The One Text That Gave Me Hope on a Bad Mental Health Day

My kitten woke me up at 5:30, wanting breakfast. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up.

It was pitch black dark outside, a heavy blanket of snow. I made coffee, took my meds and settled on the couch with my laptop, preparing for another long and lonely day. I’ve been off work for about six weeks since my latest breakdown, and I have become increasingly isolated. People in my life are busy preparing for the holidays, and I feel like I would be a burden. I’m not fun right now. I’m sad and pessimistic and lonely.

And then: a text message from my eldest daughter. She had left a bag at my front door with some knitting and crochet tools, and she made me some chili. I read the message and started to cry. I went outside and yes, there was the bag.

Some context: this same daughter and I were estranged for six years. From the age of 11 until she turned 17. Being raised by me was difficult for her. I battled addiction as well as a debilitating mental illness. It could be a roller coaster. But I got sober and worked really hard to get well. It was the most painful period in my life, fighting for my daughter.

And while today I cannot work, I can love my children and support them as best I can. The significance of this particular daughter bringing me comfort is not lost on me, not for a moment. It was a small glimmer of hope in an oasis of pain, and a reminder to be grateful for the small things.

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