Being Home is the Best Medicine

지난달

I have always been a naturally happy person.

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I was just born that way.

Back in 2011 I was living my version of a Fairy Tale Life.

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I was a single mom living in the North Park district of San Diego with a beautiful little girl, but unlike the traditional view of single moms - I LOVED it. I didn't lack for income, help, or support. I lived with my sister who generously split the bills, including groceries down the middle with me, I had parents who loved taking care of my daughter, I had a teaching career, which paid plenty for a family of 2, and I was able to do as I wished as I did not have a partner to invest my time in. I also had plenty of family members who gift my daughter anything her little heart could have desired.

I then met my now-husband, who was wonderful as well. And happened to live in the Bay Area.

All this did, was add trips to San Francisco to my already awesome life itinerary.

Soon enough... my double birth control baby was on its way

I've always said that My Ancestors felt I needed more children, as this child should not have been conceived.

After some discussions, I moved away from the little nest I had built as a single mom, and moved to the Bay Area.

It was nice.

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As much as I loved San Diego, the Bay Area was slightly cooler, a lot more green, was easier to attain organic sustainable food at, and I now had a small family. Everything I thought I wanted.

My middle child was born, and the postpartum depression came.

It was tough for me, who had always been happy, to find myself in a dark hole with no way out. My house, which had always been clean (not because I am a genuinely clean person - but because a home which has constant drop in visitors can't be slobby. And a home, which constantly has women who love you visiting, keeps kid toys off the floor) became a disgusting mess. The trash cans were overfilled.

The windows would go without opening, as I insisted that the busy street I lived next to was affecting the air quality.

All the food I cooked would be burnt. I had a hard time keeping my clothes clean.

But I trucked on. I had to. I had two children and a husband to care for.

The Dr's suggested medication and I turned it down. Still though,

My naturally happy self and my positive disposition poked their head through again, and I was able to cope.

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I learned that if you fake a smile for long enough it becomes real. I learned why skipping showers (something I had never had audacity to do) was disgusting. I learned to keep lemon flavored essential oils in my home. I learned how to mix water with rosemary, and mint, and would spray it on my curtains and beddings. I showered using rose petal flavored goods.

And I survived.

And then another child was blessed to me

I could not keep my head above water. Everything that had been "wrong" for my first pregnancy was even more wrong.

I can't tell too much about it, because I don't remember much. Everything was pretty much a blur. Like when you are crying and you can see but can't focus because the tears in your eyes won't let you.

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I remember going to psychologists and counselors. All of them trying to shove pills down my throat.

"Don't you want to get better?" They would ask.

I visited acupuncturists. I became a Reiki Master. I worked on my intuition. I changed my diet. I meditated. I went to yoga.

I did the best I could, I am sure.

But I was terribly lonely. Something that doesn't make sense when you are surrounded by three lovely children.

I felt as if I was going to die. My chest would feel like it was caving in.

I would get sick. What's this? I would ask myself confused.

"It's just the flu." my husband would explained. How do you explain the flu to someone who has heard about people having it, but has never really experienced it themselves?

Being sick in bed? Whoa.

Strange stomach cramps would fill me to the point where I found myself in the ER with the Doctors and Nurses looking at me sadly.

"The x-rays say there's nothing wrong."

Let alone all the "pregnancy weight" I gained, which I now recognize as depression eating. My hips were stuck, I could barely walk. I was always swollen. My hair fell out in bunches not matter how many vitamins I took.

Things were horrible. Horrible. The house was a bigger mess, there was crusted food in places. The kids would be planted in front of the television.

And thank you to God for finding a carpool for my oldest

Because I had a hard time getting to work on time. The mom's around me thought I was simply struggling with a little kid and a big belly, then two little kids.

They would ask how I was, and I would answer with a bright smile.

Bright smiles kept me alive, and I wasn't going to lose them no matter how much I felt like I was dying inside.

Things slowly got better, because it's hard for things to get worse, when you are surrounded by healthy bodies, good food and sunshine

Somewhere around that time, I found steemit, and thankfully, the STEEMITMAMAS

More moms from around the world, all going through similar things!

I took control of my life again through my blogging. I didn't want to blog about depression and being sad.

I didn't want to blog lies and untruths.

So I did what I do best. I put my best foot forward, let myself go out in the sun, and I made it through.

I homeschooled my kids so we could concentrate on Mental Health, as health is more important than traditional education.

