When a secret isn’t meant to be kept

Moms harbor lots of secrets.

Some of them are pretty innocent – like how we hide from our kids in the bathroom to get 10 minutes of alone time, or cheat at kiddie board games to make them end faster.

Other secrets we keep quiet because we are worried about being judged for our parenting choices. Choosing not to breastfeed, how much TV we let our kids watch – even that we stay with our kid until she falls asleep at night – all these topics can cause people to pass judgement.

And sometimes … sometimes we keep bigger secrets. Personal ones that we are actually dying to talk about but are afraid to, for fear of what others may think.

Two years ago, that was me. I was aching to talk about my struggles with depression, but at the same time, scared to admit it.

I felt ashamed that I was taking antidepressants, embarrassed that I was seeing a therapist, and like a bad mom for not enjoying every minute of parenthood. And it was tearing me up to be holding it all in.

After I spilled the beans to some friends, a few confided in me that they too, dealt with depression – but not many.

I knew I couldn’t be the only one dealing with it. And that’s why I started talking about it here on Honest Mom.

Every post I write about depression or the difficulties of being a mom gets a strong reaction from moms in the same boat. People thank me for speaking out and helping them to not feel alone. Some even are moved to get help. So I keep writing and keep talking about it.

But honestly, sometimes it’s scary for me, too. I still worry sometimes about what people think – I’m not immune to that feeling.

For me, though, the benefits of drawing awareness to depression in moms is worth the risk of what other people think of me. I keep going back to what my mom always said when I was a kid: “If someone doesn’t like you for you, then you don’t want to be friends with them anyway.”

Such a simple notion, but a great one to live by, right?

Like you, I have secrets that will stay quiet. Some just aren’t meant for public consumption.

But some secrets aren’t meant to be kept, because keeping them inside will do more harm than good.

Are you keeping secrets that are holding you back from enjoying your life?

If so, I urge you to take baby steps and think about how you can unburden yourself.

It will be a little scary, yes. But trust me – lots of moms feel just like you do. And the sooner you let go of a secret that shouldn’t be quiet, the happier you will eventually be.

Honest Voices linkup at HonestMom.com


photo credit: Daniela Vladimirova via photopin cc

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20 Replies to “When a secret isn’t meant to be kept”

  1. I have really enjoyed linking up here these past couple of weeks! I love reading the posts everyone chooses to share. For some reason it wouldn’t let me add a picture, so I hope it’s ok without it. πŸ™‚

  2. Yes, yes, yes, JD! You words ring so true. My mother lived her whole life with depression and would never talk about it. She lived alone in her sadness. I’m so thankful for your open, honest voice in encouraging us all to discuss and address our struggles. Thanks for speaking the truth!

  3. I was the most terrified in the few minutes before posting about my depression, but the outpouring of love and support I received made it all worth it. Best of all, like you said, our words reach out to other women who have been too fearful to say anything and allows them to open up. Thank you for conquering your fears and sharing so consistently about the challenges of depression.

  4. I just love your courage so much. Really gives me something to think about. I’ve had a “secret” that I’ve been debating on taking public in the blog because it’s also one that would get a lot of judgement (mostly from people I know in real life so that makes it even scarier). Not that it really is an actual big deal but it’s still scary to face judgement. I also know there has to be so many people out there in the same boat and feeling the same way. If I actually do it, you know I’ll be giving you a shout out for the kick in the pants to just go for it! =)

  5. I also found that when I started sharing my issues with friends, that they would open up and talk about what they went/are going through. If only more moms could open up, maybe people wouldn’t worry about being judged. You’ve inspired me to also share my story on my blog and I’m glad I did because I’ve been able to help a couple people by doing it. And at least it will help to slowly degrade the stigma of postpartum illnesses.

  6. I admire your honesty. I’ve always tried to live by the notion that God allows these trials in life to happen as a means to create a bond between others facing similar trials. We have a need to bond, and knowing that someone out there has walked in our shoes sure does make things so much easier. Thanks for sharing.

  7. It’s about time that depression stopped being the elephant in the room. Part of getting better is talking about it, knowing you are not alone and sharing your experiences with it to help boost depression awareness.

    Great post and thank you for sharing!

  8. I was at my obgyn today and they had the issue of parenting with your article in it. I was excited to see it since I've already been following along on here. Keep speaking out! People need to hear this.

  9. Thanks for the opportunity to share. I so enjoy reading your blogs. They really hit home. The raw truth is refreshing!! Going to click through some who have shared here today. Good reading on a snowy day. πŸ™‚

  10. Hi JD. Your words are singing and advocating so much for some many people. I was a high school guidance counselor for 13 years and worked with so many students and adults living with depression. When you wrote: “But some secrets aren’t meant to be kept, because keeping them inside will do more harm than good”, I stopped, re-read the sentence a few times, and shook my head in absolute agreement. Perpetuating the secret only makes the everyday more difficult. Your posts are helping and encouraging those struggling with depression to seek help, to take action, and to recognize that s/he is not alone. I love the way your writing just puts it all out there in such a rich, meaningful, and beautiful way. Thank you for allowing me to link-up with your blog as well as virtually introducing me to so many other incredible writers. Wow, I can’t stop reading and commenting.

  11. this is awesome! I’m so glad I found you through Comfytown Chronicles. πŸ™‚ I posted a true story, but it’s more funny than anything else – but it was in hiding for a good 3 years before being aired just a few days ago. πŸ™‚

  12. Hi. I am just like you. Trying to do it all and also struggling with depression on and off most of my life. I have been going to the same doctor for years now and also see a therapist and I take antidepressants and in the past have felt guilty because I needed help. Me and my husband have seven kids altogether ages 10 to 3 and it is nice to hear that I’m not alone.

  13. am from united kingdom i got married at the age of 30 i have only one child and i was living happily .After 5 year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don't really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dreams of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry seeking for help i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called priest he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him the great doctor. I contacted him And i told him everything that happen all he told me is that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did, he said after 4 days my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise and very happy our relationship was now very tight and we both live happily again.So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com if you are in any kind of situation concerning love issues and any other things that give you problems contact him.
    THANKS..

  14. Great article. I just found your blog as I am also a mom of three girls who has struggled with Major Depressive Disorder as well. Kept my "secret" for years afraid also to be judged. I recently started blogging about my depression as well. Great blog..:-)

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