Dear mother at the pharmacy….
Dear, beautiful, strong yet vulnerable mother.
I saw you today, in the line of the pharmacy, filling in your script.
I saw you hand over your note with sadness in your eyes. I saw you look at the pharmacist with fear as she read out your medication details. I heard her ask you if you’ve ever taken “lexapro before” and I heard you reply with the most defeating sounding no I had ever heard. Rocking your pram with one hand and holding onto your toddler with another.
I saw your knuckles turn white on that pram handle bar. I saw you look down on your baby while it was starting to stir with the same desperation I have known. “Please don’t cry” you whispered.
I know where you’ve been. I have been there too. Some days I am still there. I know you haven’t slept a wink. You had your check up and the doctor recognised something in you, or maybe you told her, that after 6 weeks those feelings aren’t going away. That you’re doing the work of ten with only two hands, and it’s weighing on you heavier than anything you’ve felt before.
I saw you stand and wait with your shoulders slumped forward, while your toddler pulled down the tissues. I saw you stare into space. I wanted to go to you. I wanted to run to you and hug you. I wanted to tell you that you’re not alone, that I’ve been there. That I’ve felt that sadness, that it’s the saddest feeling you’ve ever felt and it feels like you’ve been punched right in the chest. That the no sleep causes you to feel like an anxious zombie. So tired but so on edge.
I wanted to hug you and tell you to let those tears just waiting in the corner of your eyes to come out. That you deserve to cry. That this is bloody hard.
I wanted to tell you that even though you don’t feel it and you won’t believe it, but you are a fucking legend. To call you amazing wouldn’t be enough. That you are a great, fantastic and a super dooper mother. That you are a beautiful human being who deserves love over and over ten fold.
I want you to know that you might feel like an invisible powerless woman. But I see you. I see you. I see a woman who made the choice to help herself. A brave woman who is doing whatever it takes to be strong for her two children. Strong for herself. Who wants to fight those feelings of being overwhelmed, and desperate sadness to be more for her children. A woman who got up, and went out, with two children and got the help that she deserves.
I know you might feel like a failure. I know you might feel like you have let everyone down, including yourself. I know you said to yourself that you’ve got this, and cried hard when you felt like it was all too much. But you do have this. You do. You’re here. You’re trying to win against this ugly illness that does horrible things to us. You are so incredibly brave.
I didn’t feel brave enough to talk to you but I wish I did. I should have told you. I should have told you that I was you, with two kids, embarrassed to hand over my prescription… wondering if I was judged as another failed mother… but I learned something along the way of this ugly illness. I learned that it doesn’t discriminate against anyone. That even the best mothers can get it. That it doesn’t matter how hard you try and how much you sacrifice and how many vitamins you take that it can creep up at you. I learned that in these moments it feels like it’s going to swallow you up, but I can tell you, it won’t win. It won’t beat you. I learned that no matter how strong it is, you can be stronger. You can fight it. And today, dear mother, you’ve taken a step to stomp it down, so I can see you are a fighter. I can see you will win this. I know you will win this. You will kick its ass. I believe in you.
Dear Lady at the pharmacy, I love you. You are loved. Your children love you, your partner loves you. You are brave. You are beautiful, and you are my hero.
The (creepy) mum behind you at the pharmacy who on most days, wins this, and on some days, kicks ass x