I Have Depression…
For years I’ve struggled with depression. For years a war has raged within me.
At 16, I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and my psychiatrist told me I would probably have relapses my entire life. He was right. I suffered from post-partum depression, more so with my first child. I’ve had minor episodes at other times, too, but this year ushered in a much longer one that has grown with each passing month. My family has been saying for awhile that I need to do something about it. And I wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel I was at the point where I needed help. But I’m there now. I know I need to do something to help my moods and to make it so I don’t feel so sad.
This year brought many changes to my life, many struggles. While they seem like routine struggles that every single mom faces at one time or another, for me, it’s been a lot to handle. I’m not weak by any means. I’m a fighter and have dealt with a lot. I’ve overcome a lot and am a better person because of my struggles. But right now, I’m going through a rough period and I need help. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. At least not anymore.
I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of feeling happy one minute and sad the next and not always knowing why. I’m tired of not sleeping. I’m tired of feeling off.
Part of the reason I’ve fought against doing something about my depression is because I was ashamed. There are people I know that think if someone has depression, it makes them an unfit parent, incapable of raising children. I’ve had others look down on me and think I’m crazy because I have a chemical imbalance. I’m not crazy. I’m not unworthy of love. I have an illness. But it doesn’t have me. And I will not stand for anyone judging me because of it anymore.
I’m a damn good mother. I’m not perfect. What mother is? But I love my children. I give them everything I can. I’ve gone without just to give them what they need.I put my own happiness to the side for them. And I’m tired of people judging me and thinking I’m a bad mom when I’m not. I thought for the longest time I had to prove myself to them, to show them I’m not a bad person. I realized yesterday, after some serious soul searching, that I do NOT have to prove myself to anyone. I know I’m a good mom. I know I’m not crazy. My family and other loved ones know I’m a good person who is just going through a rough patch. Their opinions are what matter to me.
Several months back I met a man named Chris who quickly became a best friend. We had feelings for each other but the timing wasn’t right for us to date, but then, just over two months ago, we went out for the first time and everything clicked. And we knew we had something special. The friendship we shared helped us create the relationship we have now. And his love and support, his undying belief in me, has helped me in so many ways. I don’t want to screw up our relationship because of my depression. I don’t want to screw up the family we talk about having together. I want to be in a good place for my kids and his. I do not want to make the same mistakes in this relationship that I made in my marriage.
I also don’t want to ruin the relationship I have with my parents, my brother or my other best friend. They have all stuck by me through so much. They’ve been there to listen to me cry, to offer a shoulder and encouraging words. They have helped me, as has Chris. And I can’t express how grateful I am to all of them for loving me, even when I felt unlovable. Having my loved ones believe in me means the world, and I want to show them I can beat this, that I won’t let my depression own me any longer.
I will take back my control.
I will fight.
The reason I am sharing this with all of you is to hopefully inspire someone else to seek help. Do not be afraid of asking for assistance.
You are not weak.
You have nothing to be ashamed of.
Don’t let others ignorance stop you from giving yourself the chance to live a happy, fulfilling life.
Show yourself love and fight.
Don’t give up.
And if you falter, don’t be ashamed. Forgive yourself and keep moving forward.
I believe in you, even if you’re having a hard time believing in yourself.
*Photo courtesy of 436ocw.