Please welcome Abigail to the blog. Abigail’s story will resonate with many others and we thank her for entrusting us to share it in this space. If you or anyone you know is battling depression or contemplating suicide, there is help: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline .
Hi, how are you?
I’m well, thank you!
How are you?!
Cute. Bubbly. Sweet.
A lot of the time it is. A lot of the time it isn’t. A lot of the time it’s exhausting. A brief moment with a stranger that feels seemingly happy and effortless is exactly the opposite. It took all of my energy to conjure up the fake ideation that I’m having a fantastic day.
So why do I fake it?
Because it’s easier.
Because it’s my job.
Because it’s socially acceptable.
Because sometimes I need to believe it’s true.
Because I hate explaining myself.
I hate being accused of sometimes being bubbly and sometimes being a drag. Or a victim. Or a martyr. Words that are easy to say when you don’t even really know what they mean. Or how it feels to be representative of them. Or how it feels to be trapped inside my mind. But I’ve been trapped there for over a decade. Struggling to explain what I feel or why I feel it. Struggling to understand why I’m angry or sad or just feel like crying. Feeling helpless when my reactions to stress or trauma don’t feel appropriate or safe. Wondering if those around me are judging those reactions and behaviors.
To say I live with anxiety and depression is far from accurate. It doesn’t just live with me, it drives my life. Sometimes the road is calm and beautiful and joyful. Other times it’s dark and windy and dangerous, and I feel completely out of control. Lack of control leads to anger. It leads to isolation. To feeling like my life isn’t even mine to be lived. And to explain that feeling to loved ones is impossible.
I ache to try and be understood. To have those who love me most realize why I’m not always “me.” Or why I’m always exhausted. Or stressed. Or frustrated. I can’t explain my feelings because sometimes I don’t even understand them. I rarely know why I feel them or how to make them go away.
I’m beyond helpless to the grip my mind has on my soul. And I see similar anxieties and tendencies in my son.
And it fucking terrifies me.
I beg and plead to the universe to ensure my son doesn’t end up like me. To make sure he’s happy and joyful and in control of his thoughts. I strive to be everything for him that I couldn’t find for 25 years.
My husband is that everything. My everything. He is my heart, my soul, my absolute best friend.
The guilt I feel knowing he could have loved a woman with a more stable mind eats at me constantly.
Every time I yell or cry or zone out.
Every time I fail to find the words to explain to him how I’m feeling and why.
I wish for him that I were easier.
Oftentimes I feel he deserves better.
His joy and calming demeanor have saved me in so many ways.
And I get so angry that his love for me can’t save me entirely.
I have the most perfect love from the most perfect man.
Why isn’t that enough?
Why isn’t the joy of my child enough?
Why isn’t my job enough?
I have it all. So why isn’t it enough?
And I’ve tried the pills. I’ve been through countless hours of therapy. I’ve put in the time.But what people fail to realize is there is no fix. People like me will never be fixed. Our pain, our struggle never goes away. It’s chronic.
I push myself constantly to stay sane. To stay so busy I don’t even have time to worry or stress or overthink. And I have good days. I have good weeks, good months. But it’s never permanent. What changes? The worst part is I never know. I never know when she’s going to leave. When I’m going to be left feeling the heavy stuff and longing for the lightness that I love.
But I work at it. Every. Single. Day. I work to stay upbeat. To stay happy and sweet.
I work like hell to be a good mother. A good wife. A good employee. A good friend, sister, daughter, human.
I wish I could say my depression and anxiety don’t define me but that’s not true. To say they don’t identify me and my mind does a disservice to myself and to my loved ones. And that’s why I wrote this. To explain to those who have never understood or who are seeking to understand me, that to know my pain, my struggle, and my constant battle to just feel okay, you can start to learn every other part of me too.
I am cute.
I am bubbly.
I am sweet.
I am genuine.Sometimes I just have to dig a little deeper to find her. And sometimes you will too.
About the Author
My name is Abigail. I was born and raised in KC but moved to STL not long after my engagement last year. Growing up I suffered with anxiety at a pretty early age and as I got older depression started to kick in. It’s been a continuing struggle ever since. I have very loving parents that I’m very close with but like many parents, they weren’t aware of the severity of my struggles nor did they know how to approach them. I’ve spent much of the last 2 years in therapy for PTSD. I’m a survivor of emotional and physical abuse as well as sexual manipulation from a man I loved with all my heart. Before having time to fully heal, I became a mother. I have a beautiful son whom I was a single parent to until my amazing husband came into my life and took us both in with open arms and SO much love. No one advocates for my mental health and my well being more than he does. I have, very heavily, immersed myself into the mental health world for many years attempting to understand and manage my own struggles, as well as working to advocate for those who are still struggling to find their voice. I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside several amazing organizations to provide resources for those with mental health concerns and I plan on continuing to do so. In sharing my story, I hope that I can assist someone in finding the courage to be vocal about who they are, what they’ve been through, and what they’re working towards. Support can be so hard to find for a topic that’s still so heavily misunderstood and perceived negatively. Thank you so much for reading and being a part of my story. I hope to be a part of yours too.Sending love, always.