I tried to return the Owlet baby monitor this morning, the one that monitors baby’s pulse and oxygen and costs an arm and a leg. I was past the 45-day window, but I asked for an exception to be made since Carson will not be able to use it with his brace. His clubbed foot is being corrected and he will need to keep his brace on during nights and naps for his first couple years of life. The woman on the phone asked her supervisor, but was unable to receive authorization for the return. Tears immediately filled my eyes and I rushed her off the phone. Normally, I would have asked to speak with her supervisor and continued to attempt to retrieve a refund, but I couldn’t. I began to feel those hopeless feelings that usually accompany depression. The word depression is one that puts a sour taste in my mouth. I try desperately to stay far away from it and keep those feelings and thoughts stowed away. Unfortunately, so many of us know the symptoms. We know what it feels like to start slipping away when those feelings begin to consume us.
Yesterday I had plans to attend a work baby shower and introduce my coworkers to Carson, but I came up with four excuses not to go. That’s how it starts. We would rather be alone, avoid all contact with the outside world, and then we stop getting out of bed in the morning altogether. But as a mom, wife, and individual, I know I have to find the strength. The strength to talk to a professional. The strength to possibly take medication to treat an imbalance. And the strength to use the tools and skills that I teach at work.
It can be difficult to ask for help. I have definitely struggled due to stigma and shame. But we all need to take care of mental illness just as we would physical illness. It takes time and effort and some days you may feel too exhausted to cope with the sorrow, but it is treatable!
It’s okay to not be okay.