I don’t blog about depression often. I prefer not to think of this as a blog about ‘moms who suffer from depression” – I prefer to regard it rather as a blog about a girl who struggles with motherhood.
The reality is that I do suffer/struggle with depression.
The reality is that most/a lot of days I struggle to get out of bed and through the day.
The reality is that most/all/some days I hate me, just because I am me.
The reality is that most/all days I do consider that maybe life would/might be easier/better/just not as hard if I was not in it.
The reality is that most/all/some days the pretence I put up to get through the day is exhausting, and takes more energy that I have available.
But I do get through the day. And I do try to hide that it is a struggle.
I wake up. I put the alarm on my cell phone off. Usually let out a great sigh. Flick my feet onto the floor, and take a deep breath as my weight is conveyed to my feet.
I know that this is the start. This is always the start of my day.
This is the start of my day where I will need to wait at least another 16 hours until I can go back to sleep. Then I can close my eyes and sigh in relief that it is over – that I survived the day, that maybe tomorrow will be easier.
I often/usually have internal arguments with myself to convince myself that I actually do not suffer from depression. I am fine. I am really fine.
If I say it enough, then I might believe it. However I do have several doctor’s certificates telling me differently.
The reality is that I do struggle with depression.
The reality is that it is this gnawing pain that exists.
The reality is that just waking up is a battle won.
The reality is that if someone tells me to “look on the bright side” I might actually stick the broken neck of my wine bottle (when I am finished with it, as it is pointless hitting it against the side of a table to get a ragged killing instrument if there is still wine in the bottle) and shove it into some jolly well-wishers jugular.
(Anger management classes start Friday)
No matter who I am today, no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing, it is this dark shadow that I am waiting to drift over the sun.
When the dark cloud does move over the sun, it is dark, it is cold, and I will quickly forget all the warmth I experienced before.
Every now and then there will be a little breeze, that will change the course of that cloud, and it’s direction of drifting over the sun. I will get to sit in the sun and have the warmth of it on my face for a bit longer.
November and December have truly been a shocker for me. I have been smacked to the floor more times than I can probably count.
Of course logic would tell you that I would be hit with a depressive episode. But logic and depression do not necessarily walk hand in hand down the garden path.
It still hit me, and I still was not able to recognize it – could not see it coming, could not see it when it arrived, and could not recognize it’s destructive force.
All a bit shocking considering how bright I keep telling everyone I am.
I am very lucky that in general I have been able to manage my depression.
I have been able to hide it sufficiently from Joe-Public.
My methods are often to distance myself, to appear aloof, and to build what can only be described as a large moat, and castle walls around myself – to protect myself. This “protection” has stood me in good stead.
But with all things good, there is sometimes the small print.
The protection means I have distanced myself from a great deal of other things – the result is I have been missing out.
I have convinced myself that this distancing is vital, and necessary. And that the lack of feeling or connection of feeling is a fair price to pay for the “protection.”
New therapist (combined with some recent events) has shown me that maybe it is not a fair price to pay and it might be time to start breaking down my defenses.
It might be time.
I am not sure it is time, but, I do realize what I have been missing out on and what I have been standing away from. Though it has served as a fantastic protection tool, maybe in the protection it has also held me back from experiences, both in joy and in happiness, and in itself done more damage.
So that is what I tackle this year.
I tackle the little steps in breaking those defenses down one brick at a time.
Am I scared? Petrified. Am I convince it will work? No. Am I keen to do it? Er, no. Will I attempt it? Maybe – with reluctance. Maybe just one brick at a time.
I think what I am trying to offer here, maybe to other moms who suffer from depression, is that if you have a support system that works, or even better a supportive partner who can assist you, and understands you, it goes a long way in you having more sane days than the days that are not sane.
Being a mom is frikk’n difficult. I don’t mean like choosing a decent white wine for under R25.00 difficult. I mean the kind of difficult where you start to wonder about your sanity, your sense of worth, and how the hell you got yourself in this position.
The problem is that often in the middle of all this insanity, is a partner who you love (or think you love, or maybe just mildly like right now), and a child who you know you adore, but who you are struggling to like at this particular moment in time.
Motherhood is not for sissies.
Motherhood with depression is actually easier if you recognize and embrace your insanity. Lay down all your façades and masks that you use to hide who you really are. It is time to dust off the little drummer boy hiding in your closet, and start moving to the beat of your own little drum(er boy).
Trying to keep up with all the super mommies and yummy mummies, and mummies who truly love to do arts and crafts all day is enough to make even the mildly insane certifiable.
The problem with ejecting a child from your uterus (or raising a child that you did not personally eject), is that one morning you are going to look over at your husband/partner who you love dearly and go “you f*cker how did you get me into this situation?” and then start to build up a mild dislike/resentment even total disdain for them.
At some point you may even look over at your child who is screaming their head off for a totally unknown reason and think ”I want to run away from you and from this all – I want my life back!”
But such is our lives, and such is the life of a mother.
We are filled with this sadness of “our (past) life lost” and in the same breath filled with a sense of awe that we have got to be part of creating a new life, and being privileged enough to be a part of shaping a new person, who we hope will be a better version of ourselves.
The ying and the yang of motherhood.