Updated: Feb 16, 2022
When faced with an obstacle, I want to solve it, fix it, make it all better. When our son Jack seemed to be increasingly down, unenthusiastic, withdrawn, I immediately went into fix mode. We got him to his doctor, got him on meds (and then different ones), distract him, do fun things, keep him busy, but that hasn’t fixed him yet.
Jack made me a mom first. He was met with all kinds of excitement as the first grandkid on my husband’s side. Smart, spirited, convicted, and opinionated, at such a young age. There were early signs he was going to be a challenger. If you do not have your facts in order and you try to debate him, you will lose. Fiercely protective over those he loves (and the hardest on us too), but loyal, a teacher, a crusader, a leader). When his strong personality seemed watered down, when he started sleeping more and spending more time alone in his room, we knew something was wrong.
He came up on all the surveys as ‘depressed’. He believes his depression started the winter of 2019, which only got worse in isolation during covid. He missed out on much of his senior year of high school, continuing thru freshman year of college and has only gotten worse in his sophomore year. It’s easier for a “normal” person to handle these changes, they move on. For someone with depression, they can’t.
Not having been clinically depressed, it is very hard for me to understand how he can’t just shake it off. It is frustrating! It’s frustrating to not understand how it feels to be depressed so I can share in the pain and relate. I normally lean on this to help/fix. I ask myself over and over, how did this happen, when did this happen? What caused this? Did we do something wrong as parents? What weren’t we paying attention to? Is he going to hurt himself? He assures us he won’t, he says that’s not an option. I still worry.
I share this not for sympathy, I share this because if you, like me, have experienced this with a loved one, you are not alone, and we are doing the best we can! We are doing our best in these uncharted waters. People keep saying “you are such a great mom, you are there for him, supporting him, getting him help, you are paying attention”, but I don’t feel like a great mom because I can’t fix him! I have let go of any expectations for him in terms of what prescribed path I may have wanted him on.
I have my mom machete and will continue clearing the path for him. One day, I will hang it up, but will always keep it sharp just incase.....
Hold your babies no matter the age….