It’s tough. I’m not asking for sympathy, I’m not trying to play the victim, and I’m definitely ok with someone who reads this, to be baffled and maybe a little appalled at what I might say in this post.
I’m a mother. I live with depression. And it’s tough; tough sometimes to feel an exuberant privilege to hear my two year old say “mutters” (mother; one day she’ll get it, but A for effort) “momma”, and “mommy”, while my one year old sweetly utters “mama” or “mammy”, and then in a matter of minutes or seconds, that privilege turns into heart wrenching noise, fire to my irritability . In some ways, admitting that makes me feel sad, like I want to crawl into a hole and wait to come out like a groundhog on groundhogs day; maybe there’s a chance the depression would be gone, and I could get another taste of what remission feels like. But you never know which season you’ll be in when it comes to depression, either you’ll be in a season of contentment with the help of a treatment regimen, therapy, and serious coping strategies, or you’ll have the latter three and feel like you are in the pit of hell, alone, and pleading to be set free. There’s hardly any in between, at least for me.
So just imagine motherhood, an inexplainable duty of honor and great responsibility, and depression, facing each day of unpredictable seasons together, hand in hand; WORK.
I’ve been dealing with depression for nearly three years now, since the birth of Sydney, and I have been enduring (definitely amazed at how I manage to keep holding on) a tumultuous relapse for over a year now, since the birth of my daughter Sage.
I remember feeling so attached, more than ever, as my husband excitedly brought our newborn baby girl Sage, close to my head, while I was lying flaccid below my waist, bound by the power of medicine after enduring an horrendous c section (I wasn’t completely numbed properly during my procedure, feeling the burn of my insides, as they lifted my baby from my womb). I felt so in love in that moment, attached, and able to strangely shift my focus from the unnecessary pain, to whispering soft lullabies in her ear, as her cries slowly dissolved. Sage made me forget my struggles that existed prior to her arrival; struggles with her heart rate hours before giving birth, struggles with the severest form of depression ever, during my last trimester, and struggles with the passing of my grand parents (18 months apart), unresolved grief from a house fire a year prior, and so many hits to my health, while still battling depression. It’s been a tough three years.
Needless to say, through all the trauma I’ve endured and am enduring, Sydney and Sage have been a blessing to me, and never cease to make me feel wanted, when depression says I’m worthless.
It doesn’t matter how hard I smile or push through the pain, exhibiting outward joy while trying to bury internal anguish, my girls seem to know what mommy needs in the darkest of moments; a God send. Sydney will always ask me “ok momma?” “You ok?”, at the EXACT time I needed to hear it, to feel connected when I’m so mentally isolated, and her occasional tight hug of my legs, always fills me with an intense sense of comfort and peace, when I am silently being mom, but fighting back tears, in hopes to protect them from the lowest points of my illness. Sydney is wise beyond her years, and above all, I thank God when she says “Glory to God” or “Jesus”, in the middle of playing or watching her favorite show on Disney; it always comes when I need to refocus, to tell my mind to look up, though it is so down.
They are a blessing. Sage’s snuggles, unforced, and abundant in number, always happen daily, no matter how bad depression makes me feel about being their mother and living with this illness, or if I cried violently minutes prior; they love me inspite of me, whether I’m in a high season or low season.
And though I wake up and face a rushing rulette of emotions daily, wondering how I will get through another day battling the beast, the thoughtless love they show me and each other, strengthens my fight. So whatever each day may bring, the one thing that matters most, is them, our love, and the unwavering gratitude that they call me mommy.