One year ago today, I was in the psychiatric hospital. Today also happens to be my youngest son’s birthday, and I wasn’t there. I remember laying in my simple hospital bed and staring at the wall. What kind of mother was I? I wasn’t there to sing as he blew out 4 candles and really had no idea if he even had a cake.
I wasn’t there.
I could not understand how I could simultaneously feel the joy of motherhood with the despair of depression. But looking back now, my perspective has shifted.
It was the joy of motherhood that kept me fighting - kept me alive - through the despair of depression. I missed his birthday that year by being in a hospital bed, but the alternative was a casket.
Looking back now, the hospital stay felt like a failure, when in reality it was a victory. I was alive. I was cooperating. I was learning, I was overcoming, and eventually, I would start thriving.
I wasn’t there for my kids, but God knew that missing one birthday would ensure being present for a lifetime of birthdays. When I sat in the hospital bed, my mind could only see my present surroundings, but God could see His greater plan. When we can’t understand why He lets us seemingly fail, let’s trust that He is good and He does good. There is purpose in your pain. There is a greater plan that we will understand someday. Until then, don’t lose hope.
Yes, I wasn’t here a year ago, but today I am and for that I am forever grateful.