The website I work for shared an article this week that made me come to a very disturbing revelation. You can find the article here.
It touches on a side effect of depression rarely talked about, the impossible task. It can be something as simple as brushing your teeth or something as big as planning a holiday dinner. It isn’t procrastination or laziness, it’s an utter sense of impossibility.
I related to it on so many levels as I have a laundry list of small impossible tasks, what I didn’t know is that my biggest impossible task wasn’t a common state of mind for everyone. That is leaving the house with my kids.
I honestly thought every mom hated doing this. I thought it was like changing diapers and middle of the night bedwetting. I honestly thought my friends who took their kids to birthday parties, park days, shopping, where the exception to the rule and I called them crazy. I’d laugh at my friend who took her kids to the pool every day of summer, the friend who goes to every birthday party, the friend who would up and take her kids for snowballs and a zoo day. They were crazy!
Today I saw yet another post about a birthday party where no-one showed up. Yes, I felt hurt for the kid, but I didn’t feel guilty. I did not blame other parents for not showing up with their kids. In my mind throwing a party and expecting people to come was the rude thing to do. I thought this because I assumed leaving the house was as impossible to everyone else as it is to me. I do not throw my kids parties for this very reason.
I still cannot fathom that people enjoy any aspect of park days and play dates. To me, it is just impossible. I will take my kids to my closest friend’s kid’s birthday parties because I feel that is my friendly duty, but it takes days sometimes weeks of hyping myself up and talking myself into it. I still end up with my stomach in knots the day of.
I find leaving the house at all hard, even when I know the destination is something or somewhere I will love, but taking the kids too is a whole other level of hell in my mind. I’m really just in shock to know this is not the norm. I can’t remember a time where this wasn’t the norm for me.
So, if I have backed out of plans with you, flaked on an event, not shown up to a baby shower or party, please know I meant no ill will. It doesn’t mean you mean any less to me. I just thought everyone understood this and knew how hard it was to go places with kids. I had no idea it was so easy for you, but for me, it is not.
I am not exaggerating when I say it’s too much. I am not making excuses. I am not wanting to avoid you. I just rather have all my teeth pulled without medication somedays than do any of those things. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this not being the normal way of thinking, even though it makes so much sense given just how many of my friends I called crazy for doing these things. In hindsight, I can’t think of any who don’t do things with their kids on a regular basis. Wow, just wow.
More power to y’all, but it’s my most impossible task.