Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Am Not Perfect, But I Am Enough, And So Are You

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Some days I walk around feeling an incredible weight on my chest- but maybe it's not really a weight- sure the feeling is heavy, but maybe it's more like a pressure or a squeezing. So lets start again...

Some days I feel like my heart is being squeezed- but not a good squeeze like a hug at the end of the day, a squeeze that makes it hard to feel like you have the ability to breathe, or stand up straight. 

I fear that if I stop to consider the painful feeling in my chest it would swallow me whole.  So I don't stop- I go through the motions. I wake up, exercise, eat, go to work, smile, make small talk, but every moment is hard- every moment is filled with the deliberate intention to keep going. No matter how hard I try to keep smiling it never makes it any easier to breath around the pain in my chest.

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 But some days it's worse, some days I don't feel anything. Some days it's a struggle to even think about getting out of bed, some days the act of smiling and functioning makes me want to run and hide in the bathroom or turn around and go back to bed. Some days I wish I could cry because that would at least be better then the empty feeling inside. These days are worse, these days I would often rather feel pain then keep on feeling empty. These days are the days I have to move a little slower, work a little harder to try my best to take in the moments I should feel grateful for. These are the days I remind myself to ask for help, to be ok with talking about it.  

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Depression is not a new companion of mine, but in a way I think it is one that has changed its face many times. When I was a teenager he was self absorbed- fed by feelings of loneliness and the feelings of being misunderstood. In my early 20's he developed more complexity as the notion that my depression and self injury hurt the people around me just as much as it hurt me. Now as a mother my depression has taken a new face once again- one that is a little harder to manage. 

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Life is much more complex as a mother. It is an awe inspiring, heavy responsibility to mean soo much to someone soo little. My first spell of depression as a mother happened when she was about three months old. I felt like a failure, the despair was soul crushing, I felt unfit to be part of something so perfect and precious. I resisted getting help because I felt like it was a great flaw in my being and I was irrationally petrified that someone would see me as unfit to raise my little girl and take her from me. 




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I have great fear about how my struggle with depression- and anxiety, affects Cordelia. Will I really be able to teach her to be healthy and happy when I struggle with it so much? The feelings of self doubt and guilt over moments you feel you might have wasted can eat you alive if you don't fight them. 

At the end of the day I know I am the only mother she has, and I know that I can keep fighting to be the best mother I can be. And I am lucky to have such a strong supportive partner to keep reminding me of this.  

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The alternating periods of pain in my heart, and feelings of numbness come and go. Sometimes for weeks or months at a time, and I don't know the answers to how to make things better. All I know how to do is keep going, keep coping, keep fighting.  I guess the point of me writing all of this- of sharing all of these feelings with you, is so I can say that we are all struggling, we are all doing the best that we can, and it's going to be ok. 

In a world of social media it's easy to only share the good, the pretty, or the funny- and to leave out the real struggles we each are going through, but I think that we need to spend more time talking about the way things really are. Depression is your mind telling you the same lies over and over again. Depression tells you that you will never be happy, that you will never be good enough, or strong enough, that you will never just be enough. When we think we are the only ones struggling  I think we begin to believe these lies. I am taking this time to say- I am not perfect, but I am enough. And you are too. 


4 comments:

  1. This is beautiful Katie. Thanks for sharing

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  2. Oh, Katie, I am so sorry. I had a serious episode of post partum depression and have bouts that are less severe still. It is so hard to just keep going. You are definitely enough. I do think it is best to get some form of treatment, I don't know if you are already doing that. I am happy to chat some time and share my experience. Hugs!

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