September 10-16 is National Chronic Illness Awareness Week. In my posts I hope to comfort those who are first experiencing chronic illness and those who continue to live a life in chronic pain and with chronic illness; as well as educate those who do not know what it is like to live with an Invisible Illness.
The theme for this year’s Invisible Illness Awareness Week is “Invisible Illness? Share Your Visible Hope!”
I think for so many of us who are parents, our children are the #1 hope in our lives. My mantra since I have become a parent is “Do it For Tyler!” Can’t walk around the zoo? Get your husband to push you in a wheelchair and go! Wondering how you will get through Christmas? Push on and suffer the consequences later, even if it takes you three days to recover!
This year, however, I learned that it is not always so easy to just “Do it For Tyler!” As a result of Bipolar Disorder, I became so depressed that I found myself unable to care for Tyler in the way that my physical illnesses had allowed me to. It turned out that my depression was stronger than my will.
I always thought that I could overcome anything for Tyler’s sake, and for over five years of his life, I did.
I write about this because the fact is that sometimes we cannot be stronger than our illnesses, even if it for our children.
I write about this to let people who are well know that we are always trying to, and it breaks our heart when we can’t.
I have finally broken out of the depression that imprisoned me for so many months and once again I am endeavoring to be the best mommy I can be.
When I started to feel better I mentioned it to Tyler, I asked him if he could tell I was better. He replied, “What? I didn’t even know you were sick!”
All of my guilt, all of my shame, all of the depression resulting from no longer being able to be Super Mommy.
All of the things I could not do for my child during my depression…went unnoticed by my son.
Now that I am stronger, I will go back to doing it for Tyler. But I also know that no matter how I am feeling or no matter how little I can do, my son will always love me.
And yours will too.