That thing called fear is something we all experience. We all have different fears.
Some are afraid of being alone. Some are afraid of death. Some are afraid of change.
If you ask anyone what their number one fear is they will have an answer for you.
Fear is deep within all of us. It’s what makes your heart beat faster, your stomach do flip flops, your lips quiver and your hands shake.
I’m not afraid of being alone. I am not afraid of death. I am not afraid of change.
But I do have one deep fear. It tightens in my chest and makes me lose my breath. It turns my stomach upside down. Even as I write this my heart is beating faster and faster, and my hands are tingling.
My greatest fear.
My greatest fear is passing on my depression.
It’s why I am not sure if I want to have children. I don’t think I could forgive myself if I passed my depression on to my child. I couldn’t bear to see my child suffer the same horror that I have experienced.
And this fear has also made me question if I ever want to get married. It’s why I have been single for 5 years. Do I have the right to bring someone else into my suffering?
I have made peace with my depression over the last few years. I know I can’t control it, and I know I am going to have to deal with it for my entire life. I’m ok with that.
But I am not ok with bringing someone else into that knowing the effects it can have on a loved one. I have seen what my depression does to those around me. I see how much they worry, and how scared they get. I see the tension it can cause, and the feelings of helplessness.
I have a beautiful family who will never abandon me, who stick with me through all of the good and all of the bad. And I cherish them for it, and I am so grateful. But I see the pain it causes them.
So do I have the right to bring someone into that suffering by getting married?
It’s a question I have battled for years.
And I often change my mind on it.
Today I believe I do have the right to have a relationship and possibly get married one day. I am open about my struggles and it will be up to whoever I am with to decide if they can handle my depression or not. And if someone decides to walk away because it is too much, then that’s ok. It will hurt. It will break my heart. But I understand.
But having children?
My child won’t have a choice of whether or not to deal with it. I’ll either pass it on or I won’t. And even if my child doesn’t suffer from depression, he will still have to grow up with a mom who has depression. He will have a mom who sometimes can’t get out of bed. Is that fair?
I ask these questions over and over again.
We all have fears. And we all have a choice.
To overcome our fears, or let them control our lives.
I will always be afraid of passing on my depression. But I also have faith. God has a plan. He has never abandoned me and I know He never will. He has brought me through my struggles and made me stronger. He has carried me when I can’t walk. He has been my strength, my support and my shelter.
God is taking care of me. And He is taking care of my future.
I choose not to give my fear control of my life.
I choose to trust God.