Moms With Depression - I See You
Giving The Struggle A Name
I'm not good enough. Why does nobody care? I feel like I am completely alone. I have no help and no one appreciates me. I just need a break and to get away from all of this!
Have you ever found yourself saying or thinking these things? Asking yourself, Why? Why me? I understand because I have been there. I struggled for a long time with these feelings and not fully comprehending what was wrong with me. I felt alone and sad all of the time, but I felt guilty for being sad because of my children! I felt like I had no right to be upset and had too much to be happy about.
Friends and family would tell me all of the time how I had 'too much too be happy about' and 'I should count my blessings instead of being sad all of the time.' I know they meant well, but it only made me feel worse. Slowly, I became detached from people. I didn't have the energy to go out anymore. I did not want to be involved in social events, and I became reclusive. The numbness of the feeling just continued to get worse. I knew I was suffering from depression, I just did not want to admit it to myself at the time. Not until I came across an article talking about the statics of depression and how very REAL it is.
The tiredness. The sadness. Being agitated easily. Not wanting to go out. Having no energy. Feeling alone, like I just could not be happy. I was suffering from full-blown depression.
When The Realization Kicked In
Sept. 30, 2010 -- The CDC says that about 9% of Americans report they are depressed at least occasionally, and 3.4% suffer from major depression. The 9% are people who reported to surveyors that they felt depressed to some degree in the two weeks prior to being questioned.
Putting a name on the monster that was plaguing me was a big step for me. I knew at least, it wasn't my fault that I was feeling the way that I was. The way that I struggle feeling to this day. The hardest part about coming to this realization though, was my children. I dealt with a lot of guilt. Guilt over the fact that I was depressed. Shouldn't I be happy? Shouldn't I just be loving life?
I didn't understand at the time, that depression is something that you live with. It is something that you have to learn how to overcome on a day to day basis. You shouldn't feel guilty for being upset, just don't let it rule your life. You shouldn't feel bad because you have feelings and are struggling with a very real problem. You are human. You are not perfect, and that is perfectly okay!
I See You
I was in the grocery store one day shopping with my children, feeling like I was going to have a come apart. It had already been a long day, I was emotionally drained and my toddler was throwing a fit over anything she could. I felt like it could not get any worse and I was depressed out of my mind that day.
I was trying to stay positive though. I knew someone out there had it worse than me. So I allowed myself five seconds. Five seconds of deep breathing, and composure, and I kept walking with my kids in tow....
Then I saw you.
I saw you, looking almost exactly how I could only assume I looked. You were holding back tears. I could tell you were absolutely at your wits end. You ran your hands through your hair and let out a shaky breath as your toddler screamed and kicked in the middle of the toy isle. I saw you, doing the best you could and still feeling like it was not enough.
I walked up to you, half scared to say anything to you and half interested in what it was like to meet someone who was struggling like me. You looked at me with misty eyes, almost as though you were scared I was going to say something to you about your child throwing a fit.
Instead, I said a few simple words. "It will be okay." You cried, right there in that isle. "How do you know?" You asked me. "Because, I've been there." I replied, knowing all too well how it felt. I was still learning how to control my own emotions. How to not let the stress and the struggles of everyday life push me over the edge, and I understand all too well how hard that actually was.
"I'm sorry. I'm getting a divorce and my son isn't taking the separation well. I've just been in a funk. And so has he." You said, wiping your face. Your son had stopped his tantrum by now, but I stood with you. My hand was on your shoulder and I smiled at you knowingly.
"Don't apologize. You didn't do anything wrong. You're doing the best you can." I said. With that, I rubbed your shoulder and then gathered up my kids and walked away.
I don't know where you went after that, or how things ended up for you, but you should know; You are NOT alone.
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a reminder that you need God.— Mark Brown
God and Depression
You should know that you are so strong. To wake up every morning, to take care of your babies, and to keep on doing what a mother does daily, even through your struggle; It is one of the most admirable traits I could ever see in a mother.
You are selfless. You are brave. You are beautiful. And I promise, your going to be okay.
I see you as you hold it together at your job. As you run your fingers through your hair when your children won't give you a moment. When it seems to be one thing or another. I see you, as you fight back tears and crumble on the inside. I see the way you hold it together. I admire you. I admire your strength. I admire your courage.
Depression has many faces. It has many endings, and it has many new beginnings. I could not properly cope with my depression until I got back into church and got right with God. I still struggled from time to time, some days much better than others, and some worse. I pray, when I'm at worst. And I pray when I'm at my best. I pray for my children that they wont inherit this struggle from me. I pray most of all that this struggle wont negatively effect them. I do not blame myself for it though. I do not blame anyone, honestly. Mental illness shouldn't be so taboo to talk about. It is a very real struggle. Finding my way back to God again opened up so many things for me. I knew I was going to be okay, even if I didn't feel okay. I knew I wasn't alone, even if I felt alone. God gave me peace.
Find a support group, talk to other moms! PRAY. Don't be afraid to let someone know what is going. You should not carry your burdens alone and God does not want you to!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
It is important to hold on to God, and to remember that you are never alone. He has made us so many promises and while I understand how hard it is sometimes to count our blessings, he has our backs. He does not condemn depression. The bible talks about depression, about the disciples being depressed, in its own ways. It discusses deep sadness, withdrawn behavior, deep emotional suffering, even in Jesus's followers. He does not ever tell us that we should not feel that way, but only that we should not allow it to take over us.
When To Get Professional Help
Signs of severe depression - When to seek help
- Suicidal thoughts
- Harming yourself
- Thoughts of harming others
- Severe personality changes
- Sudden withdraw from social contact
- Self destructive behavior
If you experience any of these symptoms, then please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255
Reaching out to a friend or loved one is a big step. Find someone who you trust to talk to and seek the help that you need. Even if your symptoms are not 'severe' and you are suffering, reach out. Get the help that you need for you.