To my mother, who struggled with depression
Mom, I won’t pretend you were a perfect mother, but I know that you loved me as perfectly as you could.
We both wish you had taught me how to cook, keep house and mix and match my clothes, but chronic depression stole those chapters of our lives. As a teenager, I didn’t understand why you slept all day. I resented you for not getting up and acting like other moms.
If my own depression hadn’t robbed me of raising my children, I might have never understood what you went through. Now, I regret my resentment toward you. Will you forgive me?
From experience, I understand that you felt overwhelmed every morning when the sun came up, afraid you wouldn’t perform any better than you had the day before. Sadly, every evening confirmed your fears, which caused you to hate yourself a little more after each failed day.
Many years later, when I was going through a difficult time with my own depression, you made plans to come see me. When you phoned to say you couldn’t come because you were experiencing a lot of 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, “I love you. I forgive you” – especially because neither of us knew you were dying from cancer and would be gone in a few short months.
Mom, you were not a failure. We – the culture of that day – failed you.
I wish you could see how well I’m doing now. In today’s society, people are more likely to talk about depression, 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. Most importantly, I’m learning how much God loves me; therefore, I’m getting better at casting all my anxieties and concerns on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
And I want you to know, Mom, that on Mother’s Day and during Mental Health Awareness Month, I think of you often – warmly and very proudly.
(Revised from my archives)
What about you?
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- How has depression affected you and your family?
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Thanks Sheryl for sharing this. As I sit here reading it My mind went to I could of wrote the same post or how did she know my story. My mom and I have dealt with alot. I took care of her with hospices help for 9 months when doctors gave her 2 weeks. She kept fighting pancreatic cancer which was full blown when doctors found it. She didn’t wanna give up an go to heaven cause she thought she failed me that I still needed her. Although I still needed her and always will. We shared our depressions fears and hopes. Told each other we loved each other. And I looked her in the eyes and told her it’s ok mom if your ready please go see Jesus that I’m ok. She smiled closed her eyes and was gone. Some days I’d love to take back time and be able to hug her or talk again specially on days like this. I’m just blessed to know she loved me and is no longer in pain.with Jesus. Sorry didn’t mean to ramble. Tears running down my checks feeling her with me in my heart. Thanks for sharing I’ll hush
I always appreciate your comments, Kati. I’m so sorry for your loss – while glad you had such a close relationship with your mom. Sounds like you both had a rough time. And I’m aware that you’re still going through a difficult time, Kati. I continue praying for you!
Ty for your prayers. I know you face your own issues we pray for each other. God set the example for us all. Thanks for being you in Christ.
Wow! Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing!!
My own mother completed a suicide when I was 19. She was great at hiding her depression, but eventually it took her from us. Any light that can be shed on depression is a blessing to those suffering from it, as well as all of our society.
Depression is such a difficult thing for many to cope with. I’m sorry to hear that happened to your family. I hope you have had help dealing with that. Praying for your cup to over flow with blessings.
Paula, I’m SO sorry for your loss – and the tremendous pain you’ve experienced. I pray my mother and my story will help others. Please, please keep in touch.
Bless your heart.
Kati, thank YOU for being you in Christ, also!
Yw but thats all I be.i Cant wait for Jesus to return and we all go Home with Him no more pain or sorrow. GBU BOTH thanks again for sharing this.
I’m not real good at talking about it all but it’s nice knowing that there’s others that feel the same
Way. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories
Hi, Deedee. Although more people are talking about depression, it’s still difficult to discuss. Thank you for dropping by Today Can Be Different. We’re here when you’re ready to talk. Okay?
Deedee, I understand it is hard. But We are here to listen and help if we can. I’ll keep you lifted up in my prayers. God knows what you need even if you can’t talk right now hugs
Kati, I love it when others respond to those commenting. Thank you for doing that. It helps to continue the conversation. Thank you!
What a moving and deeply honest tribute. Loving you my sister in Christ.
Thank you, Jackie! This was a very emotional post to write. And when I recorded it to air on Wave 94, my voice cracked in several places.
Such a moving testimony Sheryl. I am thankful you had that brief moment of honesty with your mother. I love how you speak from your heart.
Thank you, Barbara. Yes, I, too, am very thankful for that conversation I had with my mom!
Also, I want to thank you for responding to others who have commented on this post (and other posts, at times). It means a lot to me when all of us reach out to each other. Thank you, Barbara, for helping with that!
Glad I can be of some help and encouragement to you after all the help and encouragement you have given me.