This is me. Depression is hot on my heels at the moment.

I’ve tried ignoring it, but we all know how that one turns out. I’ve tried busying myself out of it but mostly I ended up too tired to think properly. So now I’m going to try something else. I’m going to try accepting it. Again. I’ve been stressed lately for a variety of reasons, and stress is always a trigger for me. Bitchface has a lot of fun when I’m stressed, because it’s so much harder to see the good, and always easier to berate myself for whatever the problem might me on any given day. Bitchface wants me to give up, and makes me think that really, my family would be better off without me. I talked about this with Therapist yesterday, about all the many reasons this isn’t true. Bitchface fought hard, she didn’t want me to see any of these reasons. But I did. I brought a reminder of those reasons to work with me today.

Look at that picture!!! Look at the big smiles on those faces! That’s me in the middle (excellent likeness), D to the right and M to the left. D drew this for me, as a present, and made sure to tell the girls in creche to roll it up carefully so he could bring it home for me. I have two absolutely wonderful little people, and much and all as I don’t like to admit it, I played a part in how they’ve turned out. They’re happy. They’re confident. D is about to start school and is so excited I’ve had to hide his uniform to stop him from wearing it. They’re affectionate, with us, each other and their friends. They tell us how they feel, and talk to us when something’s wrong. They listen, most of the time anyway. They’re good people.
I’ve spent a lot of time beating myself up over the fact that because of me, depression will always be a part of their lives. I never wanted it for them. But it’s part of me and there’s nothing I can do about that. I worry about the impact it will have on them, that it will damage their sense of security and stability because I’m not always able to be as present as they need. But maybe I’m selling myself short, because I know when I’m well, I’m a good mother. Taking myself out of their lives won’t make things better for them, it will leave a hole that can’t be filled. So maybe instead of seeing my depression as something that could damage them, I can try and see it as something that I can use to teach them – about acceptance, about being kind to themselves, about doing things that make them happy, about being able to say when they’re not ok. Because that’s part of it too. If I can model that for them, it’s a huge positive.
This weekend was the first time since I came home from hospital that I told them I wasn’t feeling great. Since then, I’ve been showered with hugs and kisses. I don’t want them to have to look after me, it’s not their job. But when they feel bad, hugs and kisses make it better. I taught them that. 

This article has 13 Comments

  1. You just made me cry 🙂 That's so beautiful Fi, all of it – the words, the images they conjure…just lovliness. What life is all about. So proud of you x

    1. Maybe not trillions but definitely some. Patience to handle 4 extremely irrational tantrums without losing it yesterday (this all in the space of two and a half hours) including a very vocal refusal to go to bed. That would have been a disaster a year ago

  2. It is very difficult to live with depression but, as you say, it's part of you and therefore part of family life. Sounds like you have the right attitude to dealing with it and children who draw such lovely smiley faces, especially of their mum, are doing very well indeed!

    I wish you luck with the road ahead, step by step;-)

    xx Jazzy

    1. Thanks Jazzy, last thing I want is to hide it from them or teach them that it's not ok to feel whatever they feel. That said, the more happy they see the better! Love that drawing. It's beside my pc at work and makes me smile every time I look at it.

    1. Hey, thanks for saying hello, and for sharing. I had written a very inspired response from my phone this morning which I couldn't post for some reason and needless to say I've now completely forgotten what it was! Anyway, just thanks

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