Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The Strongest Mums In The World Are Those Who Live With Mental Health Problems

As someone with mental health issues I walk a tightrope. One day I feel strong, I feel in control and then one little thing happens and I crumble. I can go from happy to flat in moments, but it is so much harder to find my way back again. My ability to react to change and stress aren’t the same as a ‘normal’ person. My instincts make me want to run, to give up rather than to fight.



The irony is, just like all the other mothers out there who live with depression and anxiety everyday, I am strong. I am stronger now than I have ever been in the 25 years I have lived with depression. I have to be strong because no matter how I feel and how badly I am suffering, and how rubbish I may feel as a mum I have to keep going. I might not win any greatest mum awards; there are days my youngest daughter gets to watch too much TV, days I don’t read or play with her, but I am there, I am present. Even though every part of me wants to hide in bed and cry, even though I want to scream and run and escape from everything I don’t. I can’t. I can’t because I have beautiful children who need me. And even a fraction of a mum is better than no mum.

I am strong because just to go through the motions of making meals, getting my daughter to school, ensuring my children are clean(ish) and dressed takes more strength than for people who have control of their mind and their emotions. I see your art sessions, home baking and well kept house and I raise you my achievements of the day: my children are still alive, I haven’t cried in front of them and I have given them countless hugs and kisses. It has been a good day.

I am an extrovert. It means that when I get stuck in my mind, when I get lost, I need someone to pull me out. I can’t do it alone. An ex once called this a weakness, maybe it is, but needing the help of others isn’t something I am ashamed of. I am ashamed of the days I don’t wash, the days my girls are fed a stream of crisps, biscuits and sweets rather than fresh food. I am ashamed of my behaviour towards loved ones when they don’t deserve it, but I am not ashamed of needing the help of others.

As long as I keep reaching out to others I will climb back out of these sinkholes which appear with no warning and with every rescue I get stronger. And no matter how far I fall I will always try and use my strength to help other mamas climb out of their holes too. 

So please, if your mind catches you in a web, if it tries to convince you that depression, anxiety or other mental health problems are stopping you from being an amazing mum. Reach out and I will be there.

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1 comment

  1. Loved this post and everything that you said. I suffer from horrendous anxiety and it is so consuming some days.

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