To My Mom, My Most Valued Advocate
If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
This is my tribute to my best friend, my savior and my very first advocate – my mother.
You gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on April 10, 1997 at 6:36 p.m. After 9 months of pregnancy and a difficult labor, you gave me life. How exciting is that? There were no notable complications with labor. It would not be until much later in the life cycle that your most important duties would arise. I wonder if you had any idea of everything that you would go through with this little girl? That you would not only become this baby’s role model, but also her best friend. This baby girl was me — your Megan Caveney Rowe.
I cannot even begin to put into words everything you have done for me. Like any other mother, you gave me the gift of life. But unlike others, you gave me the gift of life time and time again. You have held me up when I was too weak to stand. You have been a guide for me when things were too dark for me to see the path in front of me. You are truly the reason I am alive.
I vividly remember our conversation when I told you I was sick and that I needed to get help. We sat in the car parked in our driveway, and I opened up to you about every difficult thing going on in my life. Being bipolar — and undiagnosed at the time — my entire life felt like it was caving in. You sat there patiently looking me in the eyes, and you listened to every difficult truth that I told. Not once did you flinch or give me a look of disappointment. When I told you that I was ‘going crazy’ you refused to allow me to make such statements.
The night that I told you everything, I slept in your bed and you kept me safe. I am unsure if we slept a minute, but you held me while I was in hysterics and ensured me that we would solve this issue together. We have had many nights like this, and sometimes these nights turned into days. You have put your life on hold for me, in order to ensure that my life continued. You sat with me in silence time and time again when I would refuse to speak, and never once did you show fear. When everything in the world told me to give up, you were the one thing that gave me hope and suggested that I would heal.
You went above and beyond to ensure that I got the very best treatment. When I was too weak to speak for myself, you fought for me. You promised that I would get my life back, and with your help I did. You have truly gone above and beyond in order to ensure that I feel supported. And in times when everyone else in the world seemed to be abandoning me, you proudly stood by me and helped to carry the weight of my crumbling universe.
When I was diagnosed bipolar, I was originally devastated. I did not want to carry this label and I was terrified that this meant that I would live a life filled with stigma. You refused to allow me to continue this thought pattern, and it was then that you became my first advocate. You would fight to ensure that I would get the same opportunities in life. You taught me how to speak up for myself and how to articulate my thoughts so well. It was because of you that I have become such a great advocate and speaker for mental illness.
Everyday people tell me that I am so strong for living with bipolar and continuing to fight and thrive. What I want everyone to know, is that my mom is even stronger. I pray that one day when I have children, I can be half of the mother that you are. If I even remotely resemble you, I will be an amazing parent. You are so strong. You inspire me everyday. You will always be my most valued advocate.
Follow this journey on the author’s blog.
A version of this story originally appeared on rowemegan.wixsite.com.
Photo submitted by contributor.