Trips to San Diego were my saving grace

At least twice per year I found myself at my mom's house and looooooooved life again. I would go back to the Bay Area, refreshed and ready for more. Then the depression would creep back in. I would count down the days until the next vacation.

And I would arm myself with strength against the medication "they" wanted me to take.

There were always new emails in my inbox about the new this or the new that. Telling me that it was ok to medicate myself with this pill or that pill. If it wasn't for my trips to San Diego, I would have fell in the trap.

With my blogging, and my mom group, and my vacations. More and more of me started coming back.

And then one trip, I was ready enough to go out with my friends

I missed them dearly. But they're guys, and "married women" can't go out with a group of guys. But I did anyway.

I was at a bar, surrounded by a wonderful crew, when one of them asked me.

"So when are you coming back?"

I'd been talking about moving back to San Diego since I moved to the Bay Area. And I sprouted out some lame answer about how I needed to prepare, and save money, and find a place to live, and get my husband to retire. (The Bay Area move was always supposed to be temporary, with my husband retiring in time for my kids to still have the San Diego Elementary School Experience)

"You're just making excuses" My friend responded.

And this single comment made me see that I was miserable in the Bay Area, but was living in fear with the inability to move. I was scared. Plain and simple.

I took my friends comment to heart.

And I just stayed in San Diego.

I planted myself in my mom's two bedroom Senior Living community, and did not move. Three kids an all.

I knew I couldn't stay there for long. But I knew that the Bay Area, with all its wonderful attributes meant death through depression.

The Bay Area meant putting my kids in high chairs, and strapping them in while I covered my head with a pillow and screamed.

The Bay Area meant ripping my beautiful hair out.

The Bay Area meant worrying about money when my combined income was the highest it had ever been.

The Bay area meant darkness while standing in blinding sunlight.

I haven't felt depression since

I don't know if its my mom's cooking.

Or seeing my grandparents at least twice a month.

Or hanging out with my parents at least twice a week.

Or family parties.

But I think its just being surrounded by family. Having my nieces drop in just for fun. Being at the mall and bumping into people I am related to. Saturday after Saturday of birthday parties, and baby showers. Being out for a drive and waving at people I know.

My children and I get stopped in the street all the time

And my kids are used to it now. They know its people from my past, who make up the fabric of my present.

It's beautiful to see old classmates at Parent Meetings. It's nice to have previously worked with the staff at the children's school. It's fun to see people I grew up with out and about.

It's nice to send them back to school!

It's nice to go to 7-11 and see the same cashier from when I was in third grade.

It's great to be home

Depression what? Depression who?

I am pregnant again. And my husband is living in the Bay Area. And I work a whole lot. I freelance, I drive the kids around, I keep their clothes clean, I pack them lunches. We eat good food. And we spend a lot of time with family.

In the Bay Area I didn't have the challenges I have here

But in the Bay Area, I didn't have the San Diego Fabric to hold me together.

It's been over a year and I haven't locked myself up in my room to cry not even just once. I haven't screamed into pillows. Made sprays just to survive the day. We go outside every day. The TV is no longer the babysitter.

And although I still don't go out with my friends, I know they are a phone call away, and available again, in case I need some CPR.

Thank you for reading my story about how Being Home and Surrounded by extended family was the only depression medication I needed. I sure am glad I did not fall into the trap of pharmaceuticals.

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Wow @metzli! For this past year I have had the pleasure of working with you and getting to know you. In this post I feel I know you even more now and better understand what you have been going through.

You already know my stance, I hope and pray that you and your children can someday be reunited with your husband so you all can experience this wonderful life together. I believe everything happens for a reason and through our experiences we learn, we grow and we gain more knowledge for the next round :)

I am so glad that you were strong and chose the beauty of natural healing over pharmaceuticals that only harm you in the long run. Your children are so beautiful and they are an inheritance from the Lord. It’s great you are able to spend time with your parents and grandparents as well ~

Love you beautiful friend ~ ❤️

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Thank you @crosheille, your words are inspiring. The way you handle home school life with 5 kiddos and stay so strong is a great example for all the mamas. You’re a blessing ❤️

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You are very welcome :)

Wow, that really means a lot to me. Thank you so much for your sweet words ~ ❤️

It has been a blessing knowing YOU. 😘

<3

Thank you for your openness, Mama.

I wish you healthiness and happiness with this pregnancy (and in general). Smooth sailing during and after pregnancy, and no PPD.

We are here for you :)

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Thank you! I didn't have PPD with my first, although I did cocoon myself for health reasons, so I am thinking that this one will be more the same. If it is not, I know the medicine, being out in the sunshine and surrounded by family, even if I don't feel like it.

