I read a news article today that said that 20% of mothers in the United States have some form of mental illness. I am glad to know that I am not alone.
Since I was eighteen and a freshman at the University of North Carolina Asheville, I have suffered from chronic mental and physical illnesses that affect my every day life and the life of my (almost!) 6 year old. I suffer from chronic migraines and chronic fatigue syndrome. I am a high-functioning manic depressive, suffer from chronic debilitating anxiety attacks and have some obsessive compulsive tendencies thrown in for good measure. I take medication daily to help with these issues, and for the most part, I deal with them and live my life just fine, but sometimes things are hard.
I am a full-time student. I am a full-time server at a local bar. I am the only parent to my son. (His father lives in New York and hasn’t seen him for more than one hour total in the past three years.) There are days when my son is the only reason that I get out of bed. My myriad of illness make me so tired all the time that all I want to do after a long day at school and work is sleep, but being my son’s only parent makes that difficult.
I do not skip class because of my depression. I won’t let myself. (That is why I am considered “high-functioning.” I know that there are some people a lot worse off than me who have no choice.) I do not call in sick to work because I have a migraine. After 10 years, I can work through mostly anything. However, I will cancel on friends and family when I have made plans because I do not feel well. I pick fights with my boyfriend over little things. I let the dishes pile up in the sink too long. Things like that.
I hate that my son has to deal with my illnesses. He is the first to tell you that Mommy is always tired, or Mommy always has a headache. I know that he is taken care of, but I wish that I could give him so much more. I want to give him the beautiful life that he deserves and that is part of what this blog is for me. Motivation to give him everything he wants and more. I hope that he always knows that no matter what, Mommy tried.