It’s been a long winter.
I live in the mountains. There are basically two seasons of the year. Nine months of frigid life-sucking cold and three months of sweltering heat. There is no in between.
My bout with severe winter depression started in October of last year. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. I would languish in bed bemoaning my fugue state, wondering why the hell life was so stinking hard. Problem was, it wasn’t hard. My hubs cleaned house, did the dishes and the laundry week in and week out for months. He pampered me and loved me and kept me going. And for some reason I couldn’t get my butt out of bed for more than taking kids to school and bringing them home again.
I really have zero excuse for this behavior. Our bills were paid, I have a nice car, my cell phone is the latest whatever version of phone-ness, my kids aren’t total idiots, and my husband took good care of me.
By golly, you must be thinking, you lazy little twit.
But I got it in my head that my life must be PERFECT. If it wasn’t perfect then somehow I wasn’t a good wife, a good mother, or even a decent Christian. I know it sounds stupid. I know I shouldn’t think that way. I KNOW!!! Okay? I know. But women where I live are OBSESSED with appearing perfect. They can’t, heaven forbid, talk about the strain of dealing with kids, problems in the bedroom, or anything else that might be construed as less than perfect because that would present the image that they haven’t done enough. That somehow, they have failed.
Look at me. Yes, you… the person reading this crap. Repeat after me:
I AM NOT A FAILURE.
You aren’t. None of us are and here is why:
I feed my kids eggs on Sunday because I’m too tired after church to cook a big Sunday meal. I found DIRTY UNDERWEAR on the frigging kitchen table (YES, where we EAT!!!). I swore at a dump truck that cut me off and dinged my windshield… with all my kids in the car and a few of their friends too. I totally lied to the police officer who pulled me over last week. I fully admit that I freak out every time I have to clean off the internet history (I live in fear of ever seeing the word “sex” in the search browser). I speed. I cheat on my diet. I take naps after working out. I have totally been caught picking my nose at a red light. And my personal favorite: I frigging laughed my butt off when I saw in the news that some lady won the “Mother of the Year” award for 2016 and was being honored at a banquet on Capitol Hill. Laughed until I peed myself, people.
The list goes on and on and on. Why? Because I am not perfect. I love my kids, my husband and the God-saving gospel with all my heart and soul. It is because of them that I finally pulled out of my depressed funk I’d been muddling through for six stupid months. That also shows how imperfect I am. It took me five YEARS of putting up a perfect carbon copy of myself out there and six months of crying, pouting, and deep loathing of myself to realize that being less than perfect is perfectly fine.
Why have I not failed? Because in February I seriously considered taking my life. But I didn’t. I am less than perfect, but damn it, I HAVE NOT FAILED.
And neither have you.