Homage to My Mom and Our Mental Illnesses

Mom, I'd like to say 'thank you' to you publicly.

Posted May 08, 2019

Source: Pixabay

Mom, I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to you publicly. To say how much I love you, Mrs. Velma Maxwell. How the person you are, at 88, makes me smile, feel good, and warm. How I still feel like a cared for daughter even though I’m frequently more the mom taking care of you.

It wasn’t always this way. I was a brat. You could be infuriating. Our ups and downs were compounded by both of us having the same diagnosis. Bipolar disorder and anxiety. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Perhaps more accurately, the nut doesn’t.

The anxiety that needles my stomach and muddles my mind offers a way in for me to comprehend all those years when you fretted and paced and wrung your hands. My depressions that hover like mist and manias that sizzle the bottoms of my feet close a gap of misunderstanding and impatience.

I was a teenager and embarrassed by you. Angry, confused and scared by your manic rage as a child, so easily was it thrown at dad, impaling him with insults, slurs, and cacophonies of profanities.

But over the years we found a way to use our love and insane similarities to overcome our differences. Today, the things we do give me quiet joy. We hang out and play double solitaire. Eat take-out lunch I bring in from the Eighties Restaurant—your beloved, toasted triple-decker clubhouse sandwich with fries and a chocolate milkshake.

We talk about inconsequential things that aren’t. The TV shows you’re watching and the ones you won’t. ‘Law and Order: SVU,’ your favorite that you always watch. The Big Bang Theory, the one you won’t because it’s ‘dumb.’ How the food at the nursing home is awful, but Linda the care-aide is ok. How the Canucks (who you follow devotedly) won’t be getting anywhere near the playoffs this year.

Thank you, mom, for having a knack for always helping me feel loved. You are in my heart always.

© Victoria Maxwell