Battling Depression & Anxiety as a SAHM

Life is like a fruit basket. When you keep putting fruits in – one at a time, or several at once – sooner or later, you won’t be able to put anymore fruits in without any rolling off.

Quote from an old friend, Dr. H.

These past few months have been tough. In front of my friends and especially my family, I act like I have it all together. I act like I’m elated. Like I’m excited. Like I’m bursting with happiness! New home, new chapter right? This is what I have wanted and waited for – for a good three years. But little did anyone know that I was crumbling to pieces within. In my new home, I felt numb. I felt desolate. I felt hopeless. I felt… Helpless.

So it happened about two months back. I slid down the pit that I fought so hard to climb out of for more times than I care to remember. I retreated. I neglected my children (I’m not proud of that). I almost decided that the pain inside was too bad to continue. I almost wanted to end it all.

Almost.

But Kevin spotted the signs. He made an urgent appointment for me to see my regular doctor because he knew that I had been secretly missing my sessions. On the day of the appointment, I went into one of my modes again and my husband had to half-carry me out of the door, with the help of my 2-year-old.

The medical team decided that admission was best – just so that I could have some uninterrupted rest and a break from being on-call 24/7. I was warded for 5 nights. I wouldn’t say I walked out of hospital completely 100% renewed, but the break did help somewhat. It’s amazing what naps can do for a severely sleep-deprived person.

Some people, being human, would have wondered why I burnt out even though I engaged a helper the minute I moved into my new home. I don’t blame them for doing so, and I know I do not owe anyone an explanation, but I just need to get this off my chest – hence the title of this post – so bear with me.

My helper, Anita, has been great. Why? Because she helps me with the physical work of running my household – and we decided to engage her precisely because I need help physically. Due to my history with vestibular issues, there are limitations to what I can and cannot do – and I’m not ashamed to admit that. Unbeknownst to many, I struggle with simple everyday things, and it’s definitely not due to the lack of trying… But that’s a story for another day.

I certainly am grateful that Kevin has given me a chance to be a SAHM, even though we made this decision KNOWING FULL WELL that it will not come without challenges. But it was a choice we made together, and it has worked out so far – all thanks to the One above for His limitless provision.

As a SAHM, I get to live out my calling in this season of life every single day. And I do love being with my children, please don’t get me wrong. We have really good days and we have good days.

And then there are days where I just do not want to face them. These are days which are dark, where I struggle with my thoughts and with my emotions and with my innermost desires to end this fight to live.

I will be honest here. As much as I’m appreciative that I get to stay home and watch my children grow, it is literally all that I have become. Who am I? What do I do all day? The answer is one and the same. I am a mum. I am a mum all day, everyday. The hours fade into days, which fade into weeks, which in turn fade into months. And just like that – I’ve been a full-time mum for exactly three years.

Many times, the isolation is real. And it’s easy to sink into depression (even for those who aren’t already struggling with this) when the only people you face day in and day out are your children – who, being children, are self-centred and self-serving. And to be constantly expected to give of yourself, is an almost impossible task when you are running on empty. That’s exactly what happened to me.

My love tank emptied.

The thoughts overtook.

Emotions overwhelmed me.

Everything came crashing down.

My two arch enemies, depression and anxiety, took over.

Since my relapse, I’ve been pretty much on an emotional roller coaster ride – and my patient husband and innocent children have taken the brunt of it. I have been overbearing, paranoid, angry, impatient, irrational, and basically a pain to be around. But they have been constantly loving on me though I don’t deserve it.

I want to be better. I want to get better. For them. For myself.

So I’m trying to be better. Damn, I’m trying. No doubt I still have my bad days… But I’m trying.

Author: joannaerin

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.

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