“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”
Last year at this time, I was packing my stuff and getting ready to take the kids and I to our new apartment. I was very exciting to start on my journey and thought “oh cool, its over, its all over!” In fact, it wasn’t, it was just the beginning of something I could have never imagined. I cannot even compare it to a roller coaster ride, it felt (and feels) more like being propelled into space tied to a turbo rocket, then falling head first deep into a mine shaft.
The highs and lows
My therapist and I are working on “finding the in-between”. With me, its all or nothing. If I’m good, I’m great!. If I’m bad, I’m terrible. The hardest part in all this, is telling people exactly how I feel. Why, because the ones who love me all want me to feel better. Normal right? Right! When people I love feel depressed I want them to feel better. I would be comfortable when they were A-OKAY, plus, I want to “fix them” (which in reality I know I can’t).
All this makes me think of what I would really want to say to my loved ones about how I really REALLY feel inside. How I appreciate their daily calls, and pats on the back. How their love, kindness, support (even financial) leaves me felling valued, worthy and supported (something I am learning to give myself). It is not easy expressing myself, especially on a bad day.. I know my loved ones go “oh no! I thought she was getting better!” I am.. trust me I am..
Dear ones I love and who loves me:
I know it has not been easy watching me go through this depression. I know even more how sometimes my energy sucks the life out of you. I know you worry, and pray for me to be okay for more than a week at a time. I know you wish with all your heart that you can “fix it” and at times, you feel helpless. It is not your fault (how I feel) and you know what, I know now, that it is not my fault either.
I want to remind you, as I remind myself, that I am getting better. A year ago, I couldn’t even see the forest in spite of the trees. All there was left in me was a flicker of light, and thank God for this little spark. All it took was a little oxygen and the flicker became a flame.. there is a clearing ahead. Since my early teens, I’ve been a bundle of nerves and tears, and at times, I used those tears for sympathy and to get a little of your love. Today, the tears are healing tears, warm, streaming, and heavy. Every time I cry, I let out a bit more pain, thus heal a bit more. Every tear I cry it relieves the daily pressure of anxiety which haunts me minute to minute. You do not need to wipe my tears, all I need is for you to be still. Just be there.. just be.
I want to say to my children:
You are my pride and joy. You have been through so much, yet still get up every morning to face the day, not knowing if mom will be smiling, crying or frustrated! You stand by me and seek to understand. This is not easy for a teen, watching their mom go through this nastiness, yet know that I am here always, and it is because of you that I move forward every single day, and my love for you doesn’t change with my moods. It is constant and ever-growing.
Which brings me back to finding the “in-between”. This past year, my loves, I have accepted each day as they come. I try not to judge them or fight them. What I want to tell you is don’t give up on me, because I wont give up on myself. There are days like yesterday, when I SCREAM for “normal”, yet I have acknowledged typically normal days, and appreciated them. BUT I still have so healing to do. I still feel lost at times, scared, and lonely. Those feelings pass. Living with clinical depression is a mental illness, and an illness of the spirit. Both go hand in hand. So, as I continue my therapy and my medication, keep holding my hand and I will be ok.
Things have drastically changed over the past year. I am looking better, dressing better, and loving myself MUCH better. I can comfort myself when I have a panic attack, and seek help when I need it. The hardest part is going through this alone, not alone, but alone. It is hard to explain. I have my kids, I have my friends, and I have my family, yet, when I cry or feel “bleh” or even have an accomplishment to share, there are times when I wish someone was holding my hand, and yes, validating…
As I learn to get full validation from myself, bear with me a little while longer… As I know there is no destination (end of depression) just the journey itself. I decided to save a little money from my next family allowance to take the kids and I out to dinner.. It will probably be McDonald’s but I don’t care, it’s the fact that we are going to celebrate our freedom and accomplishments.