I am a 35-year-old woman. Mother of three. Wife to one. And most of my life, I have felt like none of the above. In fact, most of my life, I’ve felt like nothing.
I took my first round of SAT testing when I was twelve. I enrolled in my first college class at the tender age of sixteen. I graduated with an Animal and Veterinary Science degree—and a business minor.
I have a waiting list for both editing and tax clients—and yet, for months of the year, I feel like an utter failure.
When the leaves fall and the sun turns in early, my heart shrivels a little inside. By Thanksgiving, I’m gripping my pillow at night, staring at the walls and wishing for sleep. When Christmas comes, I see only disappointment in the mirror. I fight for my children to feel happy—and more than likely, overcompensate for my own sorrow.
But the longest night, the scariest hour is the night of my birthday in January. More years than I care to admit, I’ve been on the edge of sanity, my toes creeping over the ledge. The temptation to jump pulling at my legs.
A proper diagnosis, therapy and medication has lifted the darkness a bit, exposing only a dense fog instead of the unending night. But if I glance over my shoulder, I still see the cloud.
Instead of hiding my mood disorder, I’ve begun confiding in friends (who’ve become family). One of which is a doctor living just a few blocks away. On my birthday, she offered a present with a smile—a flower that dances in the sun.
It was a small gesture, but that little flower keeps me in the light. It’s funny what we’ll do to see a dance, even if we can’t hear the music.