Depression got a hold of me again. I keep hoping to lead this normal life without this illness engulfing my mind. Choking me, creating this dark cloud of nothingness everywhere. I don’t want to be a mom with depression.
I experienced numbness of emotion from depression. I’ve felt this way for about six months. But, I didn’t realize it until I remembered that I hadn’t had any real emotions about anything for the same amount of time. All that I express, is anger. Going to church has been extremely difficult. Everyone seems to have these amazing spiritual experiences, and I feel nothing. No promptings, no comfort, no guidance…just loneliness and emptiness.
Out of the mouth of babes…
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As I was sitting on the couch with my 4-year-old baby this last week, he noticed a little scratch on my thumb. It’s not big at all. I didn’t even remember how it happened. He asked if it hurt and I told him that it didn’t. I told him that sometimes grown-ups don’t think little things like this hurt. He touched it softly, then he told me, “Mommy, it’s okay to cry. Did you know that?”
His sweet little words really hit me. I haven’t cried over little things or any things for a long time. As a mom with depression, I’ve been suppressing and suffocating all of my emotions. Why? Why do I do this? Is it because I don’t have time to feel? Is it because I’m too proud? Maybe I just don’t want to seem dramatic? Perhaps it’s because I don’t like when others ask me questions when I cry? Because I have stuffed these emotions into a vault and locked them up tight, I have become numb. Numb to fear, anxiety, sadness, happiness, hope, joy, love, and compassion.
Do you let yourself feel enough?
Do you find that you tell yourself that you don’t have time to feel? Or that you don’t like all the questions? Maybe you’ve got to be “tough.” You may think that you’re too strong to let yourself be bothered by emotions you need to feel. What other thoughts are you having that keep you from letting your emotions flow?
Yes, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be angry at your hardships and the things you have to endure. Okay to feel compassion and love for someone you don’t know. To be afraid that you won’t pass your next big exam. Or, joy because it’s been raining, and sadness because a loved one only has a few days left to live. Let your emotions flow as they should.
It’s okay to cry.
I have just finished one of the most insightful books on depression as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Silent Souls Weeping has changed my life and helped me understand how depression affects others. Including men, women, missionaries, moms, dads, children, and leaders. I highly, highly recommend it.
If you’re anything like me, and don’t have time to read, I prefer to listen to audiobooks when I’m running the kids back and forth to their different activities, when I’m getting ready in the morning, when I’m folding laundry, etc. I love using Deseret Bookshelf to listen to beautiful books such as this. Take advantage of their free 30-day trial and see how awesome it is!
Share Your Story
One big takeaway from this book for me was that I should share my story as a mom with depression. Everyone is different and depression hits us all very differently. But, we have so much to offer people who are suffering. Please, share your story. Share in the comments below and reach out to others for help. You need them.