More Than Serving Tea



Vitamin L Diary: Motherhood & #flymysweet

Tonight is the night before she leaves for college, and the dining room is filled with laughter and chatter. There are only two other young women in her incredible circle of friends who are still “in town” waiting, and tonight is a night for friendship.

I sat there with them for awhile, laughing at a Facebook post, our lack of sewing skills in comparison to Bethany, and cried a little bit. It has been such an honor to be allowed to be a part of that sacred space of friendship, and it was time to honor it even more by stepping away. It’s time.

Depression haunted me in my childhood, but I remember distinctly coming home from the hospital with this tiny peanut of a newborn who came with no instructions. I was in pain from an emergency postpartum surgery, unable to do just about anything without incredible pain and feeling quite unlike myself. Five months later with friends in from out of town I recall telling them that I didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like myself. I wasn’t sure if I could feel anything really.

I didn’t look sad in the photos. I didn’t walk around with an animated cloud hovering around my head. I just kept moving.

Gratefully, it has been five years since I sought treatment – a combination of counseling and an antidepressant. I continue to shake off cultural stereotypes and stigma associated with depression, anxiety, and medication. There are some who do not understand how a faithful, evangelical Christian could depend on medication to fight off something that perhaps more prayer and faithfulness could overcome. There are some in my own family who do not approve of my sharing publicly that I am on (whisper) medication. Depression and anxiety do not define me, but the reality is that my mental health is part of me. It is a part of any human being – a God-ordained intersection between soul, mind, and body. We share the earth with other living things, but there is no other living thing quite like us humans.

And I realized again today, as I sat with my son at a medical appointment, that depression and anxiety are a part of my life as mother and a part of my children’s lives. We were asked about family medical history. “Is there anyone in the family with depression or anxiety? Is there anyone in the family who has committed suicide?” Yes, there is heart disease and high blood pressure as well as depression and suicide. Even as my children grow up and mature, their family history follows them and is a part of their story as well.

So as we come to this part of my story as a mother of a college freshman soul, mind, and body intersect. The tears are right there, clinging to my eyes ready to roll out at a moment’s notice. My heart is pounding in anticipation of the incredible things she will see and do in college. I can imagine her rehearsing, choreographing, learning to connect her soul, mind, and body, and I smile like a madwoman. And I know we will drive home with one less body in the car with her smile and spirit lingering. My soul is appropriately, gloriously conflicted, and my mind and body start to take over with tears, smiles, and fear.

How will my brain translate all that is going on in my soul? Will the depression and anxiety come to visit as I enter into a quieter season or will the 10 milligrams keep doing their thing? Will I have the courage to set aside fear and seek out help, ask for the company of friends or a walk with my husband?

Worse yet, will my daughter lose the genetic crapshoot and experience a new dark night of the soul? Will the transitions overwhelm her in an unexpected way? Have I given her the tools, the words, the freedom to know the signs and ask for help? Have I done all that I can do before she goes?

There is no way to know, but there is a way to cope and live. Dear Readers and friends, please hope with me. Pray with me. Pray for daughters and sons launching off into new experiences and their parents who all know there is little we can do to protect them forever. Pray that the lies of stereotypes and stigma don’t keep them from getting help. Pray for friends and mentors who aren’t afraid to offer and get them help. And I pray history and story will ground my daughter and hope and faith will shape her future.

#flymysweet

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. * G says:

    Praying. As you said above, depression and anxiety do not define you, you strong courageous woman of God. And nor would they ultimately define your dear daughter, should she become afflicted. You are full of heart, God’s heart. Much much love and peace to you especially today.

    Like

    | Reply Posted 3 years, 10 months ago
    • * Kathy Khang says:

      Peace has overflowed, even when the tears did, too. Thank you for your prayers and the exhortation, G.

      Like

      | Reply Posted 3 years, 9 months ago
  2. Thanks for talking about your experience with depression and getting treatment. it takes so much courage for each person who comes to my office and I just love to see people move through to a different place.

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    | Reply Posted 3 years, 10 months ago
    • * Kathy Khang says:

      Thank you, Janice, for stopping by and reading. May each person who comes to your office walk away with a little more courage and hope!

      Like

      | Reply Posted 3 years, 9 months ago
  3. You and your family are very much in my thoughts and prayers tonight and in the days to come. Thank you again for sharing so honestly and openly. Appreciate you and your words so much! I bet I will come back to this post when my eldest is ready to fly as well. =)

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    | Reply Posted 3 years, 10 months ago
    • * Kathy Khang says:

      Thank you for the prayers. It has been a week already, and it has been good to learn to trust God in new ways.

      Like

      | Reply Posted 3 years, 9 months ago
  4. Beautifully written. You are not alone; we are each scarred by our dysfunctional families and broken stories, whether or not we share them, the skeletons are in the closet. Thank you for being vulnerable in sharing yours.

    May god be near to your daughter as she departs for college; may she experience His hand at work in this new chapter in her life; may He comfort and bring you peace for any a time you may be filled with worry for her. Prov 3:5-6 🙂

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    | Reply Posted 3 years, 10 months ago
    • * Kathy Khang says:

      Thank you for the reminder that comfort and peace comes from the Lord.

      Like

      | Reply Posted 3 years, 9 months ago
  5. So sweet . I’ll pray 😉

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    | Reply Posted 3 years, 10 months ago
    • * Kathy Khang says:

      Thank you. I have felt God’s presence deeply this past week.

      Like

      | Reply Posted 3 years, 9 months ago


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