Pretending to be normal was a way of life now. A loving wife and mother. I had a great job. I planned fantastic birthday parties for my children. Christmas get together’s were extravagant. I smiled and laughed as everyone expected.

As a mother, I truly went out of my way to make these days extraordinary. My friends and family were pleased. I received compliment after compliment. People asked, “will you make my daughter’s cake next month?” They would say, “you must really enjoy doing this!” “You are amazing!” I should have been happy right?! I smiled and thanked them for the kind words but I was dying inside.

My soul, bedraggled, crying and begging to end the pain. Begging to be heard. Stop hiding it would whisper to me. I refused to listen. Secretly I mourned all that I never had as a child. All the pain I endured that no one saw. I did everything to ensure my children would never endure this pain. I cried myself to sleep at night. Soft, silent tears so I wouldn’t wake anyone. I had no place in this world. A broken soul.

October 20, 2015, is a day forever engraved in my memory.

I felt out of sorts that morning. Sadder than usual. I didn’t realize just how much until my drive home from work. Maybe my family was better off without me after all. As I rounded the bend in the road I seen a tree in the distance. That’s when I realized all I had to do was speed up and hit that tree. It would all be gone. My pain, self-pity, self-loathing, all of it…gone.

I sped up as I got closer. The urge almost overtaking my soul. Somehow I had a moment of strength. I passed that tree and pulled over to the side of the road. I was shaking and crying uncontrollably for what felt like hours. I beat on the steering wheel. Screamed at the top of my lungs begging to understand what I’d done so wrong to deserve this pain. In return was simply silence. I cried for a long time.

Finally, I heard “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts on the radio. I knew it was time to go. I drove home so carefully. As careful as I’d ever driven in my life. I walked into my house that day and hugged my family tighter than ever before.

I held my children for a long time. I held my husband that night like he was slipping away from me. I knew it was the first day of the rest of my life. I chose to go on. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I knew it would be worth it. I was worth it. My fight is not over.

“Depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die”.

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