Well, hello there.
So, this post may be written towards my friends who have children, but really applies to anyone who finds themselves isolating due to shame and low self-esteem and making themselves even more miserable in the process of doing so.
Over the past few weeks, I have been attending a support group to help myself climb out of this deep hole of depression I found myself in for the entirety of 2018. I have met so many wonderful people with such pure hearts and selfless souls that it is seriously blowing my mind on a daily basis. For the past 20 years, I have dealt with various mental health issues including but not limited to major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. In order to cope with these issues and continue functioning on a daily basis (not only as a mother, but as a human being in general), I picked up a lot of unhealthy coping skills. In 2 decades, I have managed to absolutely beat the crap out of my insides and my health has steadily declined. Along with the depression worsening, my sense of shame skyrocketed and became unmanageable to share brain space with. I hated myself with every fiber of my being. I didn't understand WHY I could just pull myself out of this hole and be normal like all of the shiny people I saw walking around me everywhere I went. (Obviously, my brain was projecting my own issues onto them and they were most likely not really "shiny" at all, but dealing with their own problems silently like me as they walked by feeling just as alone.)
The worse my feeling of shame got, the more I tried to numb it and caused even more messes that caused even more shame and so on and so on and so on. There seemed to be no way out. I felt myself drowning, and I threw up my hand in a last ditch effort to grasp onto some sort of help and I did the only thing I could think of doing: I called my best friend, sobbing, and told her I needed her to come as soon as possible because I couldn't do this anymore.
My friends are pretty much the coolest people you will ever meet on this planet, so of course, she and her boyfriend came to my rescue immediately.
They stayed over at my house that night, and we sat up and talked some before I slunk off to bed with my giant weight still on my back, but already feeling significantly lighter. The next day, they drove me to my first support group meeting. I was scared out of my mind, and didn't know if that was where I was supposed to be at all. All I knew was that I had no other options left and I could not go on the way I had been going for a single moment longer.
You guys.....IT. WAS. AWESOME!!!!
If you have any pre-conceived notions of support groups: drop them. Drop them RIGHT NOW!!! The feeling of belonging and acceptance and love and understanding is second to none. I have been going through this battle practically on my own for so long (save for my family and small circle of friends who have been with me along the way) and had no clue that there was an entire army of people just WAITING for me to find them to allow them to keep me company and offer guidance and advice and kinship. Also, that feeling of self-hatred? It can stop. That giant knot of secrets and lies and horrible things you have done that make you the worst person on this earth (or so your brain tells you) can loosen, and you will be able to breathe again. The worst thing you have ever done? You'll find someone who has done 10 things worse than that on their bad days.
My point being: we are all human. We make mistakes. Mistakes do not make us horrible people. They just make us imperfect creatures like everyone else on this planet.
Please don't be afraid to reach out for help. It's just waiting for you. You can literally feel better TODAY. All you have to do is take the first step.
Please message me privately if you have ANY questions about this, or are struggling and need help figuring out where to go for help. My hand is reaching out, always.
Be kind to YOU today.
Thinking of you all. Sending so much love in every direction.