haven’t told Justin this, but I started to lose my attraction towards him. I didn’t necessarily resent him nor blame him, but those are two close descriptions. I tried to be happy–forced myself to laugh, forced myself to be kind, forced myself to be patient. All of those were hard. I snapped at Rhys and Justin, I yelled at my students. But, as postpartum went on, it got a little better. And, I just want to say, I never once resented Rhys–although I was stressed by him, that’s only because I wanted the best for him. I have never regretted him or thought violently towards him. So, I’m glad that my PPD wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Quote on PPD and anxiety: Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. Charles Spurgeon

During the winter holidays, a thought came to me about focusing on myself. I am so thankful to God for putting that seed into my mind. I had been trying to spread myself too thin in being a good teacher, mother, wife, daughter, sister, Mormon, that I had completely pushed myself to the wayside. But, I really needed to care for myself. So, I began to think about my stress levels and what would make me calm and happy. I began to think about quitting teaching. I brought the idea up to Justin and my mom. Justin and I went to the temple, fasted, prayed, and listed pros and cons. We finally decided that it would be best for me personally, and by extension, our family, if I stayed home next year. Now, we were always a little nervous about what that would mean for us financially, but we decided to give it a year for a test run.

June came and I quit. Then, Rhys decided to go through a few more transitions, and I had a few more anxiety attacks. My PPD also started to return–it was the first time in my life since I was 16 that I didn’t have a job. I work well with deadlines. I work well with projects. I didn’t have either. I didn’t feel of worth. I felt like I was being a lazy couch potato bum who wasn’t helping with expenses and putting all that responsibility and weight on Justin. A few times my mom would come over while Justin was at work and tried to console me, take care of Rhys, and be the rational, logical one. She pushed and pushed, as well as Justin, that when I took Rhys in for his 12 month baby wellness checkup, I also talk to our doctor about myself. My mom decided she would go with me to the appointment to be moral support, but also to make sure I did mention it. Remember, I always thought I could just handle it on my own without needing medication or therapy.

I’m glad that I did. After describing what I had been feeling since Rhys was born, and especially in the month of June, my doctor saw through all my excuses and knew that I was suffering from anxiety and PPD. He also treats my sister, and with my mom there to give him her experiences, he was able to diagnose me. He has given me an anti-depressant which also helps with my anxiety. The first week or so that I have been taking it, I could feel a physical manifestation of it working–it felt like something was literally being pushed down in me. Whenever I began to think negatively, or stressed, those feelings were physically blocked by a wall–I couldn’t reach or access them. I just felt calm. That calmness has allowed me to feel relaxed and happy.

When I went back to my doctor a month later, at the beginning of August, for a follow-up, he said that he could tell just by looking at me and listening to how I spoke that the medication was doing it’s job. He said I looked taller, happier, healthier, and prettier. Now, I do have some side effects from the medication–again, a lowered libido, and about once a month, a physical manifestation of a panic attack due to side effects of the medication. It’s difficult and complicated to explain, but basically, when I swallow the pill, it feels like it gets stuck in my throat (it’s a tiny pill), and the feeling is immediate. Then, I have a heartburn-ish feeling. Both of these are normal side effects, we’ve learned. But, my body reacts to those side effects, causing terrible chest pain, heart palpitations, and a closed/swollen throat sensation. It is very painful and lasts for a few hours. We researched this reaction and learned that it is a subconscious panic attack. But, in the three months that I have taken this medication, it’s only happened three times…and I take the medication when I go to bed, so I just try to sleep it off.

Quote on Anxiety and PPD: A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl." Stephan Hoeller

But, I am glad to know that I have been officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It’s actually relieving to know that. And again, I am thankful that they weren’t extreme cases–so very thankful. I know how debilitating and negatively affecting it can be on not only the person, but their loved ones as well. I am so thankful that this medication works for me and that I haven’t needed to go to therapy–if that ever happens, that will be another big prideful that I will have to swallow and just be humble about.

However, since I have accepted it as a mental disorder, I have seen it more apparent and obvious in my life. I can learn from it and change the way I perceive the world around me. It won’t be a quick fix, but I can continuously work to control it with help from others. I think you might see some more posts here about anxiety and depression. So, just stick with me if I seem to be absent for a while without notice or quality and passion seems to be lacking from my posts. You will know that I am having an episode then. But, I thank you for your community and your continuous support. I love you all.

Other posts of mine mentioning anxiety or depression
One Thousand Gifts–using eucharisteo and His Grace to overcome anxiety and depression
I Am Anxious–an admittance to having anxiety attacks as a mom
Count Your Many Blessings–trusting in the Lord’s timing during anxiety attacks

Do/have you or any of your loved ones suffer from anxiety, depression, or PPD? What has been your experience with it?
 
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Baby Bumpdate: Week 17

It’s beginning to look like a beautiful second trimester!

