‘My teeth were turning yellow. ‘Mommy, why are you so tired all the time? You don’t get out of bed.’: Mom battling depression says ‘I am living proof it gets better’

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I don’t actually want to die, do I? Maybe I’m just so sick of feeling like this that I just want the pain to stop. What about my kids? Would they be happier without me? I’m sure my parents would be, I’m sure their dad would be. I bring so much trouble to many places. Maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I need to just go. I wonder what the least painful way to do it is…

This is an excerpt from my journal entry back in early 2019.

This was my mindset a little over one year ago. I vividly remember writing this.

I was sitting on my parents’ guest bed, writing in my journal like my parents suggest I do. I was googling the least painful way to end my life.

I was looking up how many pills to take, to not wake up.

I was going on who knows how many days of not brushing my teeth. They were starting to turn yellow.

I was going on who knows how many days of not brushing my hair. It was becoming a knot.

I was going on who knows how many days of wearing this stained sweater.

I remember feeling worthless in this picture.

I remember using alcohol to make me feel better.

I wasn’t eating and was down to 94 pounds.

I wasn’t the best mother to my kids, at all.

The TV babysat them.

My parents had to help a lot.

I cried daily.

I didn’t see the point.

When my mom walked in and saw me with the pills I had found, scattered across the bed, I knew I had hit rock bottom. I couldn’t even look her in the eyes.

I remember sitting in the hospital, talking to the psychiatrist. My whole family waiting outside.

I remember saying, ‘I just don’t want to live anymore. I feel like nothing ever gets better.’

I had given up.

I remember my parents taking me home and putting me to bed. Checking on my every five minutes. I remember my mom crying, in fear of what I would do to myself if I was left alone.

I remember my five-year-old daughter coming up to the side of my bed and saying, ‘Mommy, why are you so tired all the time? You don’t get out of bed.’

I remember taking my antidepressants and being told they would take weeks to work. I was devastated. I wanted to feel better, now. I was tired of feeling like death was the only good option.

I remember the antidepressants starting to work slowly, and I kept going to therapy.

A few months later, I started getting out of bed.

I started showering.

I started gaining weight.

I stopped drinking.

I stopped telling myself that the world would be better without me.

A little over a year later, I look back on my journal readings and cry. Sad and happy tears.

I cry because I can plainly read how much pain I was in.

I cry for my kids, who I clearly had put on the back burner.

But I also cry because I can see how much growth I have done.

I can read how different my mental health was a year ago.

I cry because I now can talk openly about it, and how f*cking hard depression is. And when you’re in it, you feel there is no way out.

But I’m here to tell you, there is.

There is hope.

There are small steps you can try to take.

It took me months to actually take them, but finally, I got there.

I know you’re sitting on your bed, whoever you are, reading this, and thinking ‘this girl has no idea what I go through’ or ‘this girl is just writing this for attention, and has no idea what depression is.’

I’m here to tell you, I do. I know. And I see you.

And there is hope.

There will come a day when you wake up, and you don’t instantly wish it was already nighttime.

There will come a day when you don’t drink until you’re in the back of a cop car, saying you want to die.

There will come a day when you will start brushing your teeth again.

I am living proof.

Take it from me, the suicidal girl in this picture, who I don’t even recognize anymore.

There is hope, and you’re not alone.”

Courtesy of Caitlin Fladager

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Caitlin Fladager, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook and InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Caitlin:

‘I started telling my 5-year-old, ‘I can’t wait to meet the boy or girl you bring home to mommy when you grow up.’ I always get shocked eyes.’: Mom says ‘I want my children to know I will always love them’

‘At 22, I had two kids and still couldn’t drive. Every time a car got behind me, I had to pull over and cry.’: Woman battling anxiety says ‘don’t let anyone make you feel less for not driving’

‘I’m the backpack of the family. I carry all of your things. Put it all on me. Physically, and mentally.’: Mom pens sweet letter to children, ‘I love being your safe space’

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