I have struggled with clinical depression most of my life. Who knows why and at this point, who cares? It’s just a part of me that I live with. I have done all the things you are supposed to; medication, meditation,therapy,acupuncture. It’s been a long haul.
But sometimes the blackness creeps up and brings with it the veritable smorgasbord of symptoms that can accompany depression. OCD, anxiety, all that shit. Crippling feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Trust me, it is quite the little party in my head.
Having son has helped. He makes me get out of bed and get shiny about life. Because the last fucking thing I want in the world is for him to think he is responsible for ANY of this. He brightens my day just through his sheer joy of being alive. Little kids are great for that. They skip when they should walk, they sing about anything. They give hugs, dance and wrestle just for the feeling of moving. It is really wonderful. So is he.
But sometimes all I feel is failure. And you know what? I am not alone.
I think of the mothers out there who had to set their children loose from the nest too early, just so they could be happy and learn to fly. The mothers of children who have special needs and different abilities, the ones that want to weep at the end of the day, having watched their baby struggle with the simple. The mothers whose children are sick, fragile or just goddamn difficult.
And us mothers? We’re hard-wired to wear every unhappiness our children have. We wear it tenfold. Can you see it? Mine looks like a shoddy second-hand suit.
Motherhood is the Hood. It’s scary, confusing, at times downright violent. You have to have much courage to enter.
If you’re not in the ‘hood, that’s okay. You will be one day, and there is a whole lot of us battle-scarred mothers out there to let you know it’ll be alright.
If you are in the ‘hood, my sisters, don’t let the blackness swallow you. The good, joyous stuff will always out weigh the bad. They will be fine in spite of and because of us.
And go take off that shitty looking suit!
(To the dudes: I can’t speak for you, obviously, but you’ll be okay too! Now go kiss your mom!)
p.s. More on depression later. You are not the only one. And please don’t take this as a message to have a kid to cure your depression. It doesn’t. And that would be really fucked up.