Honestly, I have the greatest child in the world. I know most parents say that, but I do. She’s sweet, she sleeps through the night, she’s cuddly, she’s stinking cute. There are no negatives to my amazing daughter. My husband on the other hand…there is no other hand. He’s also freaking amazing. He’s sweet, hard-working, handsome, and super supportive. But no, this isn’t about how amazing my life is, even though it just that.
What’s frustrating is that sometimes, even though my life and family are amazing, I can’t get out of bed. I’m so tired that I just spend hours crying. It’s frustrating because there’s typically no inciting incident, or if there is, it’s so trivial it might as well have been nothing. Sometimes I can’t put my daughter to bed because I’m afraid it’ll be the last time I do so. If my husband puts her to bed, I don’t have to think about it.
“Well, do something that makes you happy!”
OH! I mean…of course! Like, love my job? Have an amazing family? Have an incredible support system? I’m so lucky that I have these things– but that’s just it, I already have them. It’s so frustrating because there’s no reason that I’m depressed. I just am.
“But why are you depressed. Can’t you just… get over it?”
There’s a bunch of different kind of depression, and I won’t pretend to be an expert, but basically, mine is chemical. That means I just am this way. I don’t handle it well, either. I completely surround myself with work– I pick up two, three, sometimes four projects so I’m too busy to be depressed. I run around and drown myself in random stuff I want to learn: once it was knitting, cross-stitching, writing a novel, making two podcasts, researching famous mistresses, reorganizing my closet, staying up until three scrubbing the kitchen. Nothing really gets done– it’s all half-assed stuff to keep me preoccupied. Then, real stuff doesn’t get done.
Then, I get anxious about how busy I am. So, I don’t feel depressed– I feel anxious. I have nightmares about not completing projects. I don’t sleep so I can finish cross-stitiching this pattern and restarting it because I hate the way it looks. I reorganize the downstairs (again), but I don’t finish and I leave the whole place looking like a mess. Then, every six months or so, I crash. Hard. My husband is left to pick up the pieces.
So, now I have this kid who’s pretty freaking cool. Like, she’s ten months and screams when Chevelle screams on the radio. My little metal-head is my pride and joy– we’re forcing her to be an astronaut one day.
In all seriousness, I’m anxious because I don’t want to crash. I’m anxious because I don’t want to be depressed around her. I’m anxious about being anxious. I don’t want to have crazy side-projects that keep me from her and drive me insane. I want to be there for her and I want her to have a normal mom.
So, I see a therapist. He’s easily one of the top five most amazing people I’ve ever met. Some days, when he’s too real with me, he’s top fifteen. But he helps. So much. And I haven’t crashed in at least 7 months. He helps me handle my shit.
It’s still not easy. Some days, I want to throw myself into a corner and hide. It’s not as easy as just fighting, though. Sometimes you fight all you can, but you still feel sad. I think when people tell you to just fight it and you have episodes of depression, you feel like it’s your fault because you didn’t fight hard enough. I want you to fight, but fight with the right tools. Reach out to professionals. Know that people care. Depression might win the battle but it doesn’t have to win overall. Take the steps you need. See a therapist. Take medicine if that’s something you and your doctor have discussed. Exercise. Find a healthy way to be yourself. Win the war.
Being depressed is not a failure.
It’s frustrating that I can’t enjoy my daughter and my life 100% of the time because that’s what my daughter deserves because she enjoys life 100% of the time. I’m working towards being me as often as I can so I can love her like she deserves. Some days, I might fail, but I will not fail overall.
In case you need it:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255