Anxiety and depression are quarantined with me. They’ve lived in my home for several years. But now. This pandemic. This virus. This new world of masks and social distancing and isolation, it’s fed them and they’ve grown so big I can no longer contain them. I can’t escape them. Neither can my teenage daughter—they live within her.

Depression wakes with her in the morning. She rolls over with great effort. The weight of depression pulling her back, preventing her from sitting upright and climbing out of bed. Its grip is strong. She fights. And finally, she breaks free. She trudges up the stairs and makes her way to the kitchen. No point in breakfast, depression has stolen her appetite. 

As her mind emerges from the fog, anxiety takes over.

The never-ending what-ifs and unknowns. The will this ever end? and I can’t do this anymore. Her mind races. No matter how much planning and preparation for the day ahead, she cannot focus. Irrational thoughts devour the logical ones and take up the space in her mind needed to focus on the day’s tasks. 

RELATED: Our Kids Have All Lost Something

Then, emotion joins the barrage on her heart. Big emotions. They attack relentlessly. Fear. Worry. Hopelessness. Anger. Frustration. Helplessness. Soon, their attack can no longer be resisted. Her willpower fades. Instead of fighting back, she lashes out. There’s no real reason. No particular target. Those big emotions simply need to escape, find their way out. And they do. 

After the eruption, there is guilt, shame, and embarrassment. The tears flow, cooling the remnant of the molten emotions. Deep breaths, grounding, refocus.

A sliver of control is regained . . . for now.

Anxiety and depression are quarantined with me. I want them to leave. I hate that they’re here. I’d like to kick them out. Isolate them somewhere else. I’ve tried. 

I’ve asked nicely. They have no respect for manners. 

I’ve demanded it. They don’t fold to pressure.

I’ve begged and pleaded. They simply don’t care. 

RELATED: Watching Your Child Struggle With Mental Illness is Pure Agony

And so we’re quarantined together. Stuck with nowhere to go. Our day is an endless cycle. Anxiety and depression rotate in and out with brief moments of respite. In those moments, I catch a smile, I hear a laugh, we share an embrace that anxiety and depression don’t have the power to separate. 

And when those moments end, and anxiety and depression resume their attack, I stand ready.

I sit next to her. I fight the helplessness as I watch her struggle, knowing I can’t take it away. Yet wishing I could do just that. 

Anxiety and depression are quarantined with me. But I have hope. Hope that someday their power will lessen, and in their weakness, the power of love will grow. They may not disappear, but they will fade into the background where they belong. No longer a ruling authority, but a subject under control. 

RELATED: Dear Kids, Someday You’ll Need to Know Exactly What You’re Learning Right Now

Anxiety and depression are quarantined with me, but this won’t last forever. This intensity won’t last forever. Until then, I will continue to speak life and light. I will fight beside her. I will hold her. I will allow her to feel. And I will remind her of love. Because the greatest of these is love.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at https://herviewfromhome.com/contact-us/write-for-her//

Spanking Made Us Parents We Didn’t Want To Be

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of mother pointing finger at child

Fourteen years ago when my husband and I were preparing for our first child, we felt we already had several tools in our toolbox. Both of us worked with children and youth, and we felt prepared for parenting. We decided early on that we would never spank unless we were completely out of options.  As our bright, sweet, bubbly firstborn entered the terrible fours (yes, he was a bit delayed in his toddler rebellion), we were surrounded by a community of people who believed in “controlled spanking” with hugs and grace afterward.  RELATED: These 6 Words Transformed Discipline in Our...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See Your Feelings Too

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging on couch

I’m a mom to two exceptional kids–one with big emotions and one with a big heart. What that looks like in our house is an older child who is prone to outbursts and a younger child who’s always trying to help him through them. As we witness our younger son become more empathetic in response to his brother’s tantrums, we find ourselves constantly worrying that he is feeling overshadowed, relentlessly reassuring him there’s enough room for his feelings too. RELATED: Mothering a Child With Big Emotions is Heavy And what I’ve come to realize is that one of the best...

Keep Reading

Once Upon a Time You Got All of Me

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife on wedding day, color photo

First there was us, and now it’s them. We have four little hands that need us, and it’s so hard to get lost in parenthood and forget that at once upon a time it was me and you. I promise you, it won’t always be like this. It won’t always be this hard. I remember when we would go for leisurely walks and long Sunday brunches. Now it takes us an hour to leave the house for a 15-minute walk. I want so badly to spend hours lying in bed, talking like we used to, but now I’m so tired...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

We’ll Get Through Daddy’s Deployment Together

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother, father, daughter selfie, color photo

“I didn’t think we did that anymore.” I wish I could attribute that to one person, but I’ve heard it from multiple people when I’ve mentioned that my pilot-soldier National Guard husband is deploying overseas. Yes, we still do that. Men and women still suit up every day to carry out various missions, both valuable and confusing, around the country and the world. And for the whole of 2023 that includes my husband. My partner, my co-adventurer. The one who will use our flight and hotel benefits from his day job to visit Hawaii for three days on a pre-deployment...

Keep Reading

Our College Visit Disaster: What You Should Learn from My Mistakes

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Mom and teen daughter selfie, color photo

With a song in my heart, I got in the car to drive my daughter to our first college visit.  We drove two hours to a school nestled in the mountains. It was a state school, not too big, not too small.  She knew plenty of alumni from her high school who attended there, and I was convinced it was going to be the perfect fit. We pulled up to the student center, and I jumped out of the car. I glanced around for her and realized she was still sitting in the car.  “Mom, I’m not getting out. I ...

Keep Reading

I Was Never Good Enough for My Mother, So I’m Done Trying

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking away

I’m on a path in life that is so different from what I ever imagined growing up. It’s a path I’m not even sure I consciously choose. And it’s a path that exhausts me. I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and I was the scapegoat. No matter how I tried, I could never gain my mother’s love. It was love that was tainted with conditions and taken away at any time—and that was often. And thus, I tried harder. Best grades, best behavior, cleanest room. It never worked. I was too fat. My thighs were huge—make sure they were...

Keep Reading

I Am an Immigrant Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and toddler in sunshine

I have many moments of What did I get myself into? during the day, especially when one of my kids is screaming at the top of his lungs and the other is having a make-believe experiment in the kitchen. We’ve heard countless times that raising kids is hard, but raising kids as a first-generation immigrant is harder. Obviously, there is no competition for who has more struggles or whose life is harder because child rearing is hard. Period. But this piece is specifically aimed at shedding some light on the unsung heroes, our so-called, first-gen immigrants raising kids in a...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading