Today I’m writing for the Mental Health Rally hosted by one of my BlogHer roomies, Miranda at Not Super – Just Mom. (And she is super, don’t let the title fool you.) May is Mental Health Awareness month, and Miranda is awesome about being a real advocate for that.
I’m writing on a more subtle type of depression, one that isn’t usually spoken about because it’s brushed off as “baby blues” or needing more sleep, or just being a (excuse my French) total bitch. But it never raises any really big red flags. It just slowly ruins your life while appearing normal.
There is a long history of depression in my family. It ranges from slight to severe, and I’ve learned how to recognize and deal with it in many loved ones over the years. Their depression has often been the cause of major changes in my own life, and walking on eggshells wondering what will tip them over.
So in watching this happen, I’ve also learned to fear it. The fear of ever being so far gone, so sad, so lonely, that you simply can’t bear to be yourself anymore. I’ve done everything I can to make sure that feeling doesn’t take hold of me, yet sometimes it has.
When my husband joined the military this year for the second time, I began to worry about how I would handle being alone for first his training (20 weeks) and then his eventual deployment overseas. I’d already done it once before at the height of the war in Iraq and spent nine months a complete wreck. I knew now having a daughter and being responsible for her, I couldn’t do that again.
As high strung and moody as I am, it doesn’t take a lot to ruin my day or tip me over. I’m not the easiest person to live with either. I wanted to make sure that (while I’d never be close to perfect) I was the best *me* I could be to support my husband and care for our daughter.