For my sons: On Depression

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Addie, a mother an author wrote this story about her depression on her blog. WOW. Not only can we all relate to the pain she endures and the struggle with what to tell “the others” particularly our children, to help them understand. After all, they have a high likely hood of enduring this same pain, maybe we can say something to them now to help them recognize the darkness sooner than we did…. Maybe we can teach them about it while we find our way out… maybe we can help them prevent it… Maybe. I have three sons, I completely understand the confusion. Just yesterday, my boyfriend and I argued over something stupid and I literally cried for hours. How do I explain that?  How do I explain to them that it isn’t John’s fault that I am crying, rather some evil, dark force that is devouring me. How do I tell them why I haven’t cooked in weeks and rarely leave my bed? How do I explain to them why I was locked in the bathroom for a few hours (as I quickly hide my .9mm in the cabinet)?

We already decided there are no words for this ugly darkness. So how do we explain it to those we love? Then we get the guilt and depression because we aren’t the parents we are supposed to be and we should protect them from this ugliness… but wait… I am the ugliness. Do we share this journey with them? Do we let them see how weak we really are? I mean they used to think of me as super woman, they are teenagers now, they already see my flaws, but do I open pandoras box and let them see just how ugly it really is inside? What do they think about me and this messy house? Do they notice that their friends mothers are not in bed all the time? Do they think fast food is the only source of nutrition? Will they hate me if they really see me? Will they hate me if they really see how dark and dimented I am? I mean, they have to know some things are not right, but do they know how bad it is inside my head? should they know? Should I tell them that there is more darkness than shadows and hardly and light? Should I tell them that some times I sleep with my gun and I dream of ending it all? Should they know that sometimes the fact that I am a single parent is the only thing that keeps me on this earth, knowing that I am all they have…… but also knowing that I am not enough. Wishing I could be the parent I want to be…. Should I say these things? Should I pretend that everything is normal? Should I let them see my weaknesses? My mother was depressed and I thought she was weak. As a matter of fact, she turned my stomach. I thought the suicide attempts were cries for attention (they probably were, but is that wrong? she just needed help). I looked at her with disgust and decided I would never be a weak woman! I decided that my life would be different from hers, I would never depend on a man for anything and I would never be weak….. HA Hind site is everything, isn’t it? I still wouldn’t tell her how I felt about her, and I never have. We actually just don’t talk… at all… How that must tear her apart inside…. I think, because it would tear me up if my kids felt this way about me! OMG, it would tear me up…. I dont feel better, I feel more depressed thinking about this….

Anyway, read Addie’s story, what do you think? What do you tell your children? Have you had any successes or failures in sharing your story with your children?

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