I just wanted to be left alone.

To not have to make decisions or be responsible or do anything but I also wanted to do everything. When the weekends and school holidays rolled around, the dread of having to be responsible all day every day broke my heart.

I didn’t want to feel like that, I wanted to be able to ditch the self punishing thoughts and enjoy my children but I couldn’t. It was so, so hard. In my head, I could love my children but showing it felt impossible. What I did was lack patience, made them feel inconvenient because I felt like I was sinking further and further into the sinking sand.

I hated it. I hated the loss of control, the loss of self respect. The loss of my life as I knew it as depression held on tight and anxiety paid me visits. I see that post that says ‘I’ve loved her, I’ve hated her’ – I never hated me, I hated what my depression made me do, say and be – but that wasn’t me.

Who I am is a kind, generous, loving, firm but fair (parent). I’ve lived through some harsh life experiences. Instead of learning and growing, I held on to the toxic shame, the hurt, the pain, the anger, the disappointment and frustration until it poisoned me from the inside out.

When I let go of those emotions, the fight was on and I won. Depression or anxiety are not who you are. They are a thing you live with for now, until you know how to tackle it.