Have you ever felt like life was crashing down on you and you are reaching every which way to grab a hold of something, but everything is far from your reach? That’s how I’ve felt over the past couple of months. Despite my happy little blogs, I’ve felt the power of the winter blues hitting me full force. During the darker and colder days, I tend to reflect on life and think about all of the things that I wish were different. As much as I would like to train my brain to think and feel differently, it doesn’t always happen that way. During the warmer and brighter days, I tend to be more productive and reflect more positively – if my brain says that’s okay to do so.
Truth is, I have depression and anxiety…See when I wrote that last sentence, I automatically wanted to erase it, because nobody wants to admit that they have depression, especially as a parent. However there are more parents with depression than anyone wants to admit. Because admitting to it will only open the doors for judgement. I know that depression is a serious issue, but it doesn’t make me less of a parent.
My son is the only thing that keeps me going and pushes me to be productive. My son calms me and makes me think things thoroughly before reacting. Because of him, I am happy. The dark of the night when my child sleeps is when I start a war inside of my head. After I drop my son off at school and I find myself alone in the car is when I have to deal with my own thoughts and self. Winter is hard for me, I go through some difficult times during those months. I rather not burden my friends and family with all of the pain, so I keep it to myself. I hide my emotions in a hibernating kind of way, but that often makes me feel worse. I am often my own worst enemy.
I didn’t one day greet depression and welcome it into my life. I have a back story, a life of many tragedies that I hide from the world and some that my best friends don’t even know. However those don’t define me, they only mold me to become greater and wise. Being a single mom is hard work and at times, I wonder how I do it but knowing it is possible. The thing about depression is it tries to take away the things that you love and makes you not desire them. It tries to take your worth and confidence to say that you’re not good enough. The sun is out and it’s a beautiful day, but it may shadow your eyes of rain. You constantly have these conflicting arguments with your mind telling you no and your heart telling yes, you can. Depression reminds you of all of your difficulties and past hardships, but your heart is where the reality of overcoming and gaining your own power of life back. I can tell myself that I may be coming to another bump in the road, but I know that I have gone through far worse.
However, my child is the sunshine of my day. His arms are the waves of a summer beach. His love is like lavender to calm. His laughter is what brings the inner child out in myself. It is because of him that I am still complete and holding it together. It is because of him that I must never fail. It is because of him that I devote my life to his happiness which reflects onto mine. It is because of him that I know true love.
My depression and anxiety doesn’t define me, and it doesn’t make me less. In my particular case, I feel like it actually makes me a better parent. I see things from an emotional aspect, where I try not to leave any thought and emotion of his behind. I can sense change in his moods, because I recognize my own. I can build his confidence up, because I know what I need to build my own. I know how much love and encouragement he needs, because I need it too.
I may come across some challenges within life and my own mind, but I am a parent first.
I will never be less…I will always be more”