Some days, a natural high takes place and my mother returns in full force to a happy, bouncy, almost childlike state. My music is on and she'll be doing really embarrassing dances round the landing, most likely in just her top and pants. And I'll either be complaining, or joining in. I just wish I'd always joined in now.
Another thing about my mum is sometimes she has crazy food creation moments and she'll make some soup that my brother and I have christened 'mush', because it looks like a hush puppie but green or brown. And sometimes she actually succeeds. Not with the mush, that never goes down well, but she's made some good cakes and she doesn't do too badly on the stir frys and curries.
She tries so hard. She went swimming, she started zumba recently, she walks her friends' dogs, and she is always working on improving the house. She nevers stops doing something. She never just lays there. She reads, she irons, she does something. Only occassionally does she go to sleep in the middle of the day, and sometimes that's not a bad thing. Sometimes it makes her better.
I can hear her clattering away in the kitchen now, getting out cooking utensils, and I know that she's making dinner. And I'm writing, although she thinks I'm doing an essay. I am writing about her, even though she doesn't know. She doesn't know because if she knew, she'd never want me to share her story, our story. She'd say it is too depressing. But that's why she needs to be seen. Through words she needs to be seen, because she already feels so invisible in life. And that's part of the problem.
Sharing what it's like to live with someone suffering from depression is not my way of making a sob story for acknowledgement. It's so people understand the struggle of people with mental illness, it's so people can share how they feel when they are close to a person with a mental disorder. It's so we have a voice, and it's because no one should suffer in silence, self imposed or otherwise.
And I'm so proud of her for never giving up. No matter how low she gets, no matter how long she stays down, she always rises up at some point. And even if she goes crashing down soon after, she's up again after that too. Some people might look at it as she always has a downward spiral, but I say she always gets back up in the end.