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.
Chris, you are not alone and never will be alone with those feelings. I believe that in everyones life there are times that are like those you speak of. I know that I have had those days and eventually was able to reach out for the help I needed and began to understand what was going on within myself. I have in the end learned how to be a happier person. Do I still have bad days, yes, do I still have those horrible, disheartening, what am I doing feelings from time to time, yes, do I still have anger, resentment, hatred toward others and at times myself yes, but I have learned that I am worth something and God has put me here for a reason of which I am still in search of but I realize that if he wanted me here there is someone or thing out there that needs me and wants me. Knowledge of oneself and how to deal with your own feelings is probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to do! You are a strong, passionate, loving, caring, intellegent individual and I wish for you to never doubt anything you do or who you are!!!
Wow! What an open and honest glimpse into your soul, Christina. Best of luck to you and Veronica in this journey. You ARE enough. And it will all work out in the end, Brave Girls.
Love that you are opening up and telling your story. I loved your blog, just broke my heart that it took you to that place for you to do this. Am always here for you and have been proud of you from the day you were born. You never have to feel alone I am always here to listen and help in what ever way that i can.
Love you with all my heart.
Oh Christina. I want to reach through this computer and just hug you until you tell me to knock it off. Nobody is perfect for everyone else 100% of the time. Just know that you are a walking work of art, you are irreplaceable, and you are loved more than you can even imagine. We are our own worst critics. You are always enough, whether you feel like you are or not.
I know that clinical depression isn’t always as simple as an attitude adjustment. Please know that you have so many friends, and people that you’ve yet to meet out here in the world that share similar experiences. Go hug those boys, and then give yourself a giant hug from me. <3
Depression is real, as I too have suffered from this for years along with insomnia. I want to tell you it will get better because it does. Not everyday will be good, but you will have more good days than bad. If your medication is not helping talk to your doctor, as they can lose their effectiveness over time. I never tell anyone when I am depressed either because they just poo poo me. I usually just go to bed early and wait for a new day…there is always another day. Do something nice for yourself and know that this situation has a purpose for you. You most definately are enough…