Being a Mom with Mental Illness – The Short Story

I know I’ve written about my mental llness before….

But I haven’t really written how it’s changed me as a Mom.

That’s important, because I am raising a teenage human.

Here we are – you can barely see us, lol

Since it is just V and I, she is on the front lines with me.  She endures my good days and my bad.  She is there when I break down and can’t stop crying.

I hate that she has to see me that way.

I hate that she feels that she has to take care of me when I do melt down.

I hate that she sometimes doesn’t know what to do.

Mini Background Moment:

When I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression, I was put off of work.  I told V at the time that Mommy was very very tired and that her doctor told her she needed lots of rest (which was partially true, depression sucks everything out of you).

Once the summer was over and I was able to function on a daily basis, I told her about my mental illness while at my parents for supper.

She had a lot of questions.  But I must have done something right in the years before, because she took it like a champ.  She still comes to me with questions, and we talk about things openly.

How does this work now???

Well, I think that having Clinical Depression and anxiety has made me more aware.

I look after myself a little better than I did before (besides my klutzy accidents!).

But on the same hand, there are times I feel like I have a parenting defect.  

One of the symptoms of depression is being tired.  Not just regular tired, but tired to the point of even moving is a herculean task.

There are nights that I shut down, when I should be talking with her, being more engaged, but I just can’t.  And I feel awful for it.

There are also feeling of extreme irritation.  Angry outbursts.  I’m like a landmine some days.

With surgery looming before me, my depression and anxiety seem to be ramping up.

I catch myself getting snappy.  Being short.  Going back on some of my decisions.  Just not wanting to move (hence #ProjectAmy and #FightForHappy – blog update on Sunday!)

It’s a daily struggle lately.

My to do list most days will look like this:

Even though I look like this:

Because depression doesn’t look sad.

We hide it very well.

But I do my best.  

Because as a parent, that’s all we can do.  

I use my support system when I can.

And some days, V is my support system.

We are a team.

The more team members you have, the better your days get.

So go…..gather up your team.

You’re worth it.