“Mommy! Mom! Help!”
Jolted awake, I sit up in bed. I look at the clock and think it must have been a dream. Just as I settle back onto my pillow, I hear the most frightening scream.
“Mom! Help me! I’m so scared. Where are you?”
The sound of his voice sends me bolting out my bedroom door. His panic and intensity scares me so much that I almost fall.
I look in his room and he isn’t there.
His voice sounds far away and I start to panic.
“Where are you?” I yell.
“Downstairs bathroom! Hurry mom! Help me!”
Heart pounding I leap down the stairs and run toward the bathroom. As I do, horrible images enter my head and it feels like an eternity until I reach him.
There he is. Sitting on the toilet. He is completely naked. Tears are streaming down his face and he is shaking.
“Why are you downstairs? What is wrong?” I yell.
My husband enters the bathroom right behind me. I hear my daughter calling out now from her bed.
“What is wrong?” I yell again.
“I was going to the bathroom and then this terrible, scary bug came at me,” he sobs. “I was screaming for you forever. I think it’s by the door now. I am so scared.”
We look near the door and see it.
Another fucking centipede.
You have to be kidding me.
I cradle him in my arms and calm him down.
“It’s OK,” I say. “Daddy will kill it. It’s just a bug. Your safe.”
My husband jumps into super protector mode and kills it with a broom. I gather it up with toilet paper and we flush it down the toilet.
I follow my boy into his bedroom. He grabs his panda, snuggles under the covers and slowly starts to settle down.
“Don’t you EVER do that to me again,” I tell him.
“Sorry mommy,” he says. “I was so scared.”
“I know love, I know.”
After his breath returns to normal and he is settled in, I quickly check on my daughter and head to bed.
The second I enter the safety of my room I start to laugh hysterically.
It’s just all so ridiculous.
In a matter of seconds the laughs turn into sobs.
Big, giant sobs that take me down.
My husband looks on in confusion, and I can’t explain it.
Sometimes it’s all just too much.
I spent my afternoon holding a dear friend who had fallen hard into the darkness and weight of depression and pain. It was a dark day and it scared me.
I know that feeling.
I fear it.
I pray it never returns.
I go to therapy every week to keep from letting it take hold of me again.
When I get home I see the news of the death of Robin Williams.
Here it is again.
Depression isn’t something to be taken lightly or that can be “willed away” by people who love you.
Sometimes all the good, wonderful things in the world aren’t enough.
The pain can be deeper and more pervasive than love.
I sit and weep for my friend, for others who have lost the battle and for myself.
After a few minutes I stop.
I go back to my son, grab him up and hug him hard. He returns it with full force.
“I love you so much,” I tell him. “You know that right?”
He smiles and makes his sweet little cooing sound.
“Yep. I love you momma.”
Today is another day.
NOTE: I have been humbled by all the love and support that has poured my way regarding “Exposed by my children for what I really look like.” I can’t answer all your emails, but know that I’m grateful to each and every one of you that have written me. May you all see your beauty and embrace it.
I’ve just recently found your blog, and been humbled by your honestly, and enjoyed your humor and candor, which have taken me back to the days when my dear one was little (she’s now 34 – enjoy every minute, it goes by so SO fast!)
Like Robin, you, your friend, and half (or more) of the people I know, I’ve wrestled the old Black Dog of Depression, as I call it, since childhood, and the only thing that’s kept me here at times – especially since I developed chronic painful illness over 15 yrs ago – is the thought of what it would do to my daughter and my family. I am so sad that wasn’t ultimately enough for Robin – his pain must have truly been great and overwhelming. My only hope is that this will FINALLY open up dialogue about depression in this country, de-stigmatize it, and make it easier to save the lives of others in pain. Thank you for sharing your perspective. *hugs*
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Welcome to my blog! Happy to have you here and thanks for the kind words.
Hugs to you friend and sorry your familiar with depression too. It’s so prevalent and yet nobody wants to talk about it. By writing my pain, others have opened up to me about theirs. I see only good from talking about it and not hiding it. Let’s keep the dialogue running.
I often think that my depression is different from everyone else, but that misses the point. There is no “way to be” OR “way to feel” when it comes to this. It just is.
Sincere love coming your way and may today be a good one.
I think everyone thinks their depression is unique, and no one could possibly understand, and that brings up the specter of fear of being judged or, worse yet, belittled &/or not believed… all of which contribute to keeping us in silence when we need to be reaching out and sharing our pain with others, talking about it. And to some extent, just like every human life is unique, each person’s pain IS unique, but once we start talking, we do find so much common ground, and there’s something comforting in that – it also makes it much easier to seek support once you know you’re really NOT alone in your pain. I know from friends who’ve gone thru Al-Anon that a huge portion of the healing that happens in those meetings comes simply from people realizing that they aren’t alone, that there are so many other people whose lives have been wrecked just like theirs by having close friends &/or family members who are addicts.
I know for myself the best way to feed the Depression Monster is to allow it to isolate me, which is particularly difficult since I’m nearly housebound by my health issues anyway, plus my natural tendency is to be pretty introverted and reclusive. Fortunately I’ve developed a strong support system of understanding friends online, and I’ve recently taken some steps (i.e. grabbed myself by the scruff of the neck and said “do it!!!”) to cultivate some friendships locally, which was something I had lost entirely over the first 10 years or so since I got sick. Some days it’s harder to do than others – some days I actually need to isolate to cope with my health issues (3 of which have depression as a symptom – lucky me!) But I know it’s something I need to do, and my two RL gal pals are very compassionate, and also have great senses of humor, so I’m very fortunate to have them in my life.
Yikes! Sorry, hope this isn’t TMI, or exceeding some kind of politeness limit on length of blog comments or something! (I spend most of my online life on LiveJournal, and am really only familiar with the “netiquette” there.) Thanks ever so much for your kind and supportive thoughts, and of course for the hugs! *hugs back!*
I know the feeling too and the news of Robin has made it feel more real and even closer to the heart. Nice post to remember others and those we do not know who are struggling a little more today.
I’ve had some pretty heavy conversations with dear friends in the past week. Depression is so stupid and lonely. I’m reaching out and I’m here. A friend posted this:
Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Your blog makes me smile, laugh and cry! You are an asset to the world! Don’t stop doing what you do!!❤️
Thanks Heidi. Those are some pretty kind words and I will hold them close.