Tonight I was at my father’s 50th birthday party, what was supposed to be a happy event quickly turned me into a place I can not hide from, no matter where I am. My almost two year old daughter had continuous meltdowns through out the evening while my youngest needs to be held constantly to prevent the same. My breath was hiding inside me, fighting to escape. I wake from a daydream in a clearer mind, only to step back. My mind races every way. Deep breaths through out the moments, inner sadness escapes. I hold a fading smile to keep others out and hold my monster at a distance.
What no one tells you about having children when you suffer from anxiety and depression is that is can take over your life if you let it. It can tear you apart from the inside out. Anxiety and Depression are increasingly common mental health disorders that women are more susceptible to. I am a part of this statistic. I am also a mother. A mother who suffers daily, questions herself on every decision, fights her inner demons, and forces herself to get out of bed each morning and continues to fake a smile to build a better life for these little souls that know nothing but joy.
As much as I fight these monsters masked as anxiety and depression I tend to loose 7 out of 10 times. What I find important to note here is that while some won’t understand; I find this a success. Being a long time sufferer of these two mental illness’ I understand where I once began and where I am today. My children saved me. As difficult as it is on the daily for me to go about my daily routine without the constant questioning and worry I find relief in my children’s eyes, and in their smiles. I may pace back and forth, cry often, and feel my heart racing, what feels like a 3 minute mile, but I am still here, I am still fighting, I am still mothering.
What I want others to understand is that parenthood…motherhood, is no easy task, and when you put a mental illness on top of it, even a highly diagnosed one as Anxiety and Depression, it can be life altering. The way I parent is very much effected by my inner disorders. My husband constantly complains that I get so easily worked up. What he, and many others, don’t understand is this disease rules my life. Yes, I try to combat that problem, and I more times then not accomplish this but it is always apart of my daily life, even my good days are difficult days inside me.
What to get out of this rant is, be gentle my friends. Be gentle in how you approach others, especially parents, and mothers. You don’t know what is going on within them and what inner demons stand between them and a happy norm. I have a daily struggle that I fight and I feel accomplished on days where I can manage a smile and interact with my kids without having to fake it. This does not make me a bad mother, it makes me human. I understand this now.
baby giggles calm the inner beast of my depression