There are only a handful of times in my life when I can remember feeling truly, truly sad. The kind of sad that you can’t shake off. The kind of sad where you sit in the shower and cry. The kind of sad where you just want everyone and everything to go away. The kind of sad that you could call despair.
Yesterday was one of those days.
My life is full of so many blessings, but it is also riddled with struggle. I do a fairly good job of maintaining a shimmering exterior of smiles and jokes, but it can fade in an instant and all you’re left with is a woman losing control of herself, and her 3 screaming children.
There are just some days that are so void of laughter, so void of joy, that it consumes me. The crying, yelling, screeching, bickering, hitting, mess making and general inability to be cool for like one fucking second is sometimes more than I can bear, and it buries me alive.
It doesn’t even matter what happened, or what the kids were doing. There is no way I could ever convey the situation properly so that you could understand how I felt completely lost. All that matters is that at 5:15PM I couldn’t tolerate even one more second of my duties as a mother. I left the kids inside with Bill, and without saying a word, I went and sat on the front steps. There was a small part of me that would rather have frozen to death outside than to have to “Mom” for even one more second.
Fortunately, without missing a beat, my husband stepped in and took over. He made dinner while I sat alone, crying, because he knew that’s what I needed. After sitting outside for 30 or 45 minutes, I dragged myself inside and got in a hot shower. I sat on the floor of the shower letting the water hit my face, trying to drown out the terrible feelings I was having. I would have given anything for that water to wash away all the negative thoughts from my brain.
“I hate my life.”
“I have no friends.”
“This is my life for the next 5 years until all the kids are in school.”
“My life doesn’t matter.”
“I am a terrible mother.”
“My kids are so bad sometimes, and it’s my fault.”
After the shower, I sat on the floor of the baby’s room, still crying and thinking terrible thoughts. I was willing myself to overcome these negative feelings, but I just didn’t have it in me. I felt like I was a column of ash left standing in place and if someone were to touch me, I would just crumble and blow away. Hollow. Fragile.
After an hour of sitting in the baby’s room, I heard a tiny voice in the hallway. “Mommy?” It was Avery. She and Brady had come to find me. Without another word, they both climbed into my lap. They didn’t know why I was crying, and they couldn’t possibly have known the depth of my sorrow, but they knew how to fix me. They just snuggled with me and let me cry all over their pajamas.
I’m not depressed, and I don’t suffer from any sort of mood disorder….I’m just a Mom who sometimes gets overwhelmed with her situation. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. I feel ALL the feelings. I feel so many feelings, that I even feel other people’s feelings. And yesterday was a feelings emergency.
The good thing about a feelings emergency, is that they can sometimes resolve themselves. I put my kids to bed, ate green beans for dinner, went to bed early, and started over fresh this morning. I’ve always joked that lifting weights is my therapy, and that was never more true than today. My friend Gina showed up for our lifting session with homemade Christmas ornaments and instantly put a smile on my face.
I’m grateful for all the people in my life who have saved my sanity without even knowing it. I’m also grateful for a husband who understands how to let me fall off the rails, and then put me back on again. Because every MomTrain is going to derail. It’s part of life. Sometimes it’s worse to fight the derailment, than to just let it happen.