To My Children: You Saved My Life

I love my life, but there are days when I don’t want to exist.

This feeling often surfaces with no rhyme or reason. It can happen whether or not I’ve had a bad day. In fact, most times when I feel this way, everything is going right.

That’s the thing about depression. It can sneak up on you at the most unpredictable and inopportune times. It might visit when you’ve got a long week ahead at work or when you’ve made fun plans with your family.

It shows up and lies to you. It tells you that you are a burden, not worthy of love. That you should just do the world a favor and disappear.

Depression is exhausting. Not in the way that strenuous physical activity wears you down. But the toll it takes on your mind can still be felt all over your body.

It can make the simplest of tasks, like getting out of bed, feel monumental. It can make it hard to shower. Or go to work. Or take care of your family. It’s in these moments that dealing with depression is the hardest.

It’s in these moments that I’ve felt like it would be easier to just end it all.

There have been times in my life where I wished I could go to sleep and not wake up. Maybe then I’d finally get the rest my brain so desperately needs.

But the one thing that has always snatched me back from the edge are my children. Being their mother has literally saved my life.

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I’m by no means a perfect mom. But when they come to me because they aren’t feeling well or they have a bad dream; Or when they are hungry or just want a hug; Or when they need me for no reason at all, that’s when I realize how much they need me.

Every time I see a piece of myself in them, I realize I have still have so much to teach them. To be brave. To be strong. To be independent. To be true to themselves.

I also realize there are so many things to come that I could never miss. Like first dances. First dates. Graduations. Celebrations and heartbreaks. I can’t imagine not being there to see their faces light up when I walk in the door from work. Or when I pick them up from spending a few days apart.

My children are my reason for getting through days that seem endless. They motivate me to wake up and do it all again. They push me to become a better person and to pursue my goals so I can give them the life I imagine for them.

They are the reason I started treatment for my mental illness. So I could be the mom I felt they needed; that they deserved.

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There are still days that are difficult to get through. There are still moments when I wonder what it would be like to simply not be. But I could never leave those smiling faces. Those big brown eyes. Those warm hugs and morning breath kisses.

I used to think that I was put on Earth for my girls. But now I know that they were put here for me.

To make me better. To make me stronger. To save my life.

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