It’s been months since I’ve had the urge to write, in fact I can tell you the day I stopped wanting to write March 31st at 2:45 in the morning, my grandpa passed away. That day started what would define my last six months, the grief I never fully embraced because I was pregnant and a mom of two small kids, I didn’t have time to curl up into a ball and just grieve the loss, I had to be strong.
August 25th 2019, would again begin a period in my life that would further drown me in a grief and anger spiral that would essentially lead me to you today. To this moment in this post. After an almost perfect pregnancy in the space of 5 hours my pregnancy would spiral out of control and would lead to the beginning of a second NICU stay for our family. They would lead to 11 days of life changing moments and once again a pressure on me to be strong and unbendable because I had a little boy who once again needed me to be strong and unwavering in my faith that he would absolutely make it home to his sisters and dad.
This strength in those moments would cost me because now that all of that is behind me I feel like I haven’t taken a full breath in six months. I feel the demands of depression sneaking up on me and I feel the waves upon waves of anxiety drown me. Today was a tipping point, when my four year old announced to the world that mommy was being mean to daddy.
“out of the mouth of babes”
Ive had to show a strength in myself that has crippled me, growing up my grandpa always told me I was stronger than I thought. He had this unwavering faith in me that I could do anything, the day he died I felt this urgent need to prove to him that I had that backbone. But to what end? Isn’t that what everyone says after a friend, or family member, or spouse, or parent dies from suicide?
“HE/SHE was so strong”
“HE/SHE was such a happy person”
But to what detriment to themselves did they show the world that side? Did pushing themselves to be what they thought everyone needed bring them to there knees in the end and when they couldn’t hold themselves to that level did it ultimately lead to what would be the end?
These questions plague me, as a mom and wife I hold myself to a standard that is high, I push myself to be the strong one and the happy one? But in moments of absolute weakness I can’t ever just ask for help, I can’t ever just scream out in pain and fueled with anxiety and say please just help me. Instead I lash out in anger and micro focus on things that don’t really matter at all but in that moment they are what keeps me in control and holding onto that string of strength I have left.
My greatest fear is that one day I won’t be able to grab that string and than what happens? This stigma against anxiety and depression has got to stop! This pressure on moms and wives to be the backbone and the teaching that if we show weakness and ask for help than we are somehow less than as a mother or wife has to stop. Do you realize the suicide rate in women is skyrocketing because society says we have to reach every single level of “accomplishment” and we have to be so much more, and when we feel like we fail we can’t handle it. We leave behind husbands who don’t understand, and children who are confused. This goes both ways to men and pressure on them, but im a wife and a mother I am not a husband and a father.
I want to be better than this statistic, I want to be strong but I need to be able in moments of crippling anxiety and depression I NEED to be able to scream for help. I NEED to know I won’t be judged as weak or less than as a mother and wife because I admit that I need a day to just lay in bed and be alone. Society needs to change the story when it comes to anxiety and depression. Society needs to change the edit for how we look at these issues, because as a society we are failing these mothers and wives. We are failing a whole population that so desperately needs us to reach in and say “how can I help you?” A whole population who doesn’t need people to just say “let me know when you need help” because as one of those people in that population, at our lowest moments we can’t ask for help we need someone to reach in grab our hands hold us and be our backbone in a moment when we can’t be our own. When this starts to happen I pray we see a world that is fixing our broken members not remanding them to a psych hospital or telling them that they need to disappear.
I’m often in my dark moments led to music and I can’t help but think of the song “I raise a hallelujah”
I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!
I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!
What an amazing promise that is to me. In my darkest moments I raise a hallelujah to the sky because in my darkest moments I need him more than I need society’s approval! I raise a hallelujah in the middle of a fear so crippling it terrifying, because when the demands start whispering its terrifying! I raise a hallelujah because in a moment of terror I praise a lord who defeated death! I sing a praise to a God who found me worthy of dying for! If nothing else brings me back from darkness that will continue to be my anthem. In the middle of the storm I scream for him, but one day the storm may be so strong I can’t and I pray that in that moment someone else helps God and reaches in and helps, without fear of society. As a society we are only as strong as our weakest, and in our weakest we will find our leaders.