Something a little different for you this time, this is a short piece my Mom has written about how my depression affected her. I hope this can help somebody…
7 years ago my beautiful daughter was happy, confident, bright and with lots of friends. Then depression came out of the blue and she became introverted, withdrawn and a shadow of her former self.
Our house once full of friends and laughter became silent and a “safe place”, her only sanctuary. Our many happy shopping trips to town became a place of anxiety and panic and we were no longer able to go.
So many times I would find her cowering in the corner of a darkened room, hugging her knees and crying silent tears. She would look dead behind the eyes. So often I would see her thoughts written down in a book. They were quotes, manic-depressive awful quotes which broke my heart. I felt as though I was losing my gorgeous girl. No amount of hugs and I love you’s even chipped the surface of the black cloud that surrounded her.
So many trips to counsellors, doctors, cahms and so many tears, mine and hers, but no resolution. Nothing that they offered even touched the surface of healing her. I’m not saying that they don’t do a good job, and I’m sure the techniques they use work for some, but sadly not for my daughter
All these years I have carried this on my shoulders keeping it to myself. I felt that there was this awful stigma attached to mental health and depression and I didn’t want anyone to judge my child when she was already going through so much. I have lain awake so many times silently crying and feeling so utterly aloneand useless. It’s a mothers job to protect her child and I was failing miserably.
Her friendships have gone to zero, her school work has suffered and college has now been abandoned. Just when I thought we’d hit rock bottom, suicidal thoughts engulfed her at christmas last year. My whole world caved in and I have never felt so scared in my life. It was at this point that I told a friend. She was so supportive and I felt a weight lift from me. She didn’t judge, she offered kind words, huge support and massive hugs.
I learnt from this that I had been wrong to keep this all to myself, it’s too big to carry alone. I have now told family members and some friends and the support has been amazing. Don’t underestimate your family and friends like I did. It’s important for you as a mum to have huge support so that you have the strength to support your child.
At the moment my daughter is focused and driven. Writing this blog is perhaps putting her vulnerability out there but at the same time its a healing process, getting those bad thoughts out. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the dark days, but for now she’s “alive” and helping herself and hopefully others to get to a better place.
I love my daughter so much and for everything that she’s doing to help herself, I am so immensely proud.