Dear Moms With Depression: Just Sit Down

I’d never be able to control my circumstances, but I could control how I felt about them.

I picked up my phone, took a selfie, and did the only thing I could think of that would steady the sea: I called my doctor.

Seven years ago my therapist recommended I take medication, and seven years ago I fought her to the bone about it because I was convinced I could fix myself. And I did (well enough) for a while. But just as that person with hypertension can’t bring down their blood pressure with only deep breaths, my coping strategies always fell short. Shopping, numbing, wouldn’t cut it anymore. This wasn’t circumstantial, it was a chemical imbalance. It would be foolish to deny a diabetic their insulin, so why deplete myself from help with my depression?

My stigma against mental health took an unbelievably long time to break. Even being a nurse wasn’t enough to shake me into getting help sooner. I guess brain’s are battlegrounds and sometimes they tell you silly things like you can do everything yourself.

But when you reach the point of exhaustion, you may also reach the point of surrender, and that’s where I arrived at in that dressing room. So now I pop a tiny blue pill into my mouth every night and the result has been this:

I am not cured, or giddy and carefree, but my load is lessened. I just feel lighter. I was worried medication would make me feel unlike myself—that I’d be emotionless or zombie-like—but it didn’t alter my personality at all, it just leveled me. I don’t tense up anymore when my husband touches me. I don’t want to eat every meal in bed. Sometimes I still think of worst case scenarios, but I don’t follow them down the path of obsession. It’s just…easier. I can let things go—mostly the thoughts that don’t serve me.


If you have a chemical imbalance, consider your mind as important to you as your physical health. Depression and anxiety are sometimes situational, but for many, like me, they are a way of life. They are an illness, not an option. I don’t have a background in pharmacology or psychology—and I’m certainly not a pill pusher—but I know that right now I feel a little more capable.

So if you’re suffering, start by sitting. Be still. Take your time. Feel it all, and give yourself some much deserved grace.

Do whatever you need to do to make it through difficulties. For me, it was copping a squat in a dressing room stall until I was ready to put my big girl pants back on.

Just sit.

Your rise will come when you’re ready.

Stephanie Hanrahan
Stephanie Hanrahan
Stephanie Hanrahan is wife to a sick husband, mother to special needs kiddos, and a woman who often unravels then finds her footing again. Learn how she traded her pretending for a panty liner on her blog, Tinkles Her Pants (, where she leaks nothing but the truth.

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