Emotional post alert.
I’m a bit of a mess, to be honest. My oldest child started middle school today…and yes, while all you veteran Mamas who have done this before roll your eyes and tell me “you’ve been here, done it, got the sticker”…good for you.
I haven’t. This is my first rodeo.
I’m not overly emotional because my child is growing up. I’m not overly emotional because he’s going to a new school. I’m not even overly emotional because he is starting a whole new chapter of his life today.
No. I’m overly emotional today because today…was no big deal.
My son was diagnosed with multiple types of anxiety and depression a few months ago. I saw him wage wars on himself that broke my heart into pieces. But, I picked them up, glued them back together, supported my son and battled some more. Rinse and repeat. For months. Years, if I’m being truly honest
For the past few months, I’ve wondered:
Is he getting better?
Does he seem happier?
Did he just beat anxiety there?
I wonder if this is worth it?
Is counselling too much for him?
Should I increases/decrease his meds?
What else should I be doing?
How else can I support him?
IS HE GETTING BETTER?
You see, when your child has a mental illness, you never really know when the next episode will hit. You never know if he will wake in the morning and have a “Sad Day”, or if one sentence you say will start the wheels of his anxiety machine and create a panic attack.
And, as a newly diagnosed illness, to be honest, my faith in treatments gets a little clouded by my own stress resulting from being a Support Warrior. His battles are my battles…but I’ve felt like my armour may be a little cracked right now and I was wondering if I could handle the battles and wars that come with September.
For weeks I’ve been watching for nerves, anxiety, worry. We had a sad day a few weeks ago and I instantly thought “Oh shit…here we go”.
But I was wrong.
You see, my son…he is a fucking warrior. He has worked SO HARD over the summer to learn strategies to fight on his own, to battle his illness and stand tall. He had many counselling sessions that left him pale and drained, with his heart seemingly as broken as mine on his sleeve for all to see.
He’s done the HARD WORK that most adults don’t or won’t do…he’s worked harder than anyone I’ve ever seen work at learning to live with mental illness.
Let’s all please remember that he is 10 years old.
So yeah, I’ve been watching. Only to be told he’s excited to go to school. Over and over. He’s excited. Not nervous. “Relax, Mom. I can’t wait”.
So, today he woke, snuggled his dog…and went to school. No nerves. No anxiety. Or if there were some, he battled on his own and walked away from me without looking back.
He was the calmest I’ve ever seen him. He was the most confident I’ve ever seen him.
Perhaps this will change throughout the year and I KNOW we will continue to battle…but oh wow…the relief and emotions that are running through this Mama’s body right now are incredible.
I’m so proud of my son on his first day of middle school. He’s battled and won. He’s fought and today…I can say he is triumphant in who he is and I am incredibly proud and in awe of how strong and capable he has become.
So yeah… the first day of school…was emotional for this Mama.
For all you emotional Mamas out there…I’m with you. Watching our children grow is an honour, for sure…but every step sure does make your heart crack a little…then it repairs and builds and gets stronger. It’s incredible. Whether your child has a mental illness or not, watching them enter a new phase of life is terrifying, yes, but it’s also pride-inspiring and joyful.
Stand tall, Mamas. You’re doing a great job. Keep going. xo