I wonder what my son sees when I am depressed.
I remember spending a lot of time with my Grandma when both of my parents worked full time.
The day would start out the same at her house with buttered toast, orange juice and the television turned on to the CBC.
She liked consistency.
I’d watch Mr. Dress-up and Sesame Street while she rocked away in her rocker.
Some days she’d interact with me and we’d play games and paint.
Some days she’d just rock staring into space.
There was always something missing behind those beautiful eyes of hers.
As if she was lost, deep in thought.
She lacked liveliness.
As I got older, the hospital started to frequently call our home late in the night. ”It’s her nerves again,” I could hear my Mom say from the kitchen.
When she came upstairs to change and get ready to go to the hospital, I’d inquire about her.
“Grandma has bad nerves that’s all. She’s fine,” my Mom briefly explained. I took it literally that she had something wrong with the nervous system.
It wasn’t until I was 15, that I finally understood her behaviours during her eulogy.
My Grandma had clinical depression, general anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia.
I had no idea but it made perfect sense.
When my first real major depressive episode hit me last year, I thought of my Grandma a lot.
I thought of her internal struggle.
I thought of her amazing ability to fight through that pain and take care of me on those days.
I thought of her strength.
I thought of the love she could still make us feel even though she had a hard time expressing it.
I thought of how I viewed her in these states.
And you know what?
Honestly, I loved her just the same.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in that robot mode, just going through the motions.
My husband says I look distant, distraught, and as if I’m dragging my body through quicksand.
He says I sit staring off into the yard with a blank look on my face.
He says I isolate myself in my room, scribbling in my notebook.
Chunky will say things like “Are you sick today?” and “Be happy for today Momma.”
And that kills me.
If my husband sees it, Chunky sees it.
But I try to remember my Grandma, and how I loved her no matter what state she was in.
And I can only hope that for my boys.
That they can still see bits of the real me.
That they know that I’m fighting so hard for them.
That they still love me not matter what state of mind I am in.