As my little boy said the words “What’s wrong Mommy”, my heart broke. What was going through his mind and that of our other son and daughter also? They had seen me so many times upset, and just wanting to go to my room and be by myself. I didn’t want to think of the school work they had to do, or the hockey games that my husband had to take them to. I didn’t want to think about anything; I just wanted peace.
How long I wondered would it be, before I felt anything was normal in our lives. How long before I could think of doing everyday things, like going to a hockey game of our sons’ or a parent teacher meeting, without the dread of how I was going to be able to get through it. I needed to try to fool those that I would come into contact with. I needed to be able to smile if that was the appropriate thing to do. Inevitably I would just do what I had to do, say what I had to say, and then whenever I could make a beeline for the door and escape to my home… my sanctuary.
The next day I had to pull myself together, as I had to go to work. That was another hurdle I had to face, hoping I could get through it without breaking down.
For now I had to try before going to my bedroom, to spend some time with our sons and daughter letting them know how much I love them, and that when I am sad it is nothing they have done or said that has caused this to happen. I longed so much for the day when I could feel happiness again… to feel that life was worth living; but I couldn’t let our children know the depth of my sadness. To do so would only increase my depression, because I would be aware of how much I was failing as a mother. So I would try whenever possible to put a smile on my face, especially before they went to bed, as I didn’t want them to have sad dreams.
While it seemed like an eternity that I felt the oppression of my very mind and soul, one day I awoke without the knawing sadness that had come to be such a part of my existence. I hardly knew what to make of it. I didn’t trust it of course because history had proven, it would not last.
The next day I woke up and again, the sadness and darkness seemed not to be there. I didn’t understand what was happening. Sure, I had been going to the therapist for the past couple of years and had been delving through some emotional times in my life, that had been very difficult. I even knew that there had been some breakthroughs in some of them, but I had been too wary to believe that it was anything more than temporary. Maybe just maybe there was indeed a light at the end of the tunnel; maybe just maybe there was hope.
As it turned out the next couple of weeks as I went through the happenings of the day, there was a lightness of my spirit. I ventured to our son’s hockey games, and even carried on a conversation with other parents. Our daughter was in the school play, and she didn’t have to coax me into going to see her. Surprisingly I spent less and less time in my bedroom isolated from the rest of the family. Somehow I didn’t feel the need anymore.
I realized that the many prayers that I said, night after night, and the desire of my heart had been answered. The darkness had finally lifted. It was actually possible!
With thankful heart and gladness of spirit, I would no longer hear our son ask, “What’s wrong Mommy”?
The story above is true in fact. The only change I made was in the time frame that this all happened, and in the extent of detail. In actuality, I spent the good part of my adult life with some degree of depression. My children were in fact older, when I finally got the help I needed from a very good doctor, through CBT therapy, and including medication.
If a person is in a depression, the main thing to remember is that you need to be with the right doctor and therapist. If you are not improving after a reasonable length of time, you need to question if you are with the right professional therapist.
I wish that I had known this was so important, earlier in my life. I seemed to always just accept whoever I was referred to without question. You are your own best advocate; always remember that!
I also need to acknowledge God’s presence in my life during the difficult years. He never said we were exempt from trials in our lives; only promising to be there alongside helping, guiding and loving us, which He most certainly did.