Last November, I had a message in my Facebook inbox from a name I didn’t recognize.
Christina Olcott Mundell had lost her job the previous week, too, and she wanted to let me know I wasn’t alone. She wanted to let me know there was another person out there trying to hold it together, too. She wanted to let me know she’d loved the work I did.
I appreciated her note and told her so.
A couple months later, she messaged me again. This time, she wanted to tell me I’d inspired her. She’d started her own blog.
I checked it out.
It’s really good.
Honest and real and just the way I like it. Christina, who lives in Cozad with her husband and kids, writes about her life at Good at Beginnings.
Today, she wrote a guest post for Single Mom with Love. I hope there will be more where this came from, in the months ahead.
Christina Mundell, Good at Beginnings
Counseling. A pill regime that would rival that of any senior citizen. Blogging for therapy. Reading assignments for counseling, along with homework. Taking time for me. Riding my bike. Going for walks. Reaching out to others when I need help.
It’s got to come together eventually.
I struggle daily to juggle all my roles. I feel like I always have too many balls in the air, and I realize part of that is that I overextend myself. I try to take on the world, by myself, and I think things are my responsibility alone. I’m working on that.
But I hate asking for help.
The days I feel like I’ve been an awesome mom, I’ll later realize I was a below-par wife. Or a less-than-enough friend. Then on the days I feel like I’m rockin’ the friend thing, I realize I’ve dropped the ball in the mommyhood department.
It is exhausting to feel like I’m doing any of these roles justice.
Even when I have a great day and feel like I’ve done the very best I can, doubt creeps in and the positivity of that entire day is gone. In a flash. Snap. It’s gone. I’m back to doubting my abilities and myself, being anxious about the next day before it’s even here and wondering how I’m going to do it all again tomorrow.
My days begin with that anxious feeling. I pop a pill when I wake up and think, “Why can’t I just be happy and not depend on a pill to make it through the day?” Fast forward to that evening, and I’m popping two more pills thinking, “Seriously? Pills to sleep at night? How hard is it to just sleep? I’m not trying hard enough!”
Some days, the anxiety and depression are overwhelming. And when those days run into each other, I struggle even more. I don’t ask for help. I distance myself from my friends and family. I feel the quicksand pouring over me and don’t know how to stop it.
I found myself in that quicksand this winter. I was suffocating. I couldn’t catch my breath, and I couldn’t even whisper for help, let alone scream for it.
I put my beautiful boys to bed and decided I’d check out. I took my time going through the medicine cabinet, wondering what would be the quickest and most likely to work. I poured myself a glass of water and swallowed them. Three handfuls of pills. I laid down on the couch, pulled the covers over my head and waited.
I fell asleep crying.
I woke up the next morning.
I heard the kids getting ready for school, and for a minute, I laid there wondering what was going on. I moved the covers. I was still here. I pulled the covers back over my head and cried. I had never been more disappointed to wake up in my life.
I spent the next couple days in a haze. I felt even worse about myself. Who screws up their suicide attempt? Who could I even talk to about it?
No one is going to understand. No one gets what it’s like to feel this way.
Why can’t I just be enough?
It’s a daily battle to be enough. Some days my voice is strong and I convince myself I am. Other days, it’s all I can do to make it through the day.
But now, on those days, I promise myself I will try again tomorrow.
I know I have to learn to be louder than that voice in my head. That voice that some days screams at me.
I’m trying to learn to scream back: I am enough.
Christina Olcott Mundell blogs at http://goodatbeginnings.blogspot.com.