‘I remember coming home from school, seeing you on the couch. You didn’t ask me how my day was. I get it now, mom.’: Mom battling depression, suicidal ideations says ‘your illness doesn’t make you a bad mom’

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Disclaimer: This story contains details of depression and suicidal ideation which may be upsetting for some. 

“I was young.

Around 10 years old.

I remember coming home from school and seeing you lay on the couch, facing away from me. You didn’t ask me how my day was. You didn’t offer to make me an after school snack. You would barely talk.

That’s okay. I thought you didn’t feel well.

But you were never feeling well.

I wasn’t mad at you; I was worried.

After you left and started your new life an hour away, when I’d visit you had a spark in your eyes. You were smiling, talkative.

As I got older, I’d look back to those days of you laying on the couch like a statue. Like you were unable to move. I got resentful. I felt neglected. I felt like you were tired of being a mom.

But I get it now, mom.

Depression ran through your veins like poison, as it now does mine. It’s not that you didn’t want to get off the couch, it’s that you couldn’t. Your mind was so sick it made you physically unable to function. It made you so tired the most simple tasks felt like climbing Mt. Everest.

I get it now, mom.

I never realized it was possible to be so incredibly sad that you don’t have the physical energy to say it out loud. You suffered silently. Like I do now.

Now I have children of my own. I love them more than anything in this world. I thought a love like this could mend my broken soul. I thought it would give me the will to want to live, but it doesn’t.

I fantasize about ways I could die. I drive down the road and find myself seeking out a tree I could run my vehicle into. I wonder how I could make it look like an accident…like it wasn’t intentional. But I could never do that to my babies.

So, I continue to suffer in silence. Praying every night before bed somehow, some way, my heart will just stop beating while I’m asleep, only to wake up the next day with a tear rolling down my cheek at the thought of having to struggle through another day. Do it all over again.

This vicious cycle runs my life. It’s not a sickness, it’s a curse. It is the most devastating thing to know I have to live, I need to live, but I don’t want to.

I get it now, mom.

Your brain is a locked cage. It’s pitch black. You’re trapped inside. You scream at the top of your lungs all day every day for someone to come save you, but no one will ever hear you. You’re alone.

You don’t fear death anymore because death couldn’t possibly hurt anymore than living does.

I’m sorry for the years I was silently angry with you…I just didn’t understand. But I want you to know your illness never made you a bad mom. You were sick, and you needed someone to save you.

I get it now, mom.

And I love you. I always have. Even in your darkest days.”

Young mom sits on the floor and holds her toddler daughter
Courtesy of SLE

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