How My Child Broke Me – LB Post 11

A mother's honest take on postpartum depression; as well as, having a child with a disability and health issues. The 11th post in LB's Journey Series.

I’m not myself.

I’m not even sure if I ever will be again.

As I sit here typing this, I know I am not myself yet. I used to love writing posts for my blogs, but lately I’ve been dreading it.

The idea has felt so overwhelming to me.

And this is how I know something is off…

Writing was something I loved to do – Now, it’s something I am making myself do.

I have come far from the black hole I lived in after LB’s birth, but I’m not out of the woods yet.

and the hardest part of her journey (so far) hasn’t even begun. 

Her surgery, which was supposed to be tomorrow, has now been postponed to next month due to her health after battling two viruses over Thanksgiving. 

Through all this, I feel so overwhelmingly broken.

Is it common to realize you are depressed while you are in a depression? I guess so, because how else would you know you need to pull yourself out of it.

There, I said it, vaguely, but I said it:

I have been fighting a never-ending battle against two of my biggest demons: anxiety and depression.

Many may be surprise, and many may not be. I would say I’ve been functionally depressed.

I’ve maybe even passed the “depression” stage and just moved onto overwhelming anxiety… but either way, I’m not the same person I used to be. My mind is a clouded mess.

Thankfully, I am not at the debilitating place I was a few months ago…

where I would just sit on the floor, in front of LB’s swing, and cry with her. Telling myself over-and-over again that I can’t do this. I am not strong enough to see my child in so much pain. I wasn’t made for this.

I’ve made it past the point of constant tears, anger, and fears. Now, it only hits me in moments. But I still feel it lingering in the background. In the darkest corners of my mind, it’s there.

Every moment I am able to find happiness, I am also fighting back the cloud that wants to consume all the good I find and replace it with sadness.

I think I have become so good at hiding this battle, that I’ve even fooled myself into thinking I’m okay.

but I’m not. 

I’m broken. I’m weak. and I’m tired.

Tired of every setback, tired of fighting so hard, and tired of not having an “uneventful,” “normal” life.

I just want to enjoy LB and my babies. Cherish all their daily accomplishments, relax in the love of our family, and revel in our daily blessings.

But, to do so, takes so much effort – so much exhausting effort.

I wish so bad that our biggest complaint was just a restless night. But it seems that every restless night comes with restless days, that turn into restless doctor trips, and which leads to restless hospital stays.

It feels like I don’t ever have a moment to just breathe.

Every second is filled with worry.

I wish so bad that Down Syndrome was the only challenge LB had to face. If she was healthy (and I don’t count DS as a “health” concern), life would be so easy.

Well, easier.

However, if she was healthy, would I know how lucky I had it?

I don’t think so.

I would find some other issue to complain about, something else to feel exhausted over, and I wouldn’t realize how lucky I was.

In these moment, I still often forget how luck I am.

Maybe God gave us these challenges, so that when she is healthy, I will find a piece of gratefulness in our still hectic lives. I will now be able to be grateful for the little things, because, knowing what it’s like to have a child with a health problem, I will know to be thankful for things I often took for granted . The things I now miss.

Like:

having family over and visiting with them

dressing LB in clothes that do not require hand mittens

feeding LB a bottle

allowing Ry and K to feed LB

going to Ry and K’s sport events

taking LB along to her “first” Christmas experiences (lights, Santa, family parties)

and taking all the kids out somewhere, grocery shopping even (yes, I even miss the dreaded grocery store trips).

Before, I felt so much anxiety about taking 3 kids anywhere, but now that we live a life where LB literally cannot leave the house (except to go to the Dr.’s), I long for trips out anywhere with her. I miss not being able to pack up the kids in the car and going over to my meme’s – or to any family.

I feel so secluded and away from everyone.

We will never get these moments back with our children, and yet, I am not soaking them in for all they are worth. And, I think realizing that, makes it so much worse because I then start to get angry at myself. I know how precious time is. It is slowly slipping away, right in front of me, and I’m not enjoying it to the fullest.

I am trying.

But, sometimes, even that doesn’t seem like enough.

I am definitely my own worst enemy at this point.

I live in a constant battle in my mind, and I hope one day I am able to pull myself out.

The title of this post isn’t fair.

LB didn’t break me. If anything, her, Ry, and K are the ones who save me.

Their love slowly helps me swim to the surface of this pool of darkness I find myself drowning in. Every smile they give, every hug I steal, and every moment we share brings me closer and closer to be person I used to be.

It’s like I am stuck at the bottom of that dark, depressing pool – filled with anxiety and regret, but as I look up, I can see their faces on the surface and I want nothing more than to be with them. And so I start swimming. Swimming towards my children, towards the light, and towards my happiness.

Being their mother has not broken me; it has saved me.

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Harriette Noel says:

    Ashley, you are stronger than you think…writing down your feelings is a huge step to moving forward. You WILL move forward… you WILL feel better…life WILL look brighter…take it one day at a time. You, LB and your family are in my prayers. Stay strong special Mom 😉

    Harriette Noel

    • Ashley says:

      Thank you, Harriette! I know this is just my current phase in life. I have God and my family to help me out of this. And, honestly, each day I feel like I am making progress. It’s moments like this, when I sit down to write, when I realize just how overwhelmed I feel. But I know it’s not a lasting feeling. Soon, this will all be a memory, another short stop in our journey.

Leave a Reply