Frozen In Time

*From One Honest Parent to Another*

The other night my husband and I watched the series finale of one of my all-time favorite TV shows which completed its ninth and final season on Tuesday night.  He will probably kill me for writing this but by the end of the one hour episode we were both sobbing like babies! (This is as real as it gets).  We both felt the same raw emotions while watching the finale, we both felt the same likeness and parallels to our own family unit.

“The Middle” was a half hour weekly comedy which centered around a middle class family facing the day to day struggles of home life, work and raising three children.  Although it took place in “middle” America it could have just as easily taken place in my own backyard.  The three children were close in age to my own kids and faithful viewers like myself have watched them grow up before our eyes, tackling life’s ups and downs but always doing so with a quick-witted sense of humour.

If there is one word to describe the final episode of “The Middle” it would be ‘bittersweet’.  It perfectly wrapped up all of its loose ends of a family that so many of us can relate to, in both a funny and extremely touching way.  Week after week for nine seasons I looked forward to watching the unorthodox and heartwarming antics of the Heck family, but this week really struck a different chord with me.

Maybe it’s simply because it was the final episode (I’m sure they are deserving of a reboot in ten years just like so many other shows on TV this year), or maybe it was what the episode truly signified which was the end of an era.  It reminded me just how quickly time passes by when you become a parent.  We all know that we can never get back those precious moments or milestones we wish could stay frozen in time forever, but as the Patriarch of the ”Heck” family so candidly declares in this final episode to his TV wife who’s grieving the loss of time, “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

As much as I can hear the sincerity behind his sensible words, my emotional state of mind is just too damn fragile right now to believe them.  Having depression constantly keeps me focused on my past.  I am forever yearning for those precious moments I wish could be kept frozen in time, you know the ones, like when you held out your hand and immediately felt the grasp of your toddler’s tiny, warm sticky fingers returning the gesture, or even when you first took off their training wheels on their bicycle and they rode off into the sunset, but always looked back longing for your approval.  My mental wellness depends on these images as I continue to struggle daily to find answers.

During the final episode of “The Middle” I watched as the Matriarch of the family tried hopelessly to keep her emotions intact while coming to grips with the next chapter of their lives, but to no avail she eventually breaks down.  This of course is where I went from a natural teary-eyed state of mind to complete and inconsolable sobbing.  When suffering with chronic anxiety as I do, I’m persistently being jolted into the opposing direction of my depression, which is relentlessly taking me deep into that next chapter, long before I am ready to finish the current one, therefore leaving me in a constant state of distress.

They say that the older we get the faster life passes us by, making us question the mystery as to where did the time go?  I myself cannot really tell you the answer to this question however, over the last couple of years I have wondered it many, many times as I try to face just how much our family dynamics have changed and continue to do so.  We are all beginning to move toward unfamiliar territory and in doing so we are learning how to support one another through trial and error while managing our new roles and identities together.

Through therapy I am beginning to embrace two very important tasks in order to help me cope with our new roles and identities by creating healthy boundaries and communicating my needs with loved ones.  Many of these next chapters in life can often lead a once healthy, happy individual into a very depressive or anxious state of mind which is why it is imperative for me right now to use these strategies as we turn the page once again, and for anyone else reading this that may be feeling apprehensive or vulnerable as they too turn to the next page just know that you are not alone.

Being open and honest about what you need from your loved ones is most definitely key as I have learned very recently.  As I try to look ahead to the next chapters I will continue to keep those precious memories in the forefront of my mind knowing that I have created and raised three capable, confident and resourceful human beings enabling them to fly into the world and start writing their own new and exciting chapters.  I will also do so with the belief that no matter what, they will always remember where they came from because “that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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