Thank you <3

Oh this is a gorgeous response. I actually felt so teary as I read it, because I could empathise with your experience. I am so so glad you found a 'natural' way to come bavk to health... how lucky you are to have friends and family to nourish and nurture you and your BEAUTIFUL family!

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Yes, I do feel very lucky. Thank you for taking the time to read. I thought it was tooooooo long for a steemit post - but the response I am getting tells me otherwise.

Wow. Congrats on the new baby!! And congrats on having made the move back to where you can be happy. Hope your husband will move soon as well. On the other hand - my husband works in a different state as well and we enjoy the time we are together more now :)

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Thank you. This little baby snuck its way in too. I can't complain about being too fertile when other people suffer with it, but, well, 4 is a good number (lol).

My husband plans on coming to San Diego soon, but his fabric is in the Bay Area, and sometimes I fear that he will suffer through the same fate as I did. I think separate homes with lots of visits are fine and healthy - but time will tell.

Thank you for taking the time to read such a long post and leaving a wonderful comment.

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You are welcome. Many couples have had very successful relationships that way. And there are many jobs where people have to travel a lot and aren't together all the time. It all is possible 😄

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Yes! That is very true. I think some couples prefer it that way.

What a beautiful sharing. I really enjoyed reading it. I loved feeling all the happiness, love and joy you had with your life in San Diego. So proud of you for choosing joy & peace over struggle and suffering. Congratulations on yor darling dear sweet babies. Lots a love Momma!! You're an amazing leader ❤🐓🍍

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Thank you! I tried lots and lots of "Natural Medicines" (Reiki, Yoga, Healthy Eating, mixing lotions and potions etc) and they all worked a little, just not enough to push me all the way out.

Thank you for taking the time to read and thank you for your thoughtful comment.

From someone who suffers from atypical Seasonal Affective Disorder (SADS), I was struck by how moving affected you. Lots less sun in SF, lots more in S.D. Not to mention all the other things you believed made your life better in SD.

Been in that black hole, know how horrible it is. Had a 3 yr old at the time...

Just tossing it out there as an idea...

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Yes. This is something I thought about often.

The first winter I moved back to San Diego was a cold wet one, with everyone around me joking about how I had brought the rain with me. I kept being worried, because SAD was something I had considered (although the Dr's would do their best not to roll their eyes at me because Bay Area weather is supposed to be great, they just never had the pleasure of living in San Diego). My sister laughed at me one day in the dead of winter, when it was dark at 5pm.

"You're not getting depressed here." She laughed, as she pointed at the five kids jumping on my couches.

But yes, if I ever start feeling blue again, I will look on the map and see where there is more sunshine and chase it. The warmth, not just the sun, makes a big difference.

Thank you for your perspective and for taking the time to read.

Sorry to hear about your black hole, hope it is better now.

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Yes, black hole is long gone. I still struggle with the SADS, but life is good most of the time.

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SADS hit me today with the time change (it was dark by 5pm), but, I think it is easier to cope with around family. It's not just the family, its the fact that you HAVE to leave the house, and you HAVE to be moving, and you have things to do, responsibilities to tend to when your kids have cousins who NEED them at their Birthday party. You don't blow off grandma cause you don't feel like leaving the house, you just don't...

Thank you for sharing with me and I wish you lots of mental health this winter.

Wow. Just wow.

That was an amazing and inspiring story!!!

I'm seriously impressed at your resilience even though you were constantly getting bombarded by messages to take drugs, and drop out.

Good on you also for making a really tough decision, sounds like your heart knew it was the best medicine, so glad to hear that the relationship also is maintained.

Sense of place is also good medicine!!!!!

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It really felt like inaction when I would turn down the medications. Every email was like a peg to sadness telling me things like "see, you don't even want to get better, there are solutions here." But every time I would close my eyes and try to find "the answer" the answer would not pop through, but the knowledge that pills weren't did.

Thank you for taking the time to read my long post and thank you for your comment.

Excellent your story, it was really fantastic to read you, I know that the best medicine is the union of the family, children are always a great impulse to get out of that hole where they usually fall through stress and all those difficulties of adult life. .. Congratulations on your healthy and happy life, I hope you will be with your husband very soon and so family happiness is even greater!

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Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read. My husband has his own fabric in the Bay Area, but I think soon enough he will be able to make that jump from working man, to retired person, and that will be a whole new world for him.

