I Wonder

by Ginger on December 11, 2012

in Becoming Myself

I wonder, sometimes, how much I lost. It’s a pointless and impossible road to go down, but I do it anyway, sometimes.

I wonder when it really started. When the first creeping tendrils started to change how I viewed the world and myself. Was it a year ago? Two? Three? Was it there before the two pink lines? Has it ALWAYS been there?

I wonder how much would have been different. How much frustration would have been avoided, how many tears, how many fights. How many moments of questioning myself as a mom. How many moments of thinking of myself as incapable. How many instances of thinking myself unworthy.

I wonder how many moments I lost with my son. With my husband. With myself.

I wonder, how much, exactly, did anxiety take from me? How about depression? How much did I lose?

I look back on the past year, and I’m amazed at the difference of me NOW and me THEN. I’m amazed that I didn’t realize how wrong everything felt–or rather, that the wrongness wasn’t just who I was and I just needed to learn to accept that about myself. I feel so much different now, and I see the world so much different now, and it’s amazing.

But it also makes me sad, because I can’t help but think that I probably lost a lot to that old state of mind. I can’t help but wonder how much of my struggles with Jackson from 18 months to 2.5 were a result of my mental state. It makes me sad to think that my experience as Jackson’s mom will always have this cast of grey for that time period. And I’ll never know if it would have been like that anyway (it WAS a tough time for him as a toddler), or if I would have been able to see the struggle as separate from the experience if I hadn’t been under that cloud. Maybe it was just a factor of me not being a great toddler mom…but maybe it was more than that. And it makes me sad that I’ll always wonder. I don’t beat myself up for it. I’m in SUCH a good place now, and I know it wasn’t my fault that I wasn’t then (I’ve learned to be much kinder to myself this year), but it does make me sad.

That time period was also the hardest time to date in my marriage. We didn’t struggle through the first year of marriage, or the first year of baby, in anything like what we did that 18-2.5 time period. And some of that has absolutely nothing to do with my mental health…but some of it had to. And I can say the same about family, work, friendships, etc., etc. And I can’t help but have some sadness about that. I’m so, so, so glad I’m in a different place now, but…I still wonder.

Joanne M. December 12, 2012 at 11:38 am

I’ve lost a lot too thanks to anxiety and depression and this is something I wonder about too. I try not to think too much about it because there’s nothing I can do about the past.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks December 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

As with any condition or situation, you can look at things from lots of different angles. Might I suggest that maybe it’s because of your relationship with your son that led you to a point of being able to recognize what anxiety was doing to your life … and that without the stress of raising a toddler (holy heck, we’re in the middle of it now and it’s HARD!), you might never have recognized just how not right you were feeling. I think it’s ok to wonder what you missed, but maybe you should be thankful for what you experienced, as it led you down the path to where you are today.

Marlena December 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I hear you. I get you. Whenever I feel bad about a situation similar to that, I think (for better or worse), “at least my daughter won’t remember that.” I know it’s not the most Zen-like approach, but it at least gets me through tough thoughts. And it’s all a part of being human – one of the most important lessons you can share with your son – that we all struggle, but it’s helping one another that gets us back to center, or at least near it.

Erica December 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I understand. My first year with Anna was so hard. I wonder if I had PPD? Who knows, it was awful. The second year was no picnic either. I feel better now too. Yay for me and you.

Lucky Husband December 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I don’t think you lost anything, personally. The time that was then, made you into the person you are, now. Without that time, there’d be no perceived change or growth. And growth and change is a good thing. I love you, and will always, my baby.

April December 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I agree with your husband. I struggle with this a lot because I know I’m not always the best wife or mother, but I think I’m the best I can be at any one time. Love goes a long way, and the best way to get past it I think is to forgive yourself for that part of your life and know that it made you who you are now. It will always be a part of you, but acknowledging it will help you feel better bout your future choices.

And obviously you read my post a few days ago so you know I’m better at saying these things than following them myself. I can say though that I’ve gotten past an awful lot in my life that I acknowledge was not my fault and has made me who I am. Saying that and believing it is a daily choice though,

Doing My Best December 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

This is beautifully written! You are not the only one who wonders =(. (hugs)

Katherine December 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

You’re too close right now. I can think back to the chunks of my life where depression was a guiding force so to speak, but at this point they are just the past. No astrics, no grey clouds. Would I like a do over from July 2010 to this summer? Sure, but I don’t feel like that about my sophomore year of college. You still live, you still experience, but with a different perspective and motivation.

Jamie December 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Not living in the past is easier said than done. There are lots of things I wonder and took for granted in the past that I wish I had today, and then there are things that were meant to stay in the past.

I wonder, I wait, I wonder some more. But in the end, what matters is knowing I’m in a better place because of my past.

It’s okay to look back, but only if it allows us to move forward!

Christa the BabbyMama December 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I know that feeling as it pertains to a period of motherhood. My daughter’s first 4 months were a fight to nurse, with me nursing, pumping, and giving a supplemental bottle every 3 hours around the clock. I spent so much of that time dripping tears on that baby, and then for months after. But even if I remember, she doesn’t. That’s what I remind myself.

Jess @ Wrangling Chaos December 15, 2012 at 7:34 am

Four years.

For me it was four years. I can see it clearly, now. I can see the moments I missed, then, but managed to capture on camera. I can see it in how different I am with my second set of babies, than I was with my first two.

Know who doesn’t see it, though? My kids. My older two, the ones who were babies and toddlers in the midst of my anxiety meltdowns where I’d throw sticks of butter at my husband’s head and then leave the house and cry in the car for an hour. They were there for those moments, but they don’t remember it, and it didn’t scar them. The love and care and security since then smoothed it over, I think.

Me and my blue pills have moved forward. It’s been long enough since that four year period that I don’t beat myself up anymore. Time heals a lot. Including our self-recrimination, if we just give it a chance.

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf December 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I keep coming back to this post, trying to figure out what I want to say. I remember the post that you wrote about a year ago about your anxiety and depression and that post, like this one, has stuck with me because I was/am struggling with similar issues. But I am SO happy that you are in a better place now and are able to look back and reflect on that time and experience.

nicoleandmaggie January 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Sunk cost!

http://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/sunk-costs-and-moderating-emotional-upsets/

The important thing is that you figured it out, you got help, and the future is so much brighter. Whatever has happened you’ve learned from the past, and it has gotten you to where you are and what you do now is going to take you to where you are going to be in the future.

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