I know crying can be healthy and good for you…
There’s that nasty little “d” word that many of us live with but rarely talk about. It’s hard to, it’s hard to function socially let alone talk about it. Yet so many of us live with it Every.Single.Day.
I am, I really am, a very positive and overall happy person. That’s the surprising side of depression. I can be completely happy, all can be going right and yet I’ll be walking down the aisle of the grocery store and suddenly have eyes filled with tears and a sadness that is bearing down on me so much I can barely breathe.But…we don’t talk about it. It’s safer not to talk about it. It’s not healthier but it is safer. It’s why I don’t write about it. There are more people in this world, watching and waiting for us to fall than there are who truly want to see us fly. It’s a sad reality of our society. People are quick to judge and take joy in other’s weakness, defeat and failures. So we don’t talk about the things that we should.
There’s another reality and that is my day to day life. My plate is full. I work more than I should. I volunteer more than I have time for. I dedicate every moment possible to being a good mom and absorbing every single minute I have with my kids. I take on more than I ever should find sane, I’m not good with saying no. I fall behind. I don’t sleep well. I don’t take good care of myself. I live daily with anxiety and depression, not because I want to but because it’s what is in my genes. I can’t “get over it”, I can’t “just stop” being this way because things are going well. It doesn’t work that way. My mind is over wired. It’s who I am.I know I am not alone and I also know talking about it will help others. I also know people will jump to conclusions that if I’m depressed I’m suicidal or worse yet – I’m not an incredible or capable mom. This brings us back to the reality that people will overlook - I can be depressed without being suicidal, I can also be depressed and still be an incredible mom.
Honestly, I will be an even better mom, friend and person by openly admitting these struggles and not being forced to hide them by the people waiting for me to fall. I’m not paranoid, there are honestly people (many who read my blog just for this reason) who are waiting for that.You know what though? That’s not ok. It’s not ok to let others in society control aspects of your life. This is my life. It’s not perfect. It’s not always sunshine and roses. But it’s mine and through it all, I love it. My children, my friends and my family rock my world in the most amazing ways imaginable and I owe it to them - and myself - to rock theirs right back. To do that, I need to talk about this. I need to let others know it’s ok. I need to let others know I am ok when these times happen. And they do happen.
It’s easy to tell when my depression is getting the best of me, not by looking at me (my allergies hide my tears well) but by what I am – or am not – doing. I withdraw , just in my own way.Case in point – in the past 5 days, I’ve spent all of my free time re-landscaping my yard. I’ve landscaped around the side of the house, transplanting flowers and putting in pavers, around the shed where there has never been landscaping, along the back of the house, by the fence, and completely pulling up every tire chip to lay new weed resistant cover around the swing set when I could have just sprayed the weeds. And the “landscaping list” that I am set on completing by Monday, is not even half way complete yet. Are these all projects on my wish list to complete? Yes. Would I have done them all eventually? Yes. Do I need to complete them all within a week? Only if I am depressed and needing to throw myself into a project to find my inner peace – or in this case “projects”. While this is great and productive for my yard, it pulls me away from people. At a time when I should be talking, I hide in projects. I hide to find solace in this time away from the overall world. I have my children close at hand within the confines of my bubble and know that through their smiles and laughter, I’ll eventually stop crying in the grocery store again.
Depression looks different for everyone. Even for me. Sometimes I seek that solitude by creating opportunities for myself to be so busy, I won’t have time for anyone outside of my kids ( I always have time for my kids and it helps me to involve them in my projects). Amazing projects get completed in my home during these times even though honestly inside I am struggling to function and it means I will sleep even less than I already do.My anxiety and depression are like toxic best friends. They thrive off each other yet make each other worse with every tick of the clock. You can tell when they are together; they are nasty companion bullies who are quick to make me cry.
But this is part of who I am. This is part of being Holly, part of living life as a fragile x carrier. I can’t change what’s in my genes.I can recognize it. I can find healthy (to me) ways to work through these times. I can take on a million projects and continue to help others. I can step away and take a break too. Sometimes, we all need that.
I can take time to restore my faith in myself, as a mother, as a friend, as a person. I can take time while still being a very good mom. I can write about it, let others know they are not alone and break the stigma that you are less for living with something out of your complete control.There are many things that can be done for depression. Incredible medications, incredible natural options, incredible people to talk to… there are things that can be done. You need to recognize the grip it has on your life and find the right resources to pry the grip off and take back control.
It won’t happen overnight. You will still have rough days. But you won’t be alone.Some of the most amazing people I know live with depression and, like me, odds are you have no idea. There is always more going on than you realize. So, do your part too. Stop waiting for people to fall. Instead, take time to build them up to fly. Take pride in watching those around you soar and knowing you had a part in making that happen.