This sure is an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us and hurray for overcoming depression the natural way :>)

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Thank you for taking the time to read. The opportunity came, and it was nice to feel it flow through. Writing it was healing in a sense.

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You're welcome. Writing can sure be healing ( as I know from experience too ). Have a great week and all the best.

xx

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Yes! Journaling was a great outlet for me and still is. Even more so when you can journal and then burn your thoughts..

I admire how you managed to stay away from the psycho drugs, especially while people around you, including "doctors who should know" are saying it's okay. In fact, there is a natural way of getting better, and you found it. Congrats! It felt nice following your experience.

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It just felt wrong...

How do eat organic, sustainable, and fresh only to be part of the whole flushing pharmaceuticals into the atmosphere?

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Oh wow! So you're saying you stayed away from pharmaceuticals for the sake of the environment? That is even more amazing than I first thought!!! Awesome!
!BEER

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Hey @metzli, here is a little bit of BEER for you. Enjoy it!

@metzli.. you never let on
Your smile came through even at Steemitmamas
I remember last year when we got on Discord chat, the mods... I would have never guessed.
That smile in your voice, the calm...
The warmth and tenderness....

Thank you for sharing so much of you, the pictures are beautiful...
Most of all I love your smile <33

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Thank you mama. By the time I joined steemitmamas I was well on my way out - and I remember that meeting - I was in my moms couch! Time sure happens fast.

You’ve been visited by @porters on behalf of Natural Medicine. Thank goodness for friends ( to tell you the truth) and loving family! That must have been a tough decision to stay in San Diego but obviously the right one! So happy you didn't fall into the pharmaceutical trap and found what works for your depression and were strong enough to make the move!
Did you know that Natural Medicine now has it's own token, rewarding natural healing and health wisdoms? You can check out our front end, naturalmedicine.io If you've been involved in our community over the last year, check your wallets for LOTUS and stake them to start earning curation rewards!
FYI: Natural Medicine & Inner Blocks are having a Collaborative Challenge - Medicine Blocks Challenge! Win Lotus Tokens & up to 60 Steem! Check out the details by clicking here

Discord Delegate Here

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Thank you. I went ahead and bought some LOTUS tokens. I had some NATURAL tokens and thought they were the same thing. They are nice and staked now.

Im resteeming ,m thanks for postinmg about #sandiego I REALLy need more posst liek I am a little desperate for content actualy, as you can tell from browsing https://steempeak.com/tribes/SAND/ and https://SteemSanDiego.com

So I need to give you @mariannewest and @fitinfun some SAND stake just please dont sell and dump on the market until we have new buyers and YOULL know, like tehger will be time you gusy can all unstake and sell some of that sand when were mooning :D when teehrs enough volume and teher will be peopel demanding you sell ALL of yoru sand at a MUCH higher price than it is now, hopefully :D

Untill then heres some SAND im gonna stake you some
Heres 5000 SAND staked, so you can feel more like you have a stake in the project!

Some will ask why im GIVING OUT so much free sand when others have had to BUY sand well, this is sand allocated for local steemians, and you are one of only a handful actually posting

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Thank you so much!! Highly appreciated. I will try to get some more of the San Diegans who have left Steem to come back on and use the Sandiego tag

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Thank you!

Mental health is so important. It's great that you were able to find the cause and to sort it all out. I love a good friend that will tell you like it is without fear.

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Yes thank you! It was kind of obvious once I had left the town that all I needed was to be home.

God bless you with happiness and health and peace always. So touched by your story and how you fought it and came back strong. God always helps those who help themselves. I understand this as I too fought the black hole after my dad passed away when I was just 20 and it took years to feel better and come back to life. Even now, I miss him but I know he is with God and blessed me and that is why I am on steemit. Thanks to the great souls here
sorry for making it long.

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Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a thoughtful comment. Sorry about your father and may you meet again (but in the very distant future) ❤️💕

I'm so glad I found this in this week's NM challenge wrap up! It's given me a different view of family and the importance of family. For me, my husband became my most important family, yet I always grew up being told how important the family you're born into is and it is. However, I never got to see that side of it, as much as I wanted it. I craved that support network, but apart from knowing they will be their for me financially if I need it, they couldn't be emotionally. My sister moved away as soon as she could, my husband and I moved from England to Australia.

Because my husband became more important to me than my parents, I guess I find it hard to see how it could be any different for anyone else. My daughter has recently started seeing someone and all I can think is that I am now not ever going to be very important to her. So to read that your family are still just as important to you gives me hope.

I'm so glad you have found your happiness and health again.

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