I was sad to hear about Robin Williams death for a number of reasons. I believe depression itself is masked by many people in so many ways. And also can come on to anyone during any point in their life.
I wrote this piece earlier this year and didn’t share but I think it’s a good time to share. It’s a scary dark place to be, kind of like being stranded on an island alone, but many never let on that they are or were there. I’m hoping that when others read they too will know they are not alone. Prayers and love to those who are struggling and to those who are now helping others get better.
I love that I’m not alone on this while Mom-thing. It’s something that I feel that because I have personally been in the trenches, the actual trenches of motherhood, and to some of the deepest dark depths, I could relate to another mother, and maybe make her feel like she is not alone either should she find herself there.
I find comfort on my crazy days when I am almost in tears, that I’m brought to laughter by friends whom I haven’t spoken to in years, but via a comment that can have me feeling like they get it. They get that this crazy life is non-stop and always one crazy story after another and they get it. I love to read about them. I think that’s why Moms ( females) make up the higher percentage of social media users and blog readers. We love to read stories we can relate to.
It’s not empathy that we are after, it’s comfort, really. Knowing that we aren’t alone and that someone else gets us makes us more connected to each other as persons. Husband, boyfriends, etc… They are all wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the Moms who keep me afloat and remind me of how wonderful being a Mom can be. Sometimes being a Mom is everything we ever dreamed it would be. Sometimes…it’s not anything like we ever imagined. Moms understand.
Some of my fondest memories of this time in my life are of the Moms I call friends who are in this with me. I’m in it with them too. It’s not a war, but experiences like this will only be for a short while. Each stage of our children’s childhood brings with it unique challenges that I have no idea how to fucking handle. I look to those that have been there for advice and I idolize those who have been there and survived. I need help. It’s not always easy to say. And sometimes we don’t ask. And sometimes we just need to give the help to someone else, even if they don’t ask. A simple gesture might make another’s day, and maybe you’ll never know that what you just did, will live with them forever in their memory of this magical and almost mythical time of Motherhood.
I have felt alone before. It’s not a good feeling. It’s actually really sad to feel alone when you are, but you’re really not. And it’s something very real. But no one talks about it. You might with close friends. But not many. Not open. You hide it. Make everything seem ok. Back away from the people who love you. Stay quiet. The highs are high. The lows are low. And it’s hard to climb out of that darkness.
I recently learned about an organization and event called “Climb out of the Darkness” held on the longest day of the year, the first day of summer…an effort to shine the most light on this cause…postpartum depression. Their mission is powerful. It’s bringing together lots of Mothers who want to tell other Mothers that they are not alone. If it helps one person share their story with another, than that’s enough. Because when you are in the darkness, and don’t know why, and don’t know where to turn, you don’t know what to do, that’s when you need help.
This past year, on June 21st, the longest day of the year, millions of people climbed for others to know that they aren’t alone. I love knowing that I’m not alone. We are not alone. And that is a good feeling.