Mom, I won’t pretend or try to flatter you by saying you were a perfect mother. But you loved me as perfectly as you could.
I know you wish you had taught me how to cook, keep house, or even how to mix and match my clothes, but chronic depression stole those chapters of our lives.
As a child and teenager, I didn’t understand why you slept all day. I resented you for not getting up and being like other moms. I wonder if I would have ever understood had my own depression not robbed me of raising my own children. How I regret my resentment toward you now! Will you forgive me?
I understand that you felt overwhelmed when the sun came up each morning, fearing you wouldn’t perform any better than you did the day before. Your fears were confirmed each evening when you hated yourself, yet a little more, after another failed day.
Many years later, when I was going through my own struggle with mental illness, you made plans to travel from your home in Florida to my (then) Louisiana residence.
When you phoned to apologize that you couldn’t come due to intense physical pain, you also expressed how sorry you were for not being a better mother. I thank God I had the opportunity to tell you that I loved and forgave you. (Neither of us knew you were dying from cancer and would be gone in a few short months.)
Mom, you were not a failure! Rather, we – the culture of that day – failed you. And that makes me angry.
But I want you to know that I’m doing well! Thankfully, depression is talked about today and more people are getting help. I’m blessed to have had people in my life who recognized the signs of my depression, prayed for me and got me the help I needed. And most importantly, I am learning to cast all of my anxieties on God (1 Peter 5:7).
During this Mother’s Day and National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week (May 2-8), I think of you, Mom, warmly and very proudly.
What about you?
You can use a pseudonym (fake name) when commenting.
- Has depression and/or anxiety affected your life? If so, how?
- How can we pray for you today?