“My daughter broke down and then I broke down.
She broke down because she hadn’t eaten in 8 hours and nothing sounded good.
Depression will do that. Kill your appetite. So you know you are hungry and you know you should eat, but the thought of it makes you nauseous and too exhausted to try. And leaving your bed is utterly overwhelming.
Exhaustion on top of exhaustion.
This was where she was at.
Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Hungry but unable to agree to eating anything. Rejecting every single one of my 30 suggestions.
This was not the first time or the last.
Her lack of appetite sent a cold finger trailing down my spine.
It terrified me.
And it sent a shock of recognition through me.
Years ago, my depression was a splitting image of this. Hers now.
I was horrified she was experiencing the wreckage of her brain attacking itself, just like mine did.
We drove to McDonalds at 8:30 p.m. because it was the only thing that ignited the smallest sliver of life in her dull eyes.
On the drive home it hit me. I was witnessing her depression as if I was on the outside looking in at myself. Seeing her pain and being choked with the memory of my own. Feeling her feelings pouring over my head, filling my lungs. Unable to escape my own pain. Or hers.
I was grateful for the darkness on the drive home so she couldn’t see the tears streaming down my face. The radio loud so she couldn’t hear the sobs I was choking back. Her attention on her phone, away from me. Thankfully.
As she put a fry in her mouth, weird to say, I rejoiced. She offered me one. And I broke.
Her gesture of thoughtfulness, even in this.
My love for her is fierce. I wish I had loved myself the same way back then, years ago.
I will do everything, give anything, for her to be okay.
When she breaks, I break.
Then we put each other back together.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Melissa Neeb from Never Empty Nest and Faith In The Mess. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Melissa here:
‘I have an empty room. An infinite abyss. A portal leading only to my own memories.’: Mom candidly shares difficult empty nest emotions
‘When your big kid asks you to do something, say yes.’: Mom of teens shares important advice
‘My 14-year-old came into the bedroom with distressed eyes. ‘I was panicking last night and couldn’t sleep.’ This is the third time in 3 weeks.’: Mom stands in the gap for daughter battling anxiety
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