• Erin Fitzpatrick

Dear Mom With Mental Illness: I See You

Dear Mom With Mental Illness,

I see you.

I see you when you’re unable to enjoy special occasions.

I see you when you can’t get out of bed.

I see you when your tv has become a babysitter (again).

I see you when you can’t bring yourself to cook.

I see you when you order take out for the third time this week.

I see you when you lock yourself in your room to cry.

I see you when you get frustrated with your children.

I see you when you overreact and yell at your children.

I see you feeling guilty, sad, mad, lost, alone, scared…

I see you and I understand.

I’m a mom with mental illness.

While I may have some good days and some bad days when it comes to my mental illness, I am a mom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

My mental illness doesn’t care that I’m a mom. It doesn’t care what responsibilities I have. It doesn’t care how guilty I feel or how frightened I am. And it rears its ugly head during the moments I should be enjoying. I’m left thinking, “I should be happy right now,” “I shouldn’t feel this way,” and “I can’t do this anymore.”

But the guilt and shame that you may be experiencing is all rooted in your love for your children. If you didn’t love your child, and if you weren’t a good mom, you wouldn’t feel the way you do. There would be no sadness or regret in missed moments.

We are moms who struggle to survive.

But even when we don’t believe it, we are needed. We belong exactly where we are and we are worthy of the beauty that our children bring into our lives, and even when we are struggling to be grateful for the beauty, sometimes that gratitude is exactly what we need to be clinging to to help us get through.

I see you, and you are so loved and needed. Don’t give up.

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