I know what it’s like, when you’re working so hard on overcoming your mental illness, and something happens that has you feeling like you’re right back where you started, for seemingly no reason at all.
I know how it feels to be going, happily, through your day, unaware that you’re about to snap over something little and the damn of emotions is about to break, flooding you with irrational thoughts.
I have been there, chest tight, ears ringing, on the verge of tears, because you pinched your finger and it set off an anger in you that started a ripple effect of negative thoughts;
Why was everyone asking me for everything?
I’ve been cooking for over an hour and no one appreciates it.
I fucking hate to cook, why am I doing this?
Why do I hate it? Why can’t I just be a normal mom?
Why am I overreacting like this? Why can’t I calm down?
I’m never going to get better. It’s always going to be like this. Why even try?
Why am I working so hard to become a different person when clearly, I can’t escape this?
I know how it feels to have all of these thoughts rush through your head at such speed that you feel like you’re spinning and the only thing to hold you steady is pressure; on your arms, on your temples.
I know how it look to be crumpled on the bathroom floor, palms pressed into your head, crying and attempting to take deep, cleansing breaths that come out more as desperate panting.
I know the shame that comes when you have to emerge from the bathroom, red faced and sweaty, to rejoin your husband + kids at the dining room table. I know the guilt when your kids look at you with such concern over an adult problem they shouldn’t have to experience.
I know what it’s like to have those negative thoughts echo in your head for the rest of the evening before haunting your dreams.
I know that it’s only temporary. I know that these episodes are getting further apart.
I know the work I’m doing in therapy, the meditating, the improvement in physical health, the personal growth… it IS all working and the process doesn’t happen over night.
I know that, if I hadn’t started the work 3 years ago, I may not be here today. I know I wouldn’t be in this place of mostly good moments, instead of the mostly bad moments that I used to live in.
I know it’s better than it used to be. I know that my kids, my husband, my SELF — we are all worth the hard work I’m putting in to making myself healthier, happier, and stronger.
And, I know that by sharing this vulnerable story of a Monday night in our home, I will be telling another woman, “it’s ok, you’re doing great, and you will get through this.”