Depression has never been a thing in my family.
It’s always just been a “sadness” that you needed to get over by pulling yourself up by the bootstraps.
From an outsider’s perspective I had no reason to feel the way I did. I had a good life. Everything I needed, most things I wanted. It was a phase and I needed to grow out of it.
But here I am at the ripe age of 29, and I’m still battling that part of myself. I have extreme reactions of anger or sadness or frustration (and excitement and happiness), irrational fears of abandonment, low self esteem, self doubt, and often feel alone, despite having built this amazing life for myself. I will say that I have more good days than bad but that’s not without a lot of work. When I fall into my ‘funks’, I feel exactly the same as I did when I was younger. There’s a searching in me. A need for reassurance and validation that no one can give me, a loneliness, despite being surrounded by people who love me and support me.
Nobody really talks about depression.
It seems like something only brought up when it’s gone too far.
But we should talk about it because it’s real.
It’s real for kids, teens, and adults.
It’s real for men and for women.
It’s real for moms.
There are days when I feel like the most incapable mother, wife, daughter, person in the world. I sit and think of all the things I should do, and literally can’t pick myself up to do them. Days where I question my worth and breathe life into my insecurities. Days when my anxiety is so high, that I skip every day activities, like the music class we’ve taken my son to for almost 2 years. And I have no explanation for why.
But I do the best I can.
I am a mom and I suffer from depression.
After much trial and error through my highs and lows, I finally found my best solution.
My biggest tool for surviving depression has been asking for love.
When I find myself slipping, I literally tell my husband, “I’m not doing too well right now. I need extra love.” And he doesn’t press or probe the issue, he just loves me. He’ll pick up my slack without complaining, without looking for anything in return. He’ll make dinner, get our son ready for bed, or just hold me. It’s amazing the calming power a hug can have, and the simplicity of this act is what has helped ground me over the last few years.
It’s taken a long time to get to a place where I’m able to do this, but I know that it works, so I turn to it every time.
This technique has helped me become a better wife and mother, to stay present in my life, and has helped me stay motivated at times I helplessly feel like giving up (as motivated as I can be in those times).
I have tried therapy on occasion and have never wanted to medicate. There is no one size fits all when it comes to mental health. This is just what works for me right now, and I felt compelled to share it. Maybe it could help you, too.