On Depression and Motherhood.

I wrote this a while ago, as I was dealing with a heavy wave of depression. I don’t think I have opened up this vulnerably about what its like to be a mother and regularly deal with waves of depression, the second half of my bipolar disorder, however, this feels important to share.

 

It had been a long day.

A long day of nothing

A long day of staring into my phone scrolling and avoiding

A long day of suffering but ignoring

He walks up to me

Crosses his hands over my shoulder

Rests his cheeks on them

Bats his eyes

“mama, will you play with me?”

He does not ask “can”

Because he knows that I can’t

He asks me if I will

Because he knows I need all of my will to do this

But the answer is still no.

No I cannot play with you baby,

If mommy sits up all those bubbly anxious feelings I have been hoarding in my gut will gradually spread through my system, clog up my mind, cover my eyes and distract me from you.

These worries and burdens and stresses will blur my vision and I won’t reflect that perfect pure love you have given me.

When you giggle about the spins your race car did off the ramp we built down the hall way, I won’t see you,

My darkness has preoccupied me

And you’ll feel the coldness of the world for the first time in your mother’s eyes

So no, baby, mommy can’t play with you.

I don’t want to break you.

You are so valuable to me

And he walks away from my bedside

Like he has every day for the past two weeks

Only this time he won’t beg

Because he knows asking does not always mean receiving

He won’t cry

Because he knows ghosts are not real

He will accept my rejection, head hung low

Despairing

Abdicated

I cover him with the corner of my melancholy mind

I try to comfort him with independence.

The pain of that moment and the weight of my shadow shifted into his slumped shoulders and shuffled step

Was enough pain to finally tell myself to rise.

Get up. For him.

Don’t let him remember this day, in this way.

Don’t let him remember the hours he spends playing alone

Make him remember the 10 minutes we spend cloud watching

Spotting hearts and krabby patties

Reclined in my car

Waiting.

Don’t let him remember the days you were too distracted to cope

Make him remember how you taught him to look out the window

watching the world.

Spotting Yellow cars and signs

Reading the book of life through quick glimpses in the window of a strangers day.

Don’t let him remember you like this…

Sit him down. Hold his hand.

Repeat after me.

Sometimes mommy can’t play with you, baby,

Mommy’s brain is sick

Mommy’s Brain gets really really sad

Sometimes for no reason,

How silly.

And sometimes that makes you feel alone.

And sometimes you just want mommy to come to you.

And I always want to come to you.

And you can come to me too.

And we can be together in my bed. With your toys. Or your book. Or your tablet too.

Let’s play a fun game together.

Games are fun.

Sad people like fun.

And sad people like people.

We just don’t know how to ask.

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