As I look back, I see God’s faithfulness. He’s provided everything I could need to get to where I am now. We serve a powerful and compassionate God.
Shortly after having our daughter Tenley, I developed postpartum depression. I started taking medication which worked, but after she turned one, I wanted to try going off and searched for natural methods of helping depression/anxiety.
It wasn’t long till I started going downhill again. I would have random spurts of crying, panic attacks, and had little motivation to do anything. Thoughts of death/suicide became a regular occurrence. I felt hopeless and sad all the time. It was all very difficult, especially as I hadn’t experienced troubles with mental health before pregnancy.
I ended up spending 3 months, from December to March, at the Eden Mental Health Centre in Winkler. Things got worse before getting better. They tried multiple treatments on me such as different medications and Electroconvulsive therapy. The amount I was able to see my husband, daughter and family was very limited. At one point, I just didn’t feel anything like myself anymore. I didn’t want to live, and multiple times I attempted to hurt myself. I was put in close observation and was allowed limited privileges.
Slowly, with the treatment, things started going uphill. I knew God’s love for me hadn’t changed, but I still had to fight off the enemy’s lies saying otherwise.
In the beginning of March I was discharged and went home. I was so thankful to be with my husband and daughter again.
Things have continued to improve. With the incredible amount of help from family & friends, therapy, and most of all hanging onto God’s Word, I’ve been able to take big steps forward.
The ECT treatments have had a negative affect on my memory, which has been a challenge, and I still do get panic attacks and random moments of sadness. But to look back and see what God has brought me through is quite amazing. It is very strange to think back to my time at Eden. I feel like that was a different life and I hardly even remember those 3 months. It doesn’t feel real.
A powerful verse I cling to is Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” As well as Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.”
I am beyond grateful for all the support I have received during this time. Tons of freezer meals, prayer, and help with watching our daughter. I’ve seen Jesus’ hand through so many people, and I know things will continue to keep improving.
If there’s anyone reading this struggling with mental health issues, know that God is so much bigger than our earthly problems. He loves you and will never leave you. Trust in Him and He will make your paths straight. We may not know why certain things happen, but we can know that we are not alone.
Mental health is as real as any other illness, and it does NOT mean you are weak or not as strong of a Christian. Those are lies I had to let go of. You are strong and loved, & with God’s help you can conquer anything. Cast all your anxieties onto Him because He cares for you. Another big thing that has helped me on this journey is thanksgiving. Choosing to always look for what I have to be thankful for, and praising God for that. No matter where we are at, there is always something to be grateful for.
If you would like to send Nicole a message, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put her name in the subject line.