top of page
  • Writer's pictureChris

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought maybe it’s time I share with the world a bit about my mental health struggles, as I’ve never really done that before. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for probably 10 years. Most of it started when my Mom got sick. She had both of her kidneys fail along with a long list of other conditions that made her last 5 years or so pretty rough for her, being bedridden and on home care.

COVID hit and exacerbated my depression as I couldn’t be there for her the way I wanted and needed to be. My Dad, my wife Nikki and I, and her care team took care of her making her as comfortable at possible in her final years.  I spiraled for those last few years until she passed in 2021, and then my depression and anxiety got much worse. I’m an only child and losing your Mom in a drawn out painful way is something I can’t describe.

I learned after the fact that I had anticipatory grief for years before she passed, which was now being compounded by the actual loss, combined with a new anxiety level I’d never experienced before. Social media really helped me dive in and see that there were so many other people experiencing what I was. I can’t say enough about how hearing other people’s mental health and grief journeys helped me realize I wasn’t alone.

Fast forward to the last 6 months where my elderly Dad has been hospitalized twice, once for pneumonia that he almost didn’t recover from, and most recently for a broken hip. Taking care of my Mom for so many years as her caregiver took a real toll on his physical health. He’s in rehab now and doing well, but these situations always send me into the deepest pits of despair and my mind anxiously waits for the next horrible thing to happen.

I’ve spent so much time pleading with God to make things easier or give me peace, but although I was raised in a Christian home, church, and school, I just can’t grasp why God allows such tragedies to occur every day. Look around the world…we’re practically on the threshold of hell. We all suffer. We all cry out for love. But relief never seems to come. I guess if he’s real, he’s more of a hands-off guy. It’s like that ironically deep Buscemi quote from Spy Kids - “Do you think God stays in Heaven because he, too, lives in fear of what he’s created here on earth.” I haven’t found that peace. I haven’t found a magical solution to my depression or anxiety. But I have found an online community of people who get up every day and face their mental health challenges as bravely as possible.

As for how I’m doing now…some days are better than others. Some days have caused me to want to give up permanently. Hopelessness can be a real silent killer. But I’m so incredibly thankful for a wife of 17 years who cares for me in ways I never expected. It’s all obviously very tough on her too, but she’s so kind and helpful. She’s my everything on both my good and bad days.

I sincerely hope that everyone who struggles with mental health will learn that there are so many people who understand what you are going through, who are ready to listen, and that life, as impossibly hard as it gets sometimes, is worth living. Sometimes all you can do is hold on for one more day. You’re seen. You’re loved. You’re braver than you know.


bottom of page