I woke up and just laid in the bed. I had to force myself to roll over and try to get up. I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to move. But I had to get the kids up for school and I didn’t have anyone to help me in the morning. I coached myself; move your left leg, then your right, then your arms. Sit up, stand up, now walk. I walked past the bathroom because I just didn’t have the energy to brush my teeth in that moment. I went into my daughters room, took a deep breath, then smiled as I proceeded to try to wake her up with kisses and a song. I repeated the same act for my son, sent them to the bathroom t brush their teeth and wash their face, and I laid back down on the bed. I was exhausted and the day hadn’t even started yet.
I was living 2 lives- 1 where I smiled at everyone and tried my best to act as if I was ok and 1 where I didn’t want to get out of the bed, eat, sleep, or do anything. I was always physically in pain, and I couldn’t sleep so I was always tired. I didn’t cook. The kids ate leftovers that I pilfered from someone’s house or frozen foods that I purchased for this specific reason. They didn’t seem to know- they always smiled and jumped on me and kissed me like everything was ok. Or maybe they did and I was just too depressed to notice. At that time, they always wanted to sleep in the bed with me and always wanted to sit next to me and hug/kiss me. But I didn’t want the affection, I just wanted to be left alone so I would always tell them to go play somewhere else and not to bother me. Of course they didn’t listen, but I didn’t have enough energy to yell at them to I just let them play.
I cried myself to sleep most nights. I couldn’t figure out how to climb out of this hole. I couldn’t figure out why someone would want to hurt me, would want to scare me, why someone would want to tarnish my name and ruin my brand. Of course I know the answer is because people are cruel but that didn’t stop me from struggling with this intense weight that was on my shoulders. I woke up everyday checking the whole house to make sure things were the way that I left it. I peeked out the window to make sure there wasn’t anything or anyone waiting for me. I looked over my shoulder when I walked to work. I was scared to be in my own house, and I was scared to leave out of it. I was in a lose-lose situation.
I lost weight. I couldn’t eat anything, and I had no appetite. My hair was shedding. I started to break out with pimples and blackheads. I was moody and grumpy. And whenever I stepped out of the house I plastered a smile on my face and made everything seem like it was ok. I tried to put a smile in my voice, and I did my best to hide what I was going through. After I was able to pull myself out of my depression, I asked my mom and my partner if they knew that I was depressed and they said no, they didn’t have a clue. I guess I did a good job at hiding it. Being a mom while dealing with depression was almost impossible. There was no way for me to completely come out of my depression to provide the kids with attention and affection. It took too much energy. The kids often went to bed early because I was tired and needed to sleep. The kids fetched their own foods to eat (thankfully lunchables and fruits were always readily available for them). They learned to take baths independently, and they often put themselves to bed. I used all of the little bit of energy that I had during the day at work and I had barely any left to be a mom.
I woke up one day and said “I”m done!” I was tired of being physically in pain. I was tired of not having the energy to be a mom. I was tired of being scared to be in my own house. No- my situation didn’t change. I was still under an immense amount of stress, and I was still dealing with the foolishness of the father of my children. But I made up my mind to not focus on all of the negative things that I was dealing with, rather to focus on the fact that I had children to raise and a business to run. 2019 was probably the hardest year for me emotionally, and many friendships suffered because of it. My business suffered, my cashflow suffered. I distanced myself from almost everyone because I just needed to find my peace. Of course, many people had issues and took it personally, but my mental sanity was more important to me than someone’s ego.
I was able to pull myself out of a hole. But it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was almost impossible. It took an immense amount of willpower and dedication to change my thinking and my outlook on the situation. And therapy. Talking to a therapist really helped me put things into perspective and understand that my situation wouldn’t last forever, and that I needed to start looking at tomorrow instead of focusing so much on today and right now. I HIGHLY recommend a therapist if you are suffering from depression (whether situational or clinical). I also recommend that you find help with your children. Suffering with depression is already hard enough; having to be a parent on top of it (ESPECIALLY a single parent) makes it unbearable. Find someone that you trust to take the kids for a while and allow you time to decompress as much as possible and try to relieve some of the pain that your body is feeling. I was in extreme physical pain when I was going through depression, so soaking in a bath helped me a lot. Massages did also. I didn’t attempt to keep up the same workload while I was suffering through my depression. It wasn’t going to happen. I was barely able to read 5 emails, let alone complete a grant or application. If I was able to complete 5 email, I was productive. Small and simple tastes are ok, and build up your energy until you can get better and go back to your normal routine. Give yourself a break and time to get better. It may take a week, and it may take a year. But allow yourself the time and opportunity to get better.
Depression is real, and depression can severely abrupt your life. Do what you need to get yourself better.
As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!