“Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.” – Buddha
I wish I had read that quote sooner. Growing up, and especially after high school, I had my life mapped out. I am positive I am not the only person to think this way, either. First, I was going to go to college and become a Kindergarten teacher. Then, eventually, I would get married and have two children by the age 30. We would buy a house, I would be a stay at home mom while my husband worked. We would all be happy, healthy, and living an awesome life.
Not everything happened the way I had planned. I went to college, starting out studying elementary education. I decided my first semester after my basics that it was not right for me, and have since gone back and forth on what I “want to be when I grow up.” I am still not sure, even over 120 credit hours later. I did get married to my incredibly supportive husband, Michael. After fours years of marriage, we had a daughter, Samantha. This is the point in which I realized my life was not turning out the way I had planned.
I have dealt with depression before. My husband, then fiance, was deployed to Iraq for the first time in 2003. I didn’t know what to expect, I was worried sick and in a constant state of sadness. It was nothing compared to what I have lived with the last four years, but depression is depression. If I had known then that it runs in my family on my mother’s side, I might have been more prepared to handle what was to come, or at least recognize the signs. Unfortunately I just blew it off like it was something that was a one time thing because of the situation.
Now, for the last four years I have been living with a depression I consider somewhat severe. I did not seek help for a while, and when I finally did it was blown off as hormonal. I was even called a bitch by my doctor in a poor attempt to describe my mood swings. After that I just blew it off as PMS-like as well, and a little over four years after my daughter was born am I now just looking into psychiatrists to help me. I have had horrible thoughts run through my head, thoughts of pain and hurt towards my daughter and myself. I have felt indifferent, angry, happy, sad, content, shame, confusion, love, hatred and nothing (sometimes even all in one day). I have felt normal, and like an outcast. Obviously this is nothing like I had expected my life as a mommy to be. Thankfully I have had some wonderful family and friends help me get through the initial shock and shame I felt when I realized this was not how it was supposed to be, or even should be.
I am just now realizing my life has not turned out the way I had expected it to, but I am also realizing that it’s OK. We may not have another child as planned, but that is OK. I am far from being healthy mentally, but I am taking the steps needed to get that way so I can enjoy the life that I am living. My daughter needs a mommy who wants to be, and can be there in the moment with her. This is life, and we only live it once. I want to be able to enjoy it with my family and friends, even if it’s a life unexpected.