Oh anxiety. You irritating, sneaky, suffocating bitch. Ironic how I am writing this post and I am finally at that point where I can say I have her under control. But this post is not about me.
This post is about my mother and her current struggle with anxiety and depression which in my opinion has been further exacerbated by menopause. I am not sure how that can be backed up with solid medical evidence but I am positive I know my mother well enough to discern the time frame of events that have led up to this point. It’s really hard seeing someone you have always looked to for strength and reassurance be on the opposite end of the spectrum and needs your help.
My mom has been through alot in life. Just like the rest of us I’m sure. She had me at the age of 20 and struggled to make a life for her little family along with my father who is the same age as her. I think of myself at the age of 20 and cannot fathom the thought of shouldering a responsibility of a child, rent, bills and constantly having to be in the hospital because of your sick child. ( I was born premature for those who dont know and I also had complications due to being born so early. ) My mom never had a chance to enjoy her young 20’s because she also had 2 miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy after me. Then my sister was born when she was 26. My father did not have his high school diploma so it was struggling from job to job for him in order to support his family. My mother has been on government assistance mainly during my younger years because lets face it, she did need the help. My parents went through alot to provide a stable, comfortable life for my sister and I. They did an excellent job.
I have noticed that my mother is the one that is counted on to be the reliable one and to care for everyone else. She has taken on that role with her siblings and parents. That role has carried on to her own family. I am sure she has had moments of “Well who looks out for me at the end?” She gets it from my grandmother (her mom.) Despite all of this, my mom has had her great days. She is who I model my blueprint after when it comes to being a strong phenomenal woman.
Now I feel like that blueprint is falling apart. Part of me knows it is not her fault. Coming from someone who has had extensive battles with anxiety and depression, I understand the struggle and also understand that everybody handles it differently. What I am failing to comprehend is her giving up willingly, it appears. On a day to day basis, I feel like I am losing my mother. My father, sister and I are fighting like hell to keep her here and to bring her back but it seems like it is an uphill battle. The weighty burden of having to be the women in the house and also deal with our own personal shit has taken a toll on both myself and my sister. I am battling to not succumb to my own anxiety because then what good will it do anyone involved?
I have not vented through writing lately because I have felt an invisible hand choking back my mental vocal chords from expressing anything. I am not one to walk on eggshells for anybody or anything but I know I cannot go on like this. Skating around the fact that I am scared and also fighting back fear of losing my mother. Not in death but in spirit.
She has all of the tools to succeed. Strong support system, people who love her and also is taking meds. I know she has to take a stand and want it for herself. Make changes whether they be big or small. If this means I need to give her reality checks anytime she complains about something she knows she can change herself, so be it.
Maybe I need to remind my mother who she is. A woman who has never taken anyone’s shit, who has fought time and again to make it, who has never given up on me, my sister or my father even when it seemed like everything was failing and not worth fighting for. Maybe I need to remind her of the woman who came to the hospital everyday when I was fighting for my own existence in that incubator 27 years ago. Remind her that God has never left her side nor plans to.
Anxiety. You are not taking my mother away from me.
- – End rant.