When dealing with life, sometimes taking not just a break but a mental break is necessary and that’s exactly what I took. For the past three months, I have been assessing my life, past decisions, present and future. Yes, my plate is heavy and my obligations to parenting keeps busy, but mental breaks are needed, especially at a pivotal point in a person’s life. As I push pass all the things that are meant to break and destroy me, I finally reached the point where a breakthrough is happening, and boy does it feel good.
2023 has not ended me and I praise the Lord for that BUT I started my year off fighting the same battles that tried to keep be bound. Had drama here and there and my reaction to it all, almost costed me everything. See, when you are pushed to your max due to carrying the weight of a family and outside factors, things get real and sometimes the best way to handle them, is to drop the ball and collect yourself. It some cases, it’s okay to go back but to only pick up what is necessary. All weight isn’t good weight, and I will explain why later. There were people around me that it simply wasn’t their season to be in my life, and it was draining me. I eventually came to the point where I had to make some hard decisions and I did. The more I prayed and started to really pay attention, the more I began to see who was truly for me. Once the clarification came, I had to distant myself or simply let those people go and trust me, it was hard. The revelation of what I needed to do on top of being a full-time mom with no breaks, caused me to have a serious mental breakdown. I needed time to myself, but it was only so much time I could have because parenting does not stop-it keeps going. I had moments that I was able to steal, like sending my kids with family that I trust, or having someone come to the house so I could leave for a while, but I had those moments every blue moon and it wasn’t enough.
The things I set my eyes on were the things I began to focus on like my dreams, goals, school, and businesses, but that didn’t last long. Yes, these are the things I find joy in doing, but when I hit rock bottom, things began to slow down for me, and I was losing interest in them all. I didn’t want to do anything that exhilarated me and that was a concern. The things that were happening for me that should have made me smile didn’t, and I was becoming more exhausted than I was motivated. I didn’t want to cook, clean, or do anything that involved keeping the balance and structure within my household. My oldest daughter Milly is a great cook, and I took full advantage of her skills by making her prepare dinner night after night. I needed rest, and I was figuring out ways to make that happen even if it meant having my daughter cook dinner. It seemed like I was falling apart while trying to keep myself glued together. The scholarship I applied for I received, and even though I’m preparing to start school in May, I’m not smiling like I should be, I’m worried. After some time with developing my business, I started speaking at events and getting my clientele up, but it seemed that the more I accomplished during this difficult time, the people that I truly felt were for me, weren't clapping at my success and it was hurtful. Even though It’s an eye opener, I had to accept that when you have the wrong people attached to you, they always want to see you do well…until you start doing well.
During this mental break, I experienced the best of both worlds-the good and the bad and trying to balance everything was difficult for me. I stopped going to church and fought hard to read my bible. I went from talking to certain people every day to not saying one word to them. I had little to no interest in doing activities even if it involved my children, I felt depleted. I was at the point of being and feeling burned out. Talking to my therapist relieved me in certain ways and it made me feel calmer. I was in a battle, and I had two options: give up, or keep fighting and I chose to fight. Now my situation isn’t like everyone else’s, but I knew deep down inside, whatever I was going through, I didn’t want to be on medication. I want to overcome whatever this is with a sober head. Getting back to what I love to do has been a challenge, and shutting people out is how I cope with the things that are bothering me; it’s how I am able to have a moment to myself without judgment. I make it my business to fight this battle the best way I know how, but I found that this moment to “myself,” had slowly turned into me isolating myself from people that I knew I needed.
I had to accept that I was taking six steps forward only to take four steps back. Everything I have asked the Lord to deliver me from I have easily fallen back into. Parenting is not easy and even when you have a support system, when you are the sole provider, the obligation and responsibility of it all is enough to smother you. I encourage every mother reading this who is not only parenting but parenting alone to not give into the stressors of the world. Fight back however you see fit. If you have to send your children away for the weekend and shut your phone off, do it. It doesn’t hurt to be vocal about what you are experiencing and to talk to someone you trust. Don’t bottle anything up, trust me, more people understand what it’s like to carry the world of your shoulders with children than you think.
Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, it helps. Talking to my therapist once a week is something I am no longer ashamed about because I have accepted my truth. My breakthrough started when I was honest about the things that were happening in my life that I was struggling to fix. Yes, I went back to doing things that I shouldn’t like smoking and drinking and yes, I'm experiencing a shutdown, but I refuse to let those things end me. Isolation is real but guess what? I was honest enough with myself and my therapist to acknowledge the problem. Even though I am going backwards by falling into old ways, I’m moving forward in certain areas of my life that I am fighting hard to have progress in. I won’t allow myself to be beat down by anyone around me just because I’m experiencing life. Stress is real, depression is real and feeling defeated comes when you are all fought out. Regardless of what I go through, I am a winner and as a winner, I will forever be an asset and never a liability. I will overcome.
*If you or someone you know is battle with depression, please seek help, and speak with someone or visit www.unitedwaysem.org/211 to find the nearest help near you.