Depression. It has plagued me for as long as I can remember. I can't even think of myself as a child really happy all the time, it was tinged by sadness and confusion. I know that there were moments when I felt carefree but I also worried even as a four year old. I stayed up late at night, after everyone was asleep, worrying that a robber would break in, or that our house would catch on fire, or that my parents didn't really love me and would leave me. I remember hearing voices as a child calling my name. When this occurred again in adulthood after the birth of my second son, I was told that the inner voice, my inner dialog, was very high, that I was hypersensitive and hence suffered from post-partum psychosis which landed me in the mental hospital. I have struggled since my teenage years with hormone imbalance and mood swings. The thing is, I desperately want to be happy and most people would say that I am. Except I spend a lot of time lying.
I told my husband that I feel like I live in a glass house. I feel like everyone can see in; see my flaws and how I yell at my kids for making messes. See how I hide in the corner of my bedroom in a ball of tears, willing the ramble of negative thoughts away. How I look outside at the sun shining and wonder what all my friends are doing to enjoy this day while I sit in my glass house alone. I go to bed most nights feeling guilty, like I'm a bad mom and a bad wife. I feel insecure and lost and desperately alone. I can't reach out. I can't call people and ask them to come over. I feel like they are looking in but don't know how to help me. I don't know how either.
I have spent years on medication, anti-everythings, to take this darkness away. I realize that medication doesn't take it away. It is always there, this sadness. I am trying to change the way I think. I try not to dwell on these terrible lies when they enter my head. I spend time praying, meditating, reading scripture, reading books on how to be happy or books about world travels. I do these things everyday. I pray and ask for wisdom on how to handle all of this, but the thorn is always there. I listen to my husband when he gives me advice, and tells me how silly it is that I feel like nobody cares about me. I go out into the world and take my kids fun places, I put my emotions aside most days to be the best mom I can be, but it never feels like enough. I am plagued by days of sadness and I can't really explain why I feel that way. But I do. It feels like a part of who I am, this feeling of misunderstanding and being misunderstood. I do realize this is no one's burden to carry but mine. I do realize that if I embraced the divine spirit of Love, I could transform this sadness into something that could help others break down their own glass houses. But I just can't seem to get to that point right now. So I settle in with this feeling for another day and say my prayers, and spill out my trust that in spite of this pain, I am loved even if I cannot really know it.
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” -Longfellow
Photo taken in 2008 after my son was born. I titled this "Warrior Mama"