Our Next Generation

My kids have had to deal with some pretty painful and often frightening emotions over the past seven plus years because of my illness. They’ve watched with their own eyes as their mom went from being a happy, carefree, independent, hands-on social butterfly to a sad, depressed, anxious, emotionally charged, burdensome and withdrawn one; overnight.

They have been on this journey with me since the beginning whether they chose to or not. They’ve seen me at my worst which has become more and more difficult for me to not place all the blame on myself, feel a tremendous amount of guilt and take fault at, whether I am or not, for any emotional pain or mental health challenges they may have faced over the last many years or those which may grow to affect their well-being over time. This is sadly how a depressed mind thinks.

When I first made the choice about four and a half years ago to create a blog and start sharing my journey with the world, one that has included some of the most intimate and vulnerable moments of my life I really didn’t know what to expect or even how it would be received as it still felt so stigmatized. 

I’d already been sharing quite a bit of my journey with those in my inner circle and many others who were along the perimeter of it as well but my number one priority was to ensure that both Rich and I kept a very open and honest dialogue with our kids from day one (they may have also started to wonder where I’d disappeared to for any great length of time when I’d been admitted into hospital). 

Completely sheltering them from their new reality would have immediately sent a message to them that they were somehow responsible for my illness or that they had something to hide from the world or worse that they were not safe but at the same time I couldn’t help but continue to worry that I’d also bring a sense of shame to their lives as well by sharing my story. 

But I have been fortunate enough to learn that my willingness and openness to share my journey with my children meant that I am modeling to them that it’s okay to NOT be okay, that they are NOT alone, that asking for help is NOT a weakness and that creating healthy boundaries in their relationships is stupendously important. 

It’s what also kept me motivated to publish my children’s book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?”.

I know that my kids are not alone and that sadly their home is not even close to being the only one on the block who could be dealing with a loved one’s mental health challenges. I also know from the incredible outpouring of love and support that they have all received most recently from their own close circles of friends and those along the perimeter as well that this next generation is making a change, a change for the better, in a big, BIG way. 

I also have the confidence that they are completely up for the challenge as they begin to deal with the aftermath of living through a Pandemic and whose mental and emotional pain could possibly carry many of them throughout the rest of their lives.

We as a society can certainly help to ensure their success by modeling to them that it’s okay to not be okay, that they are not alone, that asking for help is not a weakness and that creating healthy boundaries is stupendously important in their day to day life.

With our help this next generation and many more to come are not going to remain silent much longer. I truly believe that they are gonna be the ones who will finally kick the stigma to the fricken moon and I couldn’t be more proud knowing that my children are willing participants in becoming a part of that change.

#nextgeneration #letsendthestigmatogether #startaconversation #bepartofthechange #mentalhealth #mentalillness #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #masksoff #endthesilence #healthyboundaries #blogger #author #advocate #wheredidmommyssmilego

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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