I’m still around… just not

For those who stalk me on Facebook, you may have noticed that something is up.  My vaguebooking is at an all time high lately.  I haven’t been posting here much… not anything deep and meaningful anyway.  I’ve been withdrawn, pulling my tight circle of friends and loved ones even closer and I try desperately to find answers… and when I need to recharge so I can fight again another day.

I’ve been deliberately reluctant about sharing here because… stigmas… embarrassment… the ringing of my mother’s voice reminding me that the internet is FOREVAH… 

My son?  He’s sick.  And he’s finally getting the help he needs.  But it’s not something that can be detected by blood work or an MRI… It’s not a battle that is widely accepted.  It’s not something you can detect by taking his temperature and it’s definitely not something that a band-aid and a kiss from mommy will cure.

My son is suffering from severe long term depression.  Mental illness is wildly ignored until you get to the point that you are causing harm to yourself or others.  Why do we have to wait that long?!?!? Why can’t we be proactive about mental illness like we are with mammograms and prostate screenings? 

It may not be cancer (Thank God) but that doesn’t make it any less life threatening. {I’m not trying to be disrespectful to cancer in ANY WAY so please don’t feel that way. } 

For the last few months, I’ve had to sit idly by and watch my gentle giant self destruct.  Okay, so idly isn’t really the right word.  It’s not that I haven’t done anything or have been sitting on the couch eating bon bons watching him like a movie playing before me… just that even when you’ve done all that you can and nothing helps and in fact makes things worse you feel helpless.  And lost.  And scared.

After an initial diagnosis of depression and ADHD, medication was introduced. {Yes I know that medicating your child is controversial.  No I don’t really want your opinion because we are doing what we feel is best.} It was decided that we would first try to tackle the depression and then work on everything else. Unfortunately, the medication selected had the exact opposite effect and after countless hours and days desperately trying to get back in to see the psychiatrist to re-evaluate the treatment plan, my baby was imploding.

I’m overly emotional and dramatic about a lot of things.  I am NOT being overly dramatic about this. Pleas for help were met with disdain. Judgement that I’m “that mom” who sees her kid through rose colored glasses and is just making excuses for a kid who doesn’t want to follow the rules.  Those who know me, know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I was brushed off because he hadn’t been taking the medication long enough for adverse effects to show.  I was basically told that I should trust the professionals…and we’d see you in a month.  News flash – when it comes to MY KID? I AM THE PROFESSIONAL.

My son?  Is kind and generous and brilliant.  He is hard working and funny and handsome.  He is the kid who can take things apart and put them back together again just having watched someone else do it before.  {I like to think he gets that from me} He can be impulsive and makes bad decisions to gain the acceptance of his “friends.” {I think I have to admit he also gets that from me}

My son?  Is NOT broken.  He is not damaged goods.  This latest battle does not define him and I’m hopeful that my constant reminders of the same will sink in and remind him just how amazing he is.  Our circumstances do not define us.  How we react to our circumstances and the things that happen is what develops our true character.

We’re on the road to recovery.  And it’s a long and difficult one that I’m doing everything possible to prepare myself for.  Having been there before myself does help… some… and scares me too… 

I know my support system is strong and that might be what I’m most thankful for.  Those who know and love my son have continued to support us both through the frustration and tears.  I look forward to their presence for the celebrations and victories.  Those who don’t know my son but know the monster he’s battling have lifted him up in thoughts and prayers as well.  It reminds me that I’ve come a long way in the company I keep and every one of you is awesome.  

There are a lot of blogs out there about dealing with your own depression – whether postpartum or otherwise – but resources for those helping their child through the murkiest of waters are fewer and farther between.  I won’t be sharing all of the tales here as it’s not my story to share, but you may see the occasional sprinkling of my own journey to help my son find his way back out of the darkness.  He has to do the work.  I can only provide love and leadership through the tunnel.  



  1. I’m so sorry you all are going through this. And you’re right – when it comes to our kids, we’re the damn professionals! I hope they’re listening to you now. Thinking about you both as your navigate this situation.

  2. My heart goes out to you friend. My sister was 19 when she was diagnosed with bipolar and I was 17 when I was diagnosed with magor depressive disorder. My mom went through it with us, and continues to be right by our side every step of the way. Please reach out if we can help. We’ve been there and we would love to be a resource to you and your family. Lots of love to you all!!

  3. You are brave and strong. Thank you for sharing. You and your son are in my thoughts.

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