Motherhood has not been anything like I thought it would be, starting from the very beginning.
Will came into the world traumatically. No beautiful music playing (not that I had any playing to start with), no skin to skin as soon as he was born.
Will was tongue tied. No breastfeeding, later to find out this was quite a blessing.
After a couple of weeks, Wills mommy started falling apart. Lot's of crying, lots of anxiety, lots of sleepless nights while both my boys snoozed away.
So I decided I was going to be stronger than my baby blues and exercise them away, which worked for about 2 months before things got so bad that I had to confess it wasn't working anymore. I called the doctor, I got the meds, I did what they told me to. All the while thinking, I have completely failed at this.
So here is the thing with PPD, at least mine. You truly feel like you have failed, will fail, or are failing at any given moment of your life. Also you live in fear of the worst things imaginable happening every minute of the day. So looking back on what I had experienced with regards to my ability to mother, I was right at home in my depression.
The meds help, but not always. Thats the other thing with depression, it's unpredictable. Some days I'm perfect and it doesn't feel like there is anything wrong. Some days dragging myself out of bed and into the world is pure agony. Most days it hits midday, and I'm down for an hour or so. Most of the time I can overcome. I try to not let it take over. I really really try.
So that brings me to the alarms. This is something I've been teased about a couple of times. Don't feel bad if you have teased me, I'm not at all upset about it. I just want you to know what it is like to be me sometimes.
I have alarms for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then in between each of those. They all say different things. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are tough love, sometimes it's just hard truths I know I need to hear; but I live and die by these alarms.
Those days when I can't function and it takes all of me to be human, my alarms remind me to eat, they remind me to move, they remind me to play with Will. Admitting this here is hard, it's hard to admit that sometimes I need an alarm to remind me to play with my kid, but that's the reality of depression. That's my reality.
But I am strong.
I'm strong because when the alarm goes off, I do it.
I'm strong because I tell myself that it's a good day.
I'm strong because I love my boys and I love my life so much.
I'm strong because I set the dang alarms in the first place, with an intention to battle the demons.
I'm strong because I'm not ruined by my disease.
I'm not a bad mom. In fact, I'm a spectacular mom despite how I feel at times. My son is happy, he doesn't know any difference. My husband is happy, although he does struggle with me. I'm happy.
WillRad is healthy, smart, curious. I don't let the depression keep us from doing things, or seeing the world. It's just harder for me at times, but that doesn't stop me.
The alarms help, the TO DO lists help, the meds help. I'm going to continue doing all of these things until they stop helping or I don't need them anymore.
Depression is real. It's heavy, it's hard, it's often times unnoticed. But I am not a victim of my depression. It doesn't rule me, I overcome it. It's not an excuse, it's not a crutch, it's a hurdle. And I'm running at full speed.
Sometimes I have to fight it every 20 minutes, but I will never stop fighting it.
I'm the only person that can give Will a happy Mommy. I'm the only person that can show Will that Mommy is strong.