I left this as a comment on another person’s blog post, and upon reading it, realized that it kind of deserved it’s own entry. After all, anonymous exposure is why I am here. Some minor details may be edited to respect the privacy of the blog I wrote this on.
I don’t know you. I don’t know your problems, diagnoses, or history. But I read your post, and I see your screenname, and in all that, I see a mirror.
I’m ashamed of everything I am about to write.
I have a son who is 8 years old. I have been mentally ill the majority of my life (as far back as I have memory, so it might as well be lifelong), and when my father passed away 4 years ago, what would have already been classified as severe major depression turned into a blackness I had never known, not even when I had attempted suicide years before. I literally lived in my garage for 2 years after his death, listening to music, watching tv, smoking, and crying. I was perpetually high, and even that didn’t numb my agony. My husband and mother had to be my son’s primary caretakers. I slept on a couch in the garage, waking up with bugs on me or hearing the rustling of mice. Sometimes I had to be walked to the bathroom like an elderly person; sometimes I couldn’t even be coaxed into walking to the bathroom and I would sit in my own waste until someone came out to the garage and would help clean me up. If they hadn’t fed me, I wouldn’t have eaten.
It took 2 years to drag myself from the garage into my bedroom. And now I sit here, on this bed, for most of my existence. I get up to go to the bathroom. I occasionally get up to get something from across the room. I manage to make it in to my small business about 1/2 of our business days. And for half of my son’s life now, he’s seen more of the door to my room as he knocks on it wanting to see me, than he has seen of me.
Things have finally gotten to where he comes in my room almost every single day for at least an hour or so. Sometimes we’ll manage multiple hours, sometimes my anxiety will spike after fifteen minutes, and I have to try to explain to an 8 year old that his mommy is sick in a way that he really just can’t understand.
-cut content- But your problems are not you. And from what I’m reading, you are trying, you are seeking tools to help yourself and them. That’s all you can do. Keep fighting, keep trying. And give yourself a bit of a break, a bit of compassion, and a bit of understanding. You’re not going to get it right all at once. But one day at a time, you can rebuild practically anything.
I’m now going to hit publish before I lose my nerve to share this.