My mom and I have a running joke when we ask each other how we are doing. It seemed that no matter what time of year it was or what was going on we would say, “I’m ok. Just two more weeks and _______ will be here/be over and things will be great.” Just two more weeks. Two more weeks and summer will be here. Two more weeks and we’ll be on vacation. Two more weeks and that project/deadline/appointment/party/function will be here and gone and I’ll be ok. Just two more weeks that lead to two more weeks that lead to…well you know.
And sometimes in the chaos of the never ending two weeks we hit a bump. Especially mothers. And something cracks. I’ve had a few mom-life crisis. After my youngest was born I had 3 children under the age of three and lost my mind. Our baby was a surprise baby (aren’t all third children?) and I wasn’t used to my life as a mother of two. Now I had two toddlers and an infant. Crazy Train. I remember when Amera was just a few months old, I went out and got a bad tattoo. It’s not that the tattoo was bad; it was exactly what I asked for. BUT I WAS NOT IN ANY FRAME OF MIND TO MAKE SUCH A PERMANENT DECISION. I have since then had it worked on AGAIN so that I can stand the look of it. A cover-up of a cover-up. I call that a mom-life crisis.
Last fall I got an ulcer. I thought only old people got ulcers. Certainly not a young healthy, non-drinking, worker-outer like myself. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. And just like in the movies, when I got upset or angry about anything my ulcer would “flare up” and dang it hurt. What the crap? Mom-life crisis. Sometimes your mind tells you you need to go get a tattoo and sometimes your body tells you you need to slow the heck down.
Well this year my mom-life crisis came as a bit of a surprise with anxiety. I struggled with depression and anxiety a decade ago and I had to seek medical care along with counseling to get through it. I did get through it, and I have since then felt deep empathy for anyone going through such a dark time in their life. It is not new territory for me, but I honestly thought that when I stopped drinking 8 years ago my anxiety would never come back. Well, it’s back. Damn family genetics. But I am grateful that my family knows EXACTLY what I’m going through, and my friends have been so supportive. And BIG shout out to Mr.Right, who is my human Xanax, and has seen me through this before.
One of the differences between then and now is that this time I am not ashamed. This time I am reaching out right away. This time I am getting help now and not later. This time I’m a mom. And moms have to take care of themselves for their families. This time I am leaning into others and listening hard for what God wants to teach me through this.
So I told my family. I reached out to my friends. I contacted a counselor. And I went to the doctor. We were not made to do hard things alone. I spilled my medical and genetic history and got a prescription. I did not think I would ever be back here, but I am going to get through this. And I will be stronger because of it, and even more sensitive to those hurting around me. I asked the doctor how long it would take to start feeling better and do you know what he said? At least two weeks. I couldn’t help but smile.