A Note from Bildo
Hi guys! Thanks for tuning in! Let me introduce you to our Guest Blogger, Danielle, AKA Yoga Mom.
Dealing with depression and anxiety as a mum
I feel you.
I know your struggle. I know exactly how you are feeling. What you go through daily. I want you to know that you are not alone.
I know the lies that depression and anxiety tell you. That you’re a failure because you didn’t get everything that you needed to get done today. Maybe you’re thinking your kids deserve a better mother than you?
Trust me, I think like that a lot lately. Maybe you feel like no one will miss you if you were gone?
I know the tight feeling you get in your chest, the feeling that prevents even the most practiced yoga breathing from helping.
I know the tear jerking meltdowns, the overwhelming tidal waves of emotions. And I know first hand the racing mind feeling that won’t even let you get rest at night.
You probably deal with a seemingly endless cycle of ups and downs. Medication works for a while, you feel like yourself again, and you dare to dream you’ve found the answer.
Then a few months later, the symptoms return. You try to increase the medication, but the side effects are too rough. So you begin the process of switching meds, hoping the next one will work. Or you add another to what you’re taking. Or you try alternative therapies to manage mental health. Sometimes this works, sometimes not.
Up. Down. Up. Down.
I get it.
But listen – I know things seem really bad right now. But I want you to know that it’s worth the fight. Not just for you, but for your children. Your spouse. Your loved ones who do care about you even though you think no one does.
It’s sometimes hard to believe, but it’s true. I think it’s especially hard to believe when you’re someone like me who’s been dealing with depression and anxiety for over 3 years, and you’re really, really tired.
You’re down, you’re beaten and you’ve had enough. You can’t get motivated to do anything. For me, even making myself do yoga is a challenge.
When you’re in a low point, it’s really easy to forget how it feels to feel good. Normal. It seems like you’ll never find normal again.
But you will.
I did, and I’m relishing that normal right now because I know it likely won’t last for longer than a few months. But I’ve come to peace with the crappy ups and downs of depression and anxiety. I enjoy the good times and fight my way out of the bad.
This is my challenge in life, my mountain to climb, my burden to bear. Everyone has something, and this is my something.
But let me tell you this, I know I can tell you to keep fighting and that things will get better because I’m in a good place right now.
When I’m down and feeling depressed and anxious, though, I sometimes wonder if my kids would be better off without me. I worry I’m negatively affecting them and ruining their lives, wondering if they had a different mum, would they be better off.
I think about that more often than I should.
During those downs, I can’t feel the love in their hugs. I can’t see the adoration in their eyes. I can’t understand that if I wasn’t here, they would be inconsolable.
That is how depression lies to me.
And during an up, when I’m feeling like me, I pick my kids up from school. I help with their homework and listen to how their day was at school. What they ate for lunch or how they had fun playing on the playground with their really good friends.
So when you’re down and out, I want you to reach back into your memory and find these kinds of happy times with your friends, family and loved ones. Times you had fun and laughed and enjoyed life. You might not remember how great those happy feelings felt. But I’m telling you, you felt them. And you will again.
It’s worth fighting because the happy times, the normal times, those are things that are worth existing for. You’ll feel them again. You will. Just keep going and you’ll get there.
Your kids are worth fighting for.
Mindful Yoga Mom Life
PS: I really, really want to encourage all mums dealing with depression and/or anxiety to reach out to a doctor if you haven’t yet. Call your doctor and ask for an appointment right away. And of course, in an emergency dial 0-0-0 or Lifeline Australia, Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention, on 13 11 14.
They have trained professionals available to help you 24/7. There is no shame in asking for help. Ever. We are mums. Being a mum means doing hard things. And sometimes the hardest thing is asking for the help you need.
About the Author
Danielle is a mum of 5 plus 1. Her kids are 11, 10, five, two and four months. Her husband and her also help raise their nephew who is seven. That’s where the plus 1 comes in.
She’s been married to her husband for 12 years now and she loves doing yoga and crocheting. Her blog is Mindful Yoga Mom Life, so please make sure you stop by and check her out.