Depression is so much a part of my life and my family it may as well be another relative. Not so great Uncle Anguish.
I have seen it touch so many, including myself, with its icy cold fingers of desolation.I have on many occasions thought that the world would be much better off without me and me with it. I have fought through and been glad I picked myself up and kept going, only to be thrown back into the dank, dark depths once again. I have seen people I love struggle just to get out of bed each day because the fight to make sense of it all just gets to be too much.I have cried so many tears, begged so many unseen deities and looked for signs, anything to tell me it would be all be ok.
The one thing I found comfort in is my belief that I am a good….no…. great mom. I stayed home even though it was tough financially. I played games, made crafts, sang songs and hosted play dates. My kids never did without. They were hugged, kissed, danced with, sang to and told how very wonderful they are. I volunteered at their school, ran myself ragged once I was back to work to never miss a sport, music recital, play or award. Whatever my boys did, I was there. I never yelled at them, never spanked or demeaned them. My husband and I never swore or fought in front of them. We played together, traveled together and loved one another. I swore my boys would never feel the crushing sadness I had felt. I was foolish and oh so very wrong. Foolish because I thought I had any control over it. Wrong because it crept in when I wasn’t looking. Uncle Anguish decided he wanted my baby and the evil, sneaky bastard taught him to hide it. I suspected, of course I did. I knew the signs, but when I asked, delicately so as not to injure, I was assured by him that he was fine. I worried kids at school were bullying him or later that drugs were involved. I tried to help him by giving advice on socializing better but now I wonder if that was taken as criticism and did more harm than good. I tried just making his life as easy as possible but he pulled farther and farther away. I tried being firm, establishing rules, guidelines and good morals but I felt I was losing the fight.
No! Not him. My son! My boy! My baby! These words screamed inside my head. I was spiraling down the rabbit hole and I thought it may be my final trip.
Then we faced it head on. We dealt with the anger, the denial the hurt.So many conversations. So many tears and talks. So many attempts to get through.
So here we are. Some times it seems like we will be just fine, but others, I see the long road ahead and its almost to much to bear.Some days I feel like I am looking up from the bottom of the rabbit hole while others I feel like I am commanding an army to fill it in.
They talk about the worst pain a woman can experience being childbirth. I would give birth three times a day if it meant I never had to experience emotional separation from my children again. Nothing can ever prepare you from the heartache of suddenly discovering your teenager is keeping secrets and suffering while you are in the dark. Nothing can prepare you to fight for your family. Nothing can prepare you for the demons you fought your whole life coming to claim what you love the most. The ones you would lay down your life to protect. Trust me, not so great Uncle Anguish is not a relative you ever want to have at your dinner table.