Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health professional. I am not professionally qualified in any way to diagnose or give medical advice. I am just a mom who has some experience that I want to share. Please seek professional help if you suspect you are struggling with Depression, Suicidal Thoughts, or any other mental health concerns.
I’m a big believer in positive thinking. I can say honestly that my whole life changed when I saw The Secret. Even before that I considered myself an optimist. I always tried to look on the bright side, find the silver lining, look for the rainbow after the storm. That’s not to say I go around with a constant smile on my face or that I am in constant state of joy. I’m human. I feel a whole spectrum of emotions. Until recently, however, I had never experienced life changing hurt, worry, and sadness. One may even call the state I was in, depression.
As I write this, I am fighting back tears just thinking of the last 8 months to a year. My husband and I have been very blessed this year, with a new place to call home, new career paths, and so much more. We moved from a crappy apartment owned by a not-very-attentive landlord to put it nicely; to a beautiful condo with some outdoor space and a community pool like we had always wanted. Not to mention Central air and heating! And its quiet! I can hear the water fountains trickling outside if I open my window and let me tell you, it is so relaxing for me. I LOVE the sound of water. In addition to this great new place my husband was on his way to a new career in Law Enforcement-a dream come true for him. Me? Not so much. But I was and am happy for him. I know how awesome it is to make a living doing something that fulfills you and gives you purpose. Of course, I want this for him, too!
Here comes the really hard part to write. Please keep in mind that I write this because I feel like if my story can help someone else who may be struggling with this, than its worth it to put myself “out there”. At this point in time my 58 year old father’s health had been declining. He had a stroke a couple of years prior brought on by a somewhat road hard lifestyle, we’ll say. He lived in Texas and visiting him was a challenge. Of course I was worried about him and I was sad that his life was coming to an end..but as far as I was allowing myself, I wasn’t to shed any tears about it because he was still here. I kept trying to be strong for myself and for my siblings. I envied them for being able to be there for my dad. My heart hurt for my brother who was my dad’s main caregiver and was struggling.
Meanwhile, my husband was away training for his new position. We saw him on weekends, which I was so grateful for! But this was SO hard. In the 12 years we’ve been together we had never been apart except for one weekend and a few overnights. I missed him terribly. Every week was a cycle of moping because he had just left, spirits picking up knowing that we were getting closer to the weekend, and then sadness as I left for work while he was home, enjoying what little time we had together and then start all over again. I thought I was getting used to it. He was getting closer to graduating and it was pretty exciting!
As if this wasn’t enough on my plate, I also decided it was time to quit my job at the Big Massage Chain and focus on my own growing practice. The original plan was to wait until he graduated but the stress was getting to me and I was getting sick every other week. In my line of work, its not the best idea to work when you’re sick. I’m glad I took the time when I needed to but it was really just adding more stress. I was afraid I was going to get fired! Not to mention all the time I needed for my daughter too. I finally decided it just wasn’t worth it financially speaking and it was hurting my health to spread myself so thin. So, I did it! I went 100% solo!! It was such an awesome feeling!! I should have been over the moon! And I was..for a little while.
So, here I was going through all these changes. So many emotions, some great and some awful. I kept denying myself the time to worry for my husband and the very real possibility that his new career could change him and us. I kept telling myself not to think about my dad dying because who knew how much time he had left? Eventually, I wound up in this funk and I had no idea why! I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to go anywhere. I dreaded getting ready. If it were up to me, I would have spent a good chunk of my day in bed. But responsibilities beckoned. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But something kept nagging at me and I couldn’t figure it out. I had done to good of a job shooing away all the “bad” feelings. Eventually, I did figure it out. In addition to my feelings about my dad and my husband, I realized I was missing my neighbors, my co-workers, and I was also feeling a little sad about my daughter growing up! Man! When it all hit me, I just sobbed. I couldn’t even stop myself if had wanted to. I needed to let it out. It wasn’t a one time fix, of course. It took a while to work through my feelings and allowing myself to feel them all, good and “bad” and letting the bad feelings be acknowledged and setting them free.
I’m glad I went through this experience before my dad passed away on September 29, 2015. Losing my dad has been the absolute hardest thing I have ever gone through. I think of him all the time. Go through God knows how many what-ifs in my mind. When he passed, I just allowed myself to feel whatever I was feeling. I didn’t rush the silver lining. I am glad he’s no longer suffering but I do wish things were different. Even though I’m grieving, I’m still able to enjoy my blessings wholeheartedly. And when I feel that ache in my heart, I let it be. I take the time I need to be with my dad if only in my mind. I let myself cry my eyes out, cry till I can’t breathe. And when I’m all cried out I can slowly come back to join my family and friends who are still here with me. I can be proud of my husband and daughter and I can enjoy their company. I can truly enjoy all the hugs and giggles we share. I’m learning to give each emotion its due attention. Doing so keeps me truly happy and balanced. I’m sure I will have landslide moments but from now on, I will try my best to be mindful and present. It doesn’t make me any less of a positive person. I still see the bright side. Now, I just try to appreciate the beauty in the storms and the rainbows. It’s OK to not be OK sometimes.
Mother, Massage Therapist, Business Owner, and Blogger
Priscilla Davis is a mom to amazing Princess Emma and a (mostly) loving wife. By trade she is a talented and passionate Massage Therapist. She is an old soul who believes in helping people, especially mothers, live their best lives possible.