My Firstborn Child: An Inspiration
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Depression is not something that many people think of as a common life challenge, but I assure you that this is more prevalent than you may think. Depression can set in when somebody goes through a traumatic situation, but this is not the only precipitating factor – Many factors are involved which include genetics, trauma and stress caused by the loss of a loved one, divorce, financial difficulties, unemployment, and others may act as triggers for the onset of depression. Life is full of challenges, and we have all experienced the ups and downs that life consists of, which can impact us in a variety of ways. Sadness, hopelessness, anger, restlessness, and other negative emotions may become intense and persist for long after the activating event has passed.
It was a dream come true when I finally said “I do” in a beautiful wedding ceremony attended by my family and friends almost thirty years ago. The church environment was beautiful and sacred as we were ushered into the reception area with singing and dancing, and our family and friends showed us with many gifts on this, the happiest day of my life. A few months before the wedding I had gone to the beach for a vacation, and the weather was hot and humid, leading to edema in my feet. There was nothing unusual about this experience since I had edema previously, but when I travelled back to the city the swelling did not diminish as I had anticipated.
After the wedding I started I began to experience pain in my swollen toes, and this began nagging at me until I finally decided to visit a physician. My family doctor referred me to another clinic near the office where I worked a the time, because walking any further was beginning to seriously hurt my knee joints. The MD ran some lab tests and explained that I had severe rheumatoid arthritis, but at the time the only thing that I knew about the condition was that only old people should get it. I was very young and my life was just starting with my great plans for raising a family with my husband, so this shocking news was a major blow.
My colleagues in the office would share stories about how their grandparents would use canes due to their joint pain, and they sympathized with my unusual situation. Despite the medications that I was prescribed, I was in constant unbearable pain any time that I needed to wash, clean, or walk to the office. At first I found myself in denial of my condition, but depression hit me hard when I recognized that the disease was beginning to disable me. There were times when I was just sad and other times when I was miserable – I was generally unhappy. Fortunately, I had a strong urge to overcome the depression and worked hard to subdue this creeping state.
Determination and Joy
Within the first few years of marriage I was expecting our first born and as much as my legs were failing me I knew in my heart that I was carrying a precious life and so was determined to soldier on. Then came the turning point. I was wheeled to the hospital to deliver our first born by C-section, and when I woke up in the ward I saw the other mothers walking to hold their infant children, but I was told that the baby was OK and would be brought to me by a nurse. As time passed and nobody brought my child to me I decided that I would go find her myself. I was not supposed to get out of bed, but I stood up, held onto the medication drip, and slowly walked myself to the nursery on painful knees and feet as the nurses tried to bring me back to the bed. However, I was determined to find my child and hold her in my arms. Finally, when I held my child I experienced an indescribable sense of joy and happiness, and I recognized that nothing in this world was more important than the precious gift of life that I was holding in my arms and had been entrusted to care for.
Not only was I more motivated than ever to overcome any challenges, but I was so overwhelmed by the blessing of being a mother. Any times that my symptoms of pain or depression returned, I would simply shift my focus to the positive things that happened in my life and counted my blessings. This is how I overcame my challenges.
- Anonymous Contributor