I’m Crazy….and that’s okay

I’m a mom, so of course I’m a little crazy. But before I was a mom, I was a person who navigated my way through life, with all its ups and downs. I set unrealistic expectations of myself and then crashed hard when I couldn’t meet them. I made the same mistakes other people my age made, but I was so hard on myself that I convinced myself at times that failure was going to be a way of life. It’s really no surprise that after my first year of college, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression. Now I’m not talking about a few bad days here and there. I’m talking a usual straight A student impressively failing out her first year. A normally upbeat, non-stop moving personality that couldn’t find the time to get out of bed for class. And believe it or not, I didn’t party as much as people like to think I did. I just started to feel the weight of the real world bearing down on me. College was different. I’m an intelligent person and learning always came easy to me, but so many life changes at once was too much for my young psyche to handle and I cracked. It was the first time in my life I failed at anything. And that was and continues to this day to be the catalyst for my downward spirals. In retrospect I’m not surprised. Depression is in my family history. But you always think it won’t happen to you. It might skip a generation. But usually it doesn’t. I had the deck double stacked against me; depression with an extra side of manic. So at the tender age of 19 I was given my first prescription for anti-depressants. And they helped. I was getting straight As again, I was smiling all the time and felt like myself again. A couple years later I got married and moved across the country. And slowly began to spiral again. I was a young military wife who didn’t know anyone and spent most of my time alone. Then I had a miscarriage. And all the work I had done to build myself back up broke at the very foundation and I was a broken mess. I destroyed my marriage. A little while later I met D and my broken brain told my broken heart that maybe life wasn’t so bad. So I did what any normal person does…..I hid my crazy 🙂 And we fell madly in love and decided to have a baby. So at this point I’ve been off my meds for sometime and my hormones and chemicals are on a roller coaster. I probably should’ve been treated for postpartum depression after Bean was born, but by that point I was in denial. Then another relationship crumbled. D and I put each other through hell, just to end up finding our way back to each other and I will forever remember sitting on my living room floor at 4:30 am and him telling me that either I go see a doctor or I will never see him again. I went the very next day. And within a few weeks my meds began to take effect and I felt a significant improvement. Just recently we lost the family dog. I’d had him for almost 13 years. And that seems to be the latest catalyst. I bet you’re wondering why I’m pouring my heart out. Well one day Bean asked me what kind of medicine I was taking every day. I could’ve lied and told her it was a vitamin. But I didn’t. I sat her down and I told her that “sometimes Mommy’s brain doesn’t make the right chemicals for her to be happy”. Like any child, Bean said “well I have grumpy days, do I need medicine?”. So I tried to explain it as best I could. I suppose some of you think I shouldn’t have told her, and shouldn’t tell her unless she deals with these same issues down the road. But here’s the thing, she is dealing with them. Every time that I can’t stand to be around people, she can hear it in my voice, see it in my face. It’s better that she understand that it isn’t anything she did. And as she gets older it’s better that she knows what she could possibly be up against. I hope and pray to whatever deities there might be that she never has to cope with Depression, but if she does, I don’t want it to come as a surprise because I hid it from her. I want her to see me as a strong person who gets up every day and faces the challenges life throws at me. Medicated or not. I’d rather her see me fight than give in and let the darkness consume me. As much fun a being clinically crazy sounds, I’d rather just be the crazy fun mom. So when Bean is older, we will have this chat again. Because she deserves to know that just because some part of your brain isn’t making enough chemicals, it doesn’t mean you’re broken and you give up. just because you might need a little help feeling happy doesn’t negate your worth as a person. And because you have to work that much harder to be happy, you appreciate it a little more. Keep those toes in the sand