When a Mother’s Depression Kicks in on Easter

This is probably one of the most authentic posts that I have written on any blog.

It’s not that my norm doesn’t consist of transparency. After all, I made myself real vulnerable when I decided to tackle the conversation of church and mental illness.

But it is one thing to openly discuss your past struggles with maintaining a healthy mental status and another when you disclose current encounters. I believe it has been established or at least my platform has tried to establish that Christians deal with mental health issues too.

In case you are a confessing Believer who doesn’t understand how a Christian can be faced with mental illnesses, then you definitely cannot comprehend how a Christian can be depressed on the most significant day in Christian history.

Honestly, I am perplexed by this also. But unfortunately, I can relate.

Out of all the days in my life that I have experienced feelings of depression, never have I been depressed on Resurrection Sunday or Easter. That is until this past Sunday.

And you know what made it even worse?

I was scheduled to preach a sermon on Easter! Now this was really mind bottling. Yes, I have experienced depression as a minister, but it has not ‘interfered’ with my ministry. I have always been able to preach or press my way through it.

But not this time.

Every church service I attended and social media posts I read had pictures or perceptions of every happy Christian. It appeared as though no one was experiencing sadness or brokenness.

But I knew this wasn’t true.

It was definitely not my truth. Not only was I quickly sinking into a dark place, I knew there were others feeling the same way, but were too ashamed to verbalize it.  In a way, so was I. But my feelings were poetically running through my mind so I decided to journal them and actually did an audio clip to IG.

It’s Resurrection Sunday,

And all that’s on mind is death.

No need for comments or speculations,

I write my own truth.

Family has broken every code,
Don’t trust one soul.
Literally all I have in this world
Are my two innocent girls.
All these leaches in the church,
Nobody honestly cares about real hurt.
Friends’ empathy ends
When you tell them your real feelings.
My daddy warned me not to trust nobody.
That’s why he remains in solitary confinement.
Nip said the marathon continues,
But today just might be the day I end this race.
All these senseless killings;
No respect for life or death.
Pac said it best, life goes on…
With or without you.
But right before I die…

 

When I ended on the last thought, Kirk Franklin’s song, “Before I die” from his Hello Fear album. Because there are so many things that one wants to accomplish before they die.

Many times there are things that we aren’t aware of because it has yet to be revealed. This reason alone is a reason to live.

But as I tried hard to hide my depression all day, I found strength and joy in my two daughters. I found at least two more reasons to contiue going, in spite of, how extremely difficult it was.

It can be stressful being a mother and trying to balance your other roles. I previously posted how I doubted my calling to the motherhood ministry!

But as I watched them all day with smiling faces (except when my one-year-old was mean mugging), proudly reciting Easter speeches, anxiously opening their baskets and playing with each other, I thought about how their lives would be affected if this was their last Easter with their mother. The day that God made His biggest sacrifice so that we could have life and have it more abundantly (ref. John 10:10) would have a tainted memory to them.

Writing is therapeutic for me. As I reread and analyzed my poem during the peak of a dark moment and the words that followed, it helped me to face hidden emotions that were keeping me from being present.

To all my mothers or parents dealing with depression or other mental illnesses, if you have found yourself depressed on days that don’t make any sense or just on a typical day, you are not alone. And it is okay to confess your real feelings.

Continue to be your best or fight to do so because it is worth it. There is at least one little one who is okay with us being ourselves. Our children have a way of making us frown and smile in the same minute. I challenge you to yield more to the smiles and laughs.

My six-year-old begged me to spend time with her and make arts out of playdoh during a time when I had no energy. Shortly after, she had me laughing so hard that I couldn’t recall the last time I did!

Today, right now, I feel much better. Are there still struggles and problems. Yes! But guess what?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11, NIV


Are you in need of support? Try attending a free support group near you or call 1-800-442-HOPE. Thank you for taking the time to read.  If you like, please subscribe and share.

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Author: Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is a blogger, Christian counselor, and evangelist who serves as an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the Best-selling author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and mental health memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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