“Why do you keep leaving the table mom?”
I told her I had to attend to laundry, that the diapers in the washer were being difficult. She accepted my answer and went on eating her spaghetti.
The truth is, I left the table twice last night because I couldn’t hold myself together. I ran up to the bathroom to cry, blow my nose and put drops in my eyes. Addie has seen me sad before, so why I’m trying to hide it from her this time I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been like this for so long, over a year. Maybe it’s because I refuse to believe that this is really happening to me, that after a year of feeling so wonderful, things are starting to crumble around the edges, a cruel reminder that clinical depression and anxiety really cannot be cured, only managed.
The issue is I thought I was managing it, and I thought I was managing it well. For anyone who’s experienced depression then you’ll know how monumental it is to go over a year without any symptoms, especially when you consider I had a baby during that year. Before this last year the longest I had made it was several months, even when medicated. Something in my brain doesn’t work right and it hasn’t worked for a really long time.
It’s hard to keep writing about lighthearted things when all you see around you is doom and gloom, to try makes me feel like a fraud and a failure. I have to go about this little bout of depression differently. I have to keep swimming through it. I know what okay feels like. I know I’ll get back there one day. I know this isn’t the worst of it. I know how to keep my head above water and I know that if I get too tired to keep going I’m surrounded by spectacular people, specifically my husband, who will get me through anything.
But Addie, oh sweet Addie. She was trapped inside me during my absolute worst fight with depression, one I almost lost for both of us. She loves me fiercely and as she gets older I can see how my depression may begin to affect her more and more. I do not use her as a crutch. I do not expect her to make me feel better and I do not expect her to hurry and grow up in the areas where I fail as a mom when I’m at my lowest.
Right now it’s a delicate balancing act, I’m fighting so hard to come back, but I fear wearing out and falling down before I get there.