Depression = Bad Mommy?

I hope I never hear those words come out of my daughter’s mouth.  I have never really talked to her about my depression.  How exactly do you go about explaining that to a four-year old?  I have explained that sometimes mommy is sad, and that seems to suffice her curiosity.  It is just incredibly hard when you’re in a state of constant emotional fluctuation to remember that a little one is running around, and witnessing you in this state.

The past week has been a trying time, and it seems like it has been more so than past “episodes.”  Emotions of sadness, happiness, anger, indifference, and just plain annoyance have been running through me like I am attached to an emotion IV.  Because of this, I have been exhausted as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning, which doesn’t bode well for my mood when I am woken up by my daughter yelling as loudly as she possibly can “Mommy! It’s time to wake up!”  With that I start off annoyed and snappy, which quickly turns into happiness with a hug and smile from kiddo.  Then for no reason at all, I become annoyed again, which then turns into anger when said annoyance does not go away.  I start to feel sad shortly after because I am getting angry and annoyed at kiddo, which then turns into tears and frustration.  The bathroom becomes my getaway for a few minutes while I cry it out, and after a face wash I am happy again.  All of these emotions usually happen with a span of thirty minutes, give or take.  It’s not always that way when I am down, but it’s quite frequent.

I worry about kiddo.  I worry she is going to think her mommy is insane (which I am not, thank you very much), and remember me in this state.  If something were to happen to me right now, I fear that the only memory she will have of me is in this state of emotional distress.  Either that, or she is going to think it’s acceptable or normal behavior, and start behaving this way towards others.  Even worse, what if she starts feeling depressed?  I could not bare to have my daughter feel that because of me.

I have been considering trying to write a children’s book.  I do not know the first thing about doing so, but I thought I might have some perspective to share.  The topic would be depression, maybe explaining to children in kid’s terms how someone they love is feeling and what’s going on.  I have also thought that maybe explaining that mommy still loves them, even though they may seem like monsters sometimes.  It’s a running thought I have been having lately.  If you have any suggestions, reader, please pass them to me.  I am open to anything, even criticism.

Kiddo started preschool yesterday, which has given me a coupe hours five days a week to myself.  It has been nice being able to just sit here, and think about what’s going on with me.  I have been reflecting a lot on the past four years, and I was finally able to gather up the courage to call the psychological services clinic here in town to make an appointment.  I have never actually been through therapy for my depression, and it frightens me.  I have been pouring my heart out in this blog to complete strangers, for the most part, and haven’t felt scared about it.  Nervous and vulnerable, but never scared.  This Friday I will be sitting in front of an actual stranger, pouring my heart and experiences out.  I am not sure how much more vulnerable I can get, but I keep reminding myself it’s for my own good.  I need the help, along with medicinal help.  Not just for myself, but for my family.  My daughter needs a mommy that can teach her how to cope, and a mommy that can be her guide through life.  I haven’t felt like I have been much of that, but this is my chance to fix that.  Plus, how can I continue to write this blog in hopes of helping others if I, myself, do not seek the treatment I have preached about being so important?

This is a huge step for me, and I am terrified.  However, I am also looking at it as an opportunity.  An opportunity not only to be a better mommy, but to also be a better writer, helper, and a better me.  Maybe with a clearer head, I can focus on writing that book.  Look out for it on the shelves, and watch for a moving dedication to my daughter.  It may not seem like it all the time, but she is my savior in more ways than one.


8 thoughts on “Depression = Bad Mommy?

  1. Writing a book for children is a fantastic idea. You really should do it – even if your daughter is the only one who reads it, it would be so worthwhile. My personal experience of living with an adult who suffered from depression is that I always presumed (when I was a small child) that it was entirely my fault and I had done something wrong to cause all the upset. It would have been invaluable to have a book that explained what was going on and that I wasn’t to blame!

    Go for it!

  2. I think that your concern over how your mental state will affect your daughter is a great sign of overcoming it, and does not make you a bad mother. In fact, contacting psychological services proves just the opposite. Good luck! Can’t wait to read more

  3. you have taken a great step in reaching out for help, as well thinking about writing a children’s book is a good idea cause it will keep you focused on something other than how you feel…baby steps are huge steps when battling depression…good luck and i wish you much happiness

  4. I agree with the comments that the other readers to your blog have written, you should definately give childrens book writing a go. A good start is to Google the idea because there’s a lot of resources about it online and you may be interested in subscribing to some resources to learn more about it!

    I have written a few posts in my blog that is inspirational and hopefully encouraging to people who are going through a difficult time. I encourage you to read my blog if you have time.

  5. I think the children’s book is a fantastic idea–for you and your daughter. I will definitely look for it. Your (very cute) little girl has a great mommy and I’m sure she knows it. Good luck!

    • Thank you! I am going to have to do some research this weekend to figure out how to go about writing this book. I am extremely interested in doing it, but I am unsure on what to write about. I will figure it out.

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