In my last post about having a difficult day with my son, I added a PS at the end of the post, stating that I do not suffer from depression or any other form of mental illness. Some readers commented that they felt sad that I had to add that, as surely, even mothers who don’t suffer from depression can have a horrifically bad day, I did not need a disclaimer.
They are right and I agree, of course. I am one of millions of mothers who occasionally go through a difficult time with the kids. We are allowed to have bad days. We are allowed to lose our shit. We are allowed to crumple into a fetal position on the floor and ask for the day to be over already. We are only human. We do not have to apologize for speaking up.
But this is how it is when you put yourself out there in the blogging world. You write your truth in hopes that someone can relate, commiserate, and assure you that it’s okay, tomorrow will be better. You write with honesty, hoping that maybe, just maybe, you have touched someone with your words, and make them realize that they are not alone. You write with your heart on your sleeve because that is the only way you know how to.
Just because someone else has it harder than you, or are in a worse situation, does not make your own any less important. It is YOUR truth, YOUR reality. It matters to you. There is no corner on the market for feeling miserable or sad. You don’t have to go through a horrific loss to feel the depths of sadness. You don’t need to struggle with infertility and miscarriage to know what loss and yearning means.
And, you should also be able to talk about things like feeling overwhelmed when your child talks too much (OMG child, stop to take a breath), without worrying about offending the mother whose child is struggling with speech. You should be able to write honestly about how you wish you had one-on-one time with your first child, instead of ending up with twins as a first-time mother and struggled with giving them both 100%, without getting judged by women who are still trying to get pregnant, or only have one child.
This is writing the hard stuff. When you put yourself out there openly, you can expect that not everyone will agree with you, or see your point of view. You are not living their life, they are not living yours.
Can’t we as parents give each other the grace of “to each his own”? Can’t we allow for people to be open about having a bad day? Can’t we just offer comfort and support, instead of judgement? Can’t we just write our hard stuff without fear?
I have been mulling this topic in my head for months, afraid to hit write it and hit publish. I decided to do it since I should take my own advice, right? I’d like to add that I do applaud the brave souls who tell their stories of loss, grief, depression and other forms of mental illness.