I rubbed his back as my two-year-old emptied his stomach into the bucket, trying to figure out what might have prompted this 2 am interaction between us. In my foggy middle of the night brain, I tried to sift through which meals we ate together, what he might have eaten that none of us did, or if it could be a stomach bug.

Sweet kid.

With every heave, every retch, I encouraged him.

“It’s going to be okay! I’m right here! Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry you feel so yucky. It’s going to be okay.”

Enough time and regurgitated food had passed that I was feeling quite alert. And with the awareness, came the sense of doom, the despair. Well, I told myself. While you’re sitting here, you might as well figure out what you’re going to do tomorrow to make this go away. This hopelessness is suffocating you. How long are you going to allow it to do this to you? How long is this going to have to affect your marriage? Your children? Tomorrow you have to beat it.

I know, I know, I agreed with myself. I cringed at the thought of a new day with the possibility of more suicidal thoughts. They made it so much harder to cope, to not melt down, to be rational. To feel safe by myself.

I’m an expert at grasping at shards of light, finding reasons to hope. During the past several months, I'd found them in scripture, listening in church, conversations with people I loved, even in movies and songs on the radio. Most of the time they sustained me for an hour, a few days at the very most before I would sink into despair again. But there was one about to be delivered that would cause a dramatic shift in the way I had been doing things for a very long time.

Look at yourself. Right now. Sitting here with your son. He's sick. Throwing up. He needs you. What would you expect a reasonable person to do in this situation?

Sit up with him.

What are you doing right now?

Sitting up with him.

That’s right. There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing you are not doing well enough or hard enough. You are living with untreated depression. THAT is why you feel so awful and life has been so excruciatingly difficult. Get to the doctor.

Usually after the initial mess is cleaned up, I spend most nights like this pleading that there will be no more throw up sessions, that my sick child and I will be able to rest uninterrupted the rest of the night. 

This night was different however.

I laid there in the dark, smiling. I hoped my two year old would be able to sleep now, for his sake, but if I didn't sleep the rest of the night, I wouldn't mind.

I had used a handy ap to send a 3 am message to my doctor that I knew she would be reading in a few hours. While I had only been under her care a short time, the conversations we'd had during our two visits led me to believe I could trust her to provide the care I needed to finally treat this depression I had "managed" for so long. 

The natural spread of a smile across my face was something that had not happened in a long time.

Help and hope were on the way.

I think it's going to be okay.

Next Chapter: Treatment  


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