Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Day Lament

People sometimes recognize that mother's day can be hard if your mother has passed away. Or if you had a rough relationship with your mom. Or if you are struggling through infertility. And they should recognize this pain.

But what about the single lady who just doesn't have a significant other nor a baby? What about me? What about the baby i wish i had?

On Valentine's day, i still have enough single Facebook friends to see at least one post about Singles Awareness Day. And we have a cute preschool party. And i buy myself a Valentine's gift.

But mother's day? I thought about buying myself flowers, but i already got some in a base from teacher appreciation week. And if i get the wrong flowers, they will aggravate my allergies.

And then there is medication side effects. Specifically being very tired. If i had a baby, people would understand. But hey, i live alone. There is no good excuse, aside from maybe insomnia, which, thankfully, i don't currently have. And guess what people say (meaning it has happened like twice so i feel like the whole world must agree) when i lament the fact that even if i sleep in and take a nap and sleep lots the next night, I'm still so tired. They say, maybe you slept too much. When they sleep too much, they feel super tired. Well, friends, i don't sleep too much during the week. I am a procrastinator for going to bed, so often it is around 7 hours a night. That is not too much. Then on the weekend, i try to catch up on sleep. Maybe you aren't supposed to do that. But either way, this incessant weariness is putting a damper on my mood. Well, that and/or my mood decided to dip. And this antidepressant is a little lacking in cutting the anxiety. And anxiety is exhausting and depressing.

And this was a rough weekend. And let me finish off with one more complaint.

This is about when you hear people's testimonies about God's work in their lives. When they talk about how depressed they were before they dedicated their life to God, or whole they were rebelling against God. And then they experienced God in some special way and things got better. I'm glad for them. Really, I'm glad they are feeling less depressed.

But this kind of story makes me want to cry. Leaves me wondering where i went wrong. I mean, I've been a Christian probably since before the ocd or depression really took hold. Hey, I was an over-seas missionary depending on people's financial support between (and during) bouts of stronger depression. And i know God is not a vending machine who gives out mental health if we just have enough faith and obey enough. But... I still feel sad when i hear these stories.

Seriously, i don't get this whole illness thing. Like, couldn't i do so much more for God if he removed the illness (and how about the medication side effects while we're talking miraculous healing). Isn't this enough experiencing of sorrow to enable me to be more compassionate with others? I mean, can't i at least have longer gaps between these bouts with depressing and/or anxiety? Couldnt i just take, say, a week or even a month long "refresher course" on how mental illness feels and then go back to having more energy and stamina and emotional resources to do more helping others instead of feeling like the proverbial sponge?

So instead, I'm one of those other stories, who will maybe help someone like myself, whose testimony is, "I'm sick and tired of this depression, and sometimes I'm even mad at God, and sometimes God seems out of reach or behind some invisible barrier, but i know he is still there, so I'm going to keep slogging through this irritating, exhausting illness whether it gets better or not, but I'm going to tell myself it will get better here on earth because it has before and because i need the hope."

Oh, and just one more thing; this last week and weekend got pretty tough, and I'm scared that the side effects and lack of effects of this medication are going to overtake the positive effects and pull me back down into the worse depression. Hopefully not, but pretty sure that largely subconscious fear is making this even harder than it would be otherwise.


  1. Oh Abigail. I'm so sorry. I can absolutely see how Mother's Day can be painful for you. I wish there was something I could say to take away the pain.

    I completely understand what you are saying when you talk about those stories of God's healing in other people's lives. I'm happy for them too. But I have also struggled with the fact that God has not cured me. He could, but He just hasn't, yet. And maybe He won't. I don't know His plans for my life. And while the OCD did improve tremendously after treatment, I still have to deal with a significant amount of it, and I'm dealing with depression that is the most severe that I've had in the last 5 years. But like you, I keep slogging through, for many reasons, but mostly because I believe it is what God wants me to do. I do know that He loves me. And He loves you too. And I believe that He is working behind the scenes. In between the depression, there are moments of joy and I try to focus on those, and on what God is doing through my life in spite of the pain. But it certainly is not always easy. But like you said, I also know that there will be times when I get better, and I know it will happen again, for you and for me. Sending hugs, my friend.

    1. Thank you. Yes, my ocd is much more manageable than it used to be, yet continues to make life more difficult. I hope your depression lifts soon. You are a great encouragement to me. I forget to enjoy the good times, as if enjoying them would completely disqualify me from getting help for the remaining depression, even though that is clearly not the case. Well, I'll go intentionally enjoy something before my lunch break is over

  2. My heart goes out to you. Mother's Day sucks. It's like getting sucked into all the stories that make me angry and sad, like how if I don't have a child, I am somehow outside of humanity. Life is far more complex than these narratives that rise up in church and on television or in movies ~ you are courageous in ways that these stories don't capture.