For so many of us, depression and anxiety are REAL. However, the struggle is often a silent one, shrouded in shame, guilt, isolation, and secrecy.
But one mom blogger is bravely and honestly speaking out on what depression looks like, and in doing so, is breaking through the stigma and tearing down the walls.
Laura Mazza, a mother of two and the blogger behind “The Mum On The Run” recently shared a raw and candid Facebook post on life with depression.
And it has quickly gone viral, resonating with thousands of her followers.
Accompanying the picture of her undone kitchen, she starts out by saying:
This is what my house looked like for three weeks.
It’s not bad, but what you can’t see is takeaway boxes, laundry in piles, bathroom grime. Scraps of food everywhere.
This was depression.
Depression is the demon we hide from the outside world, the ghost that haunts us and manifests itself into a thousand different faces.
For Laura, depression looked like a lack of energy, motivation, and a pile of dirty dishes. It was “slamming down coffee” and waiting for the caffeine buzz to kick in (it didn’t). It was “sitting on the couch responding to messages of “How are you doing?” And replying really good.” (It wasn’t).
It was a liar. Telling her she was “useless, sad, unworthy, lazy.” And it brought anxiety along to the party.
She goes on to say:
I had no motivation to brush my teeth or shower. No motivation to play with my kids or cook for them. Anxious my husband had enough of my shit and was going to leave or be with someone better, who had their shit together. The more I thought about things I should be doing, things I should be, the more exhausted I felt.
This is not the first time Laura has given a firsthand glimpse inside her battle with mental illness.
She openly shares about the recent time she spent working on healing within a mental health ward and the massive toll that dealing with a lot of childhood trauma has had on her. She tells Filter Free Parents the motivation behind her Facebook post:
I have always had a history of anxiety and depression and was even lucky enough to get postnatal depression (sarcasm lol) so mental health has been a battle for me but a journey that I feel I can conquer while helping others at the same time.
And she wants people to know that she is more than her illness. She is not a slob, or lazy. She loves to socialize and cook for her kids. She loves the smell of clean laundry. But when depression and anxiety hit, everyday tasks become impossible. And the lies set in.
dirty dishes aren’t you. They’re not a measure of your worthiness. The laundry piling up isn’t you. Takeaway isn’t who you are, but most of all, neither is anxiety or depression. You’re not weak, you’re not worthless, you’re not lazy, unloveable or broken.
Laura believes that it is in these depressive moments that what a person needs more than anything is a friend. And that friend? The one that has your back, who doesn’t sit in silent judgement, the one who meets you where you are and accepts you in your weakness, knowing the strength hovering below the surface? That friend is you.
You’re going through something and in those moments you need a friend who doesn’t need an apology for silence, a friend who doesn’t need you to be strong when you’re not. A friend that doesn’t care if your house is a mess because you need to clean your mind before your house.
And you need that friend to be you.
But mostly? She wants others battling mental health issues to know that there is hope.
That there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you, YES YOU, who are suffering in silence, you are NOT alone. She tells Filter Free Parents the message she most wants people to glean from her Facebook post is this:
For all the mothers who we see struggling to the ones we don’t because they’re holding it all together. You can get through hell, you are more capable than you know. The unattainable version of perfect is overrated. You are amazing as you are, messy house or not.
Her message validates just how debilitating depression and anxiety can be. It can eat away at our ability to function normally. But her message also carries with it hope. The hope that healing can be found within the mess.