There was this mom who had four kids not in diapers, but not quite teenagers yet.
One early summer day, her left leg collapsed.
After one bajillion tests for all the things related to left legs collapsing, the doctors were flummoxed.
In the meantime, this mom of four kids, during all the thousands of tests, freaked out on the inside.
She was sure she was going to die.
She was sure she was going to leave her four kids without a mom.
Her brain took her to places that she’d never even knew existed before.
Scary, fear-mongering, awful awful places.
She could barely get out of bed.
Her four kids ate the “snack that smiles back” for breakfast.
They did NOT do their summer transition homework.
She felt like she was watching her life from a blurry distance.
Her husband didn’t know what to do to help her.
One late summer day, she mustered up some gumption and went back to the doctor.
“What is wrong with me?” she begged while sitting on the crinkly, sweaty paper.
The doctor told her words she had never wanted to hear and thought she would never hear. “I think this is a simple nervous breakdown and some serious anxiety.”
She did not like that answer. It was the worst. She was strong. She was capable. She was smart. She had her “ducks” and her kids in a row.
But she felt weak. And unable to cope. And helpless. And her ducks and her kids were not even in the same area anymore, much less in a row.
One day in the early fall, this mom of four kids did the craziest, bravest, most out-of-the-box thing she had never ever done before.
She got help.
Did you hear me???
She got help.
This help-everyone-else, never-need-help mom GOT HELP!!
She nervously picked up her phone and dialed a strange number given to her by a friend. She said words she never thought she would say.
“Hello. I have four kids. I am not okay. I need help.”
The kind and gentle voice on the other side of the phone uttered,
“That’s what I’m here for. When do you want to come in and talk?”
One day lots and lots of weeks (maybe even months) later, after lots and lots of talking and learning and her sweet husband praying his guts out (because she was having a hard time there), and also getting some meds (imagine that), this mom of four kids began to heal from things she didn’t even know were broken and she began to actually live inside her beautiful and messy mom life again.
For lots of more years, she kept talking and getting help and, one day sitting in a grocery store parking lot, she realized it was not the worst thing that had ever happened to her.
In fact, it was the best.
P.S. She still gets help when she needs it.