6am: Alarm goes off. Feeling a little off and don’t quite have the energy to put limbs outside of the covers.
6:30am: Throw out intentions of waking before the kids to enjoy a cup of coffee and quiet time.
6:45am: Kids come jump into your bed because they are joyful to be going back to school after a long break. You’re feeling the opposite of their joy.
7am: Your kids have now dressed themselves and have backpacks by the backdoor. They know by now that when Momma doesn’t get up, they need to do it on their own.
7:10am: You literally have no choice but to get up and fix their food for the day, because they have to leave in 10 minutes.
7:22am: They’re gone. You should feel relieved. Instead, you melt into an acceptance of the dreaded feeling you opened your eyes to.
8am: Even though you showered the night before, have been eating healthy, haven’t missed a day of prayer or meditation, and are using all the oils and supplements, you’re now talking yourself out of 99 negative thoughts.
8:20am: You start to make the bed but instead fall back into it.
9am: You must now get ready for a commitment you’ve planned for months now.
9:25am: Leaving your mascara for last, because you can’t stop spontaneously bursting into tears, you take a deep breath and say out loud “I can do this!”
9:45am: You do this. You leave the house 20 minutes late after a white lie text is sent to the person you’re meeting about needing to get gas.
10:10am: You’re at your destination. People are happily entering the building you must go into. You want to be them!
10:25am: Find your seat after you shamefully walked in late. Give a few fake smiles. Pull out your supplies while your friend asks “Are you ok? It’s not like you to be this late.” Another lie, “Yep! Excited to be here!”
12:30pm: Event is over. You did it! A burst of energy comes — you can do anything!
12:45pm: You leave the event without anyone else asking how you are, a little disappointed you didn’t get invited to lunch or coffee afterwards.
12:50pm: Driving, fighting off every negative feeling of not being “good enough” and all the times you weren’t a good friend.
12:56pm: Deciding comfort is needed, your lunch is a large 12-count chicken nugget meal, with Coke, and extra sauces.
1:12pm: You finish eating in your car alone. The cow in costume waves at you, but you don’t even feel like waving back.
1:25pm: You notice your husband hasn’t texted you all day. Does no one care?! Seriously.
1:45pm: You have one hour before getting your kids from school. What to do? Browse Instagram, ignore your to do list, sit in your car alone in a parking lot.
2pm: Wait in carline to get the kids. Think of all the time you wasted this morning waking up late and poor time management the rest of the day. “Ugh… Why do I always do this?”
2:50pm: Here come your happy kids. You think: “What did I do to deserve them.”
3:10pm: You’re home and have a mound of papers to go through. You sign your name and fake a cheerful message to the teacher.
3:25pm: Dinner…Why do they always have to eat? Search through IG for a recipe from your favorite Mom blogger. Of course, she’s making from scratch Tuscan Soup with fresh kale. Of course, her kids are joyfully eating it.
5:35pm: Your husband hasn’t texted you the “Get out of jail free” text message saying he’s on his way home.
5:45pm: You call him, but he hasn’t left the office. You say not nice things to him about his lack of communication. “Doesn’t he know?!”
6pm: He comes through the door, stepping on a couple of metaphorical eggshells on his way in. “How’s it going! Dinner smells good!”
6:15pm: You eat dinner in bed alone. You tell yourself this is a safe place; you’re protecting your kids from your sadness.
7pm: Your family is playing in the house. You say you really need to work in bed, but really you’re just binge watching Netflix.
7:20pm: Bath water starts running. You try to be grateful for a husband who cares for your kids, but you also feel guilty for not helping.
7:45pm: They run and kiss you goodnight. Those heavy arms of yours reach out to hug them and breathe in their scent. Hoping to catch joy in their freshly bathed aroma.
8pm: You should just get ready for bed. You also have three major tasks you think you should complete.
8:35pm: One episode of The Crown later, you tell yourself you’re going to take a shower. Wash off this depression and get started for a new day!
9:05pm: Another episode of Baby Daddy has passed, and you’re still in bed.
9:35pm: Your husband asks if you need anything. “Oh, now you ask?” “Okay, fine. I’ll just let you be.”
10pm: You turn the lights off and Netflix asks “Are you still watching?” Great, now even the TV is judging me.
10:35pm: You go to sleep with praise music softly playing on your phone, in tears, just knowing tomorrow is a new day.
The next day:
6am: Alarm goes off. You swing your legs to the ground. Thankful your family is still asleep. You brew your coffee and start to journal, making a list of the things for which you are grateful. Today is a new day!
6:10am: You briefly think back on yesterday, “I don’t even know who that was.”
The Mom described above has been me too many times to count over the past nine years. Notice the self-loathing, guilt-ridden, “somebody should help me” mentality held on a depressed day? It’s the worst to not be able to shake that. Do you know of the Dementors in Harry Potter? When I first read of those, I had a moment thinking, “That’s it! That’s depression!” Something outside of you over which you have no control. Yet, some days you have the strength to run far and fast from it. On other days your arms and legs feel lifeless to fight.
Did you know that depression and sadness actually manifests in your limbs?
Happiness can be felt all over. Love is felt in your head and torso mostly. That is why a hug feels so foreign, yet so good when you are sad. As much as most Mommas struggle with the guilt of depression, it’s important to know that some days are harder than others. You do your best to set your pace to cruise. I won’t offer my self-help on this topic because we all go about it a different way. I will tell you however that it’s been helpful to have a mantra like “I am enough!” or a safe friend to text “Prayers…today sucks” knowing they will be of help.