I will be honest. The first trimester was hard, but not in the way I was expecting. I wasn’t throwing up, I didn’t have unnatural cravings, and for all the times I got up in the middle of the night to pee, I still got plenty of sleep. But, there were trials. For one, I teach 45 minutes away. I was exhausted all day every day from the end of October to about Christmas break. Coming home at dinner time to a messy home (because I don’t have a lot of time to clean it) and lesson planning and family time, was extraordinarily hard. I had quite a few breakdowns. I felt sad, stressed, unmotivated, pathetic. I really, truly did. I was ecstatically excited that I was going to be a mom–one of my biggest dreams. But, I was mentally at my worst. I didn’t realize pregnancy could affect your self-mentality that much. I knew I’d be emotional, but I figured it’d be like a period. I knew there was such thing as postpartum depression, but I honestly feel like I had “pre-partum” depression. I was worn. And, I started to get nervous about being a full-time commuting teacher further on in the pregnancy.

However, I am getting better. Not only physically, but mentally as well (although physically much quicker). The nausea is all gone, and I’ve been able to sleep through the night for the past week or so. I also don’t have any more stomach pains. Even though I say that I had such a hard time, and am still struggling mentally a bit, I am happy and I have to remember that I am pretty darn lucky with this pregnancy. And I cannot wait to see if I am having a son or a daughter in a few weeks!



Side Effects

– I now have a permanent bump! It’s interesting…I’ve never had a bump of any kind before. Well, ya, sure a food baby for like an hour. But never a belly.
– I constantly feel full, but hungry at the same time. I still can’t eat a lot at once, but I do eat more often.
– Like mother, like daughter. My right arm tightens and constricts a lot–like the feeling you have after it’s been asleep for a while. But, it doesn’t fall asleep…
– Still a little bit of fatigue, but nowhere near as bad as 1st trimester.
– Beginnings of pregnancy brain. Just forgetting a few tiny things. Does more laziness/lack of motivation count as pregnancy brain?
– Snot like no tomorrow! I had the flu before Christmas Break, then a cold coming back, and I’ve just been stuffy since then. But, I’ve learned that being congested is part of the 2nd trimester.
Food Cravings
Sonic Chili cheese tots.  I made some homemade chili cheese tots and ate a bunch. But…they weren’t as satisfying as I wanted. So, my sister got me some real Sonic chili cheese tots…and I ate them. Less than half an hour after eating dinner. And I was happy.
– Sushi. I know, I know. I can’t have any uncooked sushi. But, I really want some.
– Pepsi. Now, I can have it…but I’m trying to stay away from caffeine during the pregnancy. I may end up caving and trying to see if a caffeine-free Pepsi will do anything for me.

Exciting Things
My pants are feeling a little tight. Now, to some, this wouldn’t be an exciting thing. But, for someone who has always had to wear a belt or pin up her pants, it is a little exciting. It’s proof that there really is a baby in there!
I felt the baby move earlier this week! A little rumble in my tummy and no noise…and it was more pinpointed than a stomach growling. Yaaay! It made me so excited!

I am also so excited that some of my friends are pregnant as well! One of my best friends ever is having a baby boy in April. A good friend from my church is pregnant for the 2nd time (she gave birth in like April or May) and she is due a week after me. My good teaching blogger friend, Brooke at Silver Lining, is due about a week before me! Another good blogger friend, after struggling with infertility, Jess from A Heart Full of Frost, is due in July as well. And….now my teaching blogger inspiration and idol, Bonnie from Life of Bon, has announced that she is also due in July! YAAAY! I can’t wait for July! We bloggers are gonna have so much fun!

Brooke, Jess, Bonnie, here is an idea…let’s make a July 2014 Baby club!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

I Admit It

So, today, I did something I never thought I would do – I went to a counselor. The type of counselor you go to for help, not academic, not religious, but emotional and mental.I never thought I would have to – I always thought I was stronger, smarter, too normal for that. I was wrong, and I admit I went.

Today just confirmed my growing beliefs. I admit I am not strong. Maybe that is why my novel that I am working on is so powerful to me. Maybe I really am like other authors who place who they want to be in a favorite character. Maybe I want to be strong mentally and emotionally, but the truth is, I’m not. I admit I am not courageous, I am not outspoken, I am not assertive (I totally am w/ sports, but not real life – funny how that works out). I admit I lack in some serious social and interpersonal characteristics. I admit I personally have some poor characteristics which causes the rest of these to blow up out of proportion. I used to think I was super good at all of this, but I realize that, no, I am not. My parents and my friends were right all along about me. I admit it. YOU are right about me – every little detail.

I have been having a terrible semester – I have been overly stressed and underly social. I have been overly focused on school work and underly focused on my relationships. I have been overly successful in my jobs, yet, sadly, underly successful with hours and earnings. Most days, I want to just go to bed and give up on everything else. I want to give up on school, I want to give up trying to earn enough money for Wales, I want to give up on finding a new place to live next year, I want to give up on trying to heal my friendships.

That is why I went to a counselor. I don’t want to give up. I want to prove I am stronger than that, that I CAN push through. And I am not just talking about the going to class and work even if I didn’t get any sleep or if I am hacking up a lung. That is just determination. I want the strength to not give up this semester. I want the strength to be able to fix my problems. To be able to confront them and eradicate them by any means necessary. Maybe that is why I have been working so hard on my novel lately – it’s as if my character that I created will hopefully give me strength.

I admit that I need some serious changing. I admit that I need some help to do so. I admit that I am not perfect, nor anywhere near so. I admit I am wrong sometimes, harsh sometimes, bossy sometimes, selfish sometimes. I admit all my downfalls, but hopefully, will be able to fix them all.

Give me strength to admit it and work through it.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.