You don’t know how it feels

This was going around Facebook last week. Perhaps in reference to Robin Williams’ suicide.


The above is true for some people, sure. But not those who have depression or mental illnesses. It’s not just a fucking switch you turn on and off.

I got PTSD after a bad car wreck when I was pregnant with my oldest. Her birth (cesarean) was very traumatic to me which just added more on top of what was already unresolved. Then my next birth (highly medicalized VBAC) was also traumatic. More issues with PTSD. Yay!

When Elias died, I could feel the PTSD kicking my ass. I wish I could just make it go away. Unfortunately, I don’t get that option. I just get to live with it. And, let’s be frank, if you’ve never lost a child, you don’t know exactly what it’s like. Losing a spouse or a parent or a sibling may give you some idea, but not wholly so. Of course, that’s the first thing that people want to do. They want to tell you that they know how you feel because their _______ died. I don’t think for a minute that I know just how you feel when your ____ died, so do me a favor and don’t do that to me. You/I may have an idea how I/you feel, but unless you have lost a child or I have lost a ______, odds are good you/I don’t. And you say you’ve moved on? Just like flipping a switch. Well, congratulations to you. Not everyone is that cold and detached works that way.

Here’s some brutal honesty for you: The more stressed I feel, the more the depression and PTSD come out to play. The more it comes out, the more depressed I get. But sometimes, I just get depressed. Lately, it’s been bad. Especially with the start of school. Elias should have been starting first grade two weeks ago.

Were it not for my surviving kids, I’m not so sure I’d be here today.