“I might not have the most obvious example of mental health issues, but I made it through a pretty hard decade of my life. Juggling the demands of a fast-moving career with pregnancy, finding out my precious Mum had been diagnosed with an incurable neurodegenerative disease, then battling grief and guilt for the next ten years while she slowly slipped away from us.
It was a constant undercurrent of loss amongst the juggle of babies, nappies, work, and life. Grief for my once vibrant Mum, wasting away in a nursing home. I mourned her never being the Grandma she had always talked about being. I mourned her never being the friend I’m sure she always imagined when she held me in her arms as a baby. I mourned the loss of my Mum, even though she was still alive.
But she wasn’t my Mum, and she couldn’t tell me she loved me. She didn’t notice how beautiful my children were and how big they were growing. She couldn’t really see me anymore – she was lost to us. And I felt guilt. Guilt that sometimes I hoped the disease would take her sooner so that she could be at peace. Guilt that I had already mourned my Mum before she passed away.
It’s been 18 months since she lost her battle to that terrible disease. I still grieve and feel the remnants of guilt… but doesn’t feel like the undercurrent that will pull me under anymore”