I remember the day. Struggling to keep my eyes open to care for three little ones, I was dying. Second. By. Second. I was longing for an ounce of hope. The voices in my head would not quiet. ” You’re not good enough. Your children need a mother. YOU are not a mother. Your husband doesn’t love you. Why would he? He’s just looking for a way out. Go ahead. Jump. Your family will be better off.” I began to think, “How easy it would be to have the pain over. To be done with this accusing mind.” I pushed the screen. Watched as it fell over 45 feet to the ground.
The boy walked into the room. “Mommy?” The boy, full of life and love. Blonde like his daddy as a boy. Beautiful blue eyes. The boy looked at me and whispered, “Mommy?”, tears welling in his little eyes.
I stopped. I looked at him. I looked at the ground. What would happen to the boy, if I jumped. His baby sisters still crying in the other room. He would fall. Somewhere deep inside that moment of insanity my momma heart beat through. I slammed the window shut and locked it. I picked up the boy, ran to the room, grabbed my babies, sat on the floor. And cried. All while the boy sat there, patting my face and saying, “Mommy.”
You see, I’d done something horrible. I had kicked my infant daughter. The VERY thing I SWORE I’d NEVER do my child. The very thing my father had done…over…and over. The betrayal was more than I could bear. My mind, willing to be my judge and jury, had condemned me to die.
The rest of the day was a blur. I went through the motions of changing diapers, nursing a hungry baby and reassuring the boy that mommy was ok. (AKA, lie to make him believe his world was all OK). My husband came home and I could not tell him what happened. He would not understand. He who was perfect and put together. He who spent days with women whose bodies had not birthed three babies. He who did not understand what it was to grow up in hell or try to overcome the scars that just wouldn’t stay hidden. HE was the LAST person I could trust. Could share my pain. So I kept silent.
I called my doctor the next day. She saw me immediately. I told her I was crazy. She said, “No. You just have three children under 5 with postpartum depression.” (I had this with all three babies). NO. Again I insisted. I’m not OK. This is more than depression. I’m crazy. PLEASE help me. Please.
Within 24 hours I sat in the psychiatrist office. Unable to speak what I was feeling. I lied. I didn’t want her to know the truth. I was beyond scared. I’d failed my children. My husband. God. I didn’t want to tell this lady. She, I told myself, would condemn me and take away my children. After all, 6 months prior, I had women that I thought were my friends tell me, “Your children, would be better off dead than have you for their mother.”
It took her about 4 sessions to convince me to take the medication. I stubbornly refused. My mother, she took Prozac, and she left my father. Besides, a person with the Holy Ghost does NOT take psychiatric drugs. But the pain. It was more than I could bear. And I relented. I prayed God would forgive me for my weakness…my disbelief that he was capable of healing my mind.
That was 11 years ago. 11 years I have taken this little yellow pill. And I’ve hated every day of it. Every single time I swallowed the pill, I reminded myself just how weak and flawed I was. How, I would ask, will I ever be who I want to be if I have to take this pill to be sane?
Still, this pill helped me survive. The early years of babies. New businesses. New homes. Then the losses that began in 2007. My father-in-law ripped away from us by cancer. My identity, when we left the faith where I was raised. Friends, because I had left. My house as the economy crashed. And then the final blow — the betrayal of my father. It wasn’t until I forced myself to go straight through all the pain that I began to think, seriously, about weaning off the yellow pill.
But, I had to find someone who would give me hope. I prayed. For years. And then one day, for the first time in 11 years, someone told me that I could live a different life.
This is part 1 of 2, Healing My Mind for the 5 Days of Maximized Living.