Depression

Depression

This is probably one of the most difficult posts I am ever going to write. 

I have depression. And I have done for a very, very long time. 

My daughter is now eight. Her entire life, she has been used to seeing me go through periods of over-the-top-happiness (often short lived), followed by periods of sullenness, tears and rage. She has made me laugh when I’m happy, hugged me when I’m sad and avoided me when I’m angry. And, particularly in the last year, she has become my strongest supporter. 

This time last year, after one of the longest “happy periods” I can remember, my daughter became a big sister. When I was pregnant and for a short while after my son was born, I thought I had finally gotten rid of depression. So did my daughter. We were relaxed and enjoying what seemed like “normal” family life. 

Then it hit us from nowhere. I say “us” because it’s not just about me or what I was feeling, it’s the effect that it had and continues to have on my daughter that worries me the most. She became someone that not only cared for her mother during dark periods, but her baby brother too. 

My daughter keeps her brother occupied while I sit in the bathroom with the door locked for long periods of time. “Mummy’s on the toilet – she must be doing a really big poo!” I hear her say to him and giggle. We both know that I’m not. 

She plays ‘peek-a-boo’ with him while I try to change his nappy, to stop him from rolling around and to stop me from getting frustrated. 

She shuts the door when I’m in another room crying, or sometimes screaming. She comes to hug me when she hears that I’ve calmed down, telling me “I’ve put him to sleep. He loves having his head stroked!”  

She is everything. But she shouldn’t need to be. She shouldn’t have this weight on her shoulders at eight years old. She shouldn’t have to go to school wondering how her mum will be when she gets home. She shouldn’t have her childhood clouded with memories of stress and responsibility. She shouldn’t need to worry that her baby brother will have the same experiences as her. 

Something has to change. I haven’t figured out how to change it yet, but whatever it is, it starts now. 

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2 thoughts on “Depression

  1. Hey calendargirl,

    I feel like I kind of know what you’re going through. I don’t know if I have ever been that depressed, but I do know the profound guilt a mum feels when she feels like she is failing her child, especially when they are still so young.

    I’m 22 years old with a 3 year old daughter, and I’m currently two months pregnant. I’ve been married for four years, and although there have been good times, I feel as though there have been way more worse times. I feel as though this pain and frustration that I have been going through is now affecting my little girl, and it completely tears me to pieces. I see her acting out, getting angry, screaming, and I feel like it is all my fault. It took me four painful months of toilet training her, and now she is spoiling her underwear, again. I didn’t have to research why she would do that – but I still did – to find out that she is most likely feeling scared and unhappy.

    I don’t want you to read this post and feel worse. I want to help you, like I wish someone could help me right now. And I feel as though if i really push all my emotions aside and try and think logically, I know that I have tried my hardest. I’m not perfect, but I promise to try harder in the future. I promise to keep trying. And I think that is what really counts.

    However, I don’t want to ignore your problem entirely either. It sounds like you have depression. Why don’t you try speaking to your local GP, and see if they can refer you to a psychologist? If you don’t have money to do that, try writing in a journal. Sometimes I feel like it does wonders.

    I sincerely hope I helped a little,

    from a struggling young mum,

    Jinan

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