Sometimes I feel like a ghost.
I have been struggling with my depression again and as always it threatens to asphyxiate me and drown out all the good that lives in me.
But no one ever tells you that when you are a mother and you have depression, you do not get to suffer alone. The thing you love, the thing that keeps you from being lost completely in the abyss suffers too.
Having a mother with depression is like being forced to be psychic. You never know what is going to make her angry. You never know who is going to greet you when you come home. You never know if there is going to be someone to take care of you or if you are going to have to figure it out yourself again. This was MY experience. My mother was depressed.
And against everything I swore I would never be as a parent, this is slowly becoming my daughter's experience as well.
I feel like I am depriving her. Her mother doesn't want to play. She doesn't want to go anywhere. She can't muster the energy many days to leave the house. And when she does, the rest of the day is shot, because she only has so much patience and will to burn. She loses her cool when the kid is just being a kid.
And the more I feel guilty about being sick, the more I want to withdraw - to not subject her to me. And this makes me more guilty and feeds into this twisted circle that is quickly becoming something of a spiral or a whirlpool dragging me down to God knows where.
The meds have not been helping so I keep going back begging for some kind of help. "We'll find something that works for you," the doctor said to me today. But it's hard to watch what I am doing to my kid while the battle wears on.
And then there's the fear. The fear and worry that I am scarring her for life. That I am unable to teach her some essential survival skills that will keep her from succumbing to the same pitfalls and setbacks the threw me into the pit and left me there for dead. I don't want her to have to ever feel this way. But if history is any indication, my fears will be realized no matter how hard I work to prevent them.
It is hard to hold out hope for a turnaround. It is hard when most of the medications and therapies have just led to brief remissions and when substantial lifestyle changes have been sidetracked by this unbearable lethargy. But I have no choice. I have my little girl to look after. She keeps me from being able to give up. I HAVE to get out of bed. I HAVE to face the day. I HAVE to make dinner even when it hurts and is overwhelming just to stand at the stove and stir a pot. Even when I suck to be around. She still needs me.
I just hope she will forgive me for all the lost time.