A few years ago when my older child asked me why I was crying I decided to explain it to him in the simplest way possible.
Mama has a sickness it’s called depression, but it really just means a “sad sickness.” Sometimes mama gets sad for no reason but I take medicine and that helps. I just want you guys to know, so you know it’s not because of you, ok?
Ok Mommy, he said going back to his Legos. Ok, said the younger one, engaged in putting a wheel on a car. They both remembered it and next time I referred to it, they knew enough to refer to it by name.
Well I have the sad sickness tonight I don’t know why or what caused it (likely PMS) but once again I try to let the kids know it’s not their fault.
Did you have a good night? I ask them.
Yes mommy, they both say, Yeah.
I say, I hope I was a good enough mom today and Samson says, Every day gets better and better I love you mommy.
I’m lying next to David in his bed, and he throws his arms around me and tells me he loves me too.
The sad sickness shifts and settles in a slightly different angle in the atmosphere. I try to bring in my observer self, a small impartial panel to see the pain for what it is, a temporary thing but deep, thinking perhaps one of the silent judges might help me see what it’s about… I do not bring in the condemning judges, you understand, only those who can quietly observe and perhaps guide me just a little.
No luck. The origins of the Sad Sickness are as mysterious as the universe and all that is left is to watch the fog, until my eyes close for the night and hopefully while I’m sleeping, it will have drifted away…