She is very observant. I hate when she sees me upset, and I try my best to hide it from her. But, sometimes the tears just come out (and unlike the cop from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs II, I can't shove them back in my eye).
She will say, "Mommy are you sad?" Instead of telling her no, I tell her, "Yes baby, but it's ok. We all get sad sometimes." She usually will hug me or wipe my tears and kiss me. She is so sweet (sometimes).
Even though I don't want her to know that I am sad, we all have emotions and I have to teach her that it's ok to feel them.
Sometimes she will ask why and I don't always have an answer. There isn't always a why. That's the thing about depression; there doesn't have to be.
I have been asked, "How are you depressed? You have Blake and two kids and a great job. You have nothing to be depressed about." Most of my depression comes from an underlying, constant thought that I am not good enough. Unworthy. Useless. Worthless. Fat. Ugly. The list goes on and on.
So, yes. I have all these great things and I have worked hard for them. But, I feel that I dont deserve them. I feel like a bad wife, a bad mom, and like I never do anything good enough.
I am not sure when this started, but I know that this is the reason why I have always tried to do more than I should. Which causes me to have more anxiety and get overwhelmed. Which then sends me into "spiral mode".
Imagine: Being a depressed, perfectionist with anxiety and ADHD who doesn't sleep well because of PTSD and insomnia.
That's my life.
So, now imagine why it is so hard.
Momming is hard to begin with; add depression or anxiety into the mix and BAM. 10x harder. Being a working mom is hard. You feel guilty for never being home but then feel guilty for taking time off work. Marriage is not always easy. Not saying mine is bad, because it is definitely not. I got lucky in this department. I pay someone to clean my house. So, then I also feel like a bad wife because I can't keep up with everything. I love to put 110% into everything that I do because I want to be good enough. But then, I get tired and can't keep up with it so I burn out.
Mental health is difficult. With or without medications. Weekly therapy. Self-love (which I have been miserably failing at for years). Taking time for yourself (I also fail at this). Coping skills. Learning how to manage mental illness.
I know the answer. For God's sake. It is what I do for a living. But it doesn't mean it is easy.
Because I know the struggle, I feel like I can relate to many of my patients. And not just them, but co-workers, friends, family members, complete strangers.
You are not alone. We are all in this together.
And that's the thing.
You can't do it alone.
We have to be a tribe.
A tribe of women (and/or men) that support each other and lift each other up when we are falling down.
There is too much negativity in this world right now. A lot of people are struggling; mentally, physically, financially. We don't need to feel like we are struggling alone.
Let's be the change.
Support each other. Whether you have depression, anxiety, other diagnoses, or no diagnoses.
Who is your tribe? Who is your support? Some people don't have anyone. Well, sister (or brother). You do. Even if I don't know you. You have me.
Yes, I am "broken" and I may not always have the right thing to say or the answer. However, I can say "I get it" or "I understand" and I most likely really do. Because I know the struggle.
I am here. And I challenge all of you to do the same thing. Be there. For anyone who is struggling. Whether you know them or not.
Support each other. Lift each other up.
We got this.
Meet the Author:
Hi! My name is Laura Novack. I am a wife, mom, and also work as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I have been married to Blake for 6 years in October. We have 2 beautiful children, Primrose (3) and Alaric (1). I have been working as a Psych NP for almost a year now and I love it! I wanted to work in psychiatry because I have struggled with my own mental health since I was very young. I was recently asked by one of my patients to start blogging about my own struggles, triumphs, and failures as I often share these with my patients and this is something that they love about me!
My blog, Popular Monster, is my very own passion project about my mental journey filled with struggles, honesty, laughter, and some tears.