Maybe It's Mabelline, Maybe I Just Hate Myself

Submitted into Contest #56 in response to: Write a day-in-the-life-story about a first-time parent and their newborn child.... view prompt



Content Warning: mentions of depression and suicidal thoughts

The medication has taken away my ability to concentrate. To think. All my critical thoughts disappear in seconds but I still know I had them. Just wtf. And I know that’s not right because there used to be some version of me--some baby-less version of me--that used to think all the time. They thought their way to becoming valedictorian. To a 100k+ paying engineering job. And this shit’s frustrating because I loved that version of me who can do things. Who could just see something they wanted to do and do it. But I can’t now. I can’t figure out why. I don’t know why.  And the tears are just coming like I’ve lost control of my eyes.

There’s a crying baby in the background. I can barely hear her. I don’t want to hear her. Turning up my headphones’ volume I try to block her out. I know that makes me a terrible mother and person, but I don’t do anything about it.

My old favorite song blasts through the headphones. A year ago, I could hear this song, stop whatever I was doing, and start dancing. Absolutely terrible dancing. Like get-disqualified-the-first-round type dancing. But, also puts-a-cheesy-ass-smile-on-my-face-every-damn-time type dancing. Now, I switch the songs because I don’t even want to listen to it the whole way through.

I can hear my husband moving to get the baby. At least she has one good parent. He shushes her and sings her a gentle song. Each word is like a tiny, invisible kiss to her little baby ears. She giggles, then stops. She’s probably drifting off into sleep. So tired. I’m tired. But I can’t sleep.

I mean, I can physically fall asleep, but last time I did I dreamt of throwing the baby out a window. Not even like first-story, but like tenth story stuff. God, I’m an awful mother. I’m an awful mother. I’m an awful mother.

So, I'm just going to try and skip over those thoughts. I’ll just skip on the sleep, too, while I’m at it. Not that it really matters. I once slept for like twelve hours and still woke up tired. The husband was taking care of the baby as his mother’s at the time. It worked out fine without me because she doesn’t need me. None of them do.

One good thing about finally pushing that eight pound demon out of me is I can drink again. And I got nine months to make up for. So cheers.

I hold up the bottle I’m drinking from to toast. What? Don’t give me any judgement. Baby has her bottle. I have mine. And this ain’t some, classic, White Mom Thinks Liking Rose is a Personality Trait type stuff. No, babe, we drinkin’ vodka or nothing. And it sure as hell ain’t gonna be nothing. I’m not drinking for funsies, I’m drinking to forget or feel something.

God, just freaking anything. Anything besides the crashing guilt that I’m not good enough for my baby or good enough for my husband. That I’ll screw it up because, Amy, you know damn well you screw everything. Got an unplanned pregnancy at age twenty-five so that’s just great.

And know, children are ‘miracles’ or whatever, but it would have been a true miracle if the government actually let me do whatever I want with my own damn body.

At least they can’t stop me from getting wasted and locking myself in a closet so my husband can’t see the mess of make-up on my face and the mess of a person I am.

But he does. Slowly, he slides the closet door open after the baby must have fallen asleep. Light pours in, surrounding me. I squint at it and him as he crawls inside next to me. “What are you doing, Amy,” he asks calmly.

“Hell if I know,” I say and take another swig.

He takes the bottle from me. I glare at him.

“Amy, what’s going on? You’ve been acting like this for weeks.”

“Like what?” I say, irritated--though, I’m not sure who with. Maybe me, maybe him, maybe the baby, maybe my local senator. God, this is a fun game to play.

“Like moody, agitated, withdrawn, drinking.” He holds up the bottle. “I just want you to talk to me about what’s going on.”

What’s going on? Nothing I haven’t been through before. No, that’s why I was able to dig up those old antidepressants from college. Though, I don’t feel better. Then again, just  because you’ve broken your leg before, doesn’t make you immune to the pain the second time.

Also, now that I think about it, they might be expired. Oops.

“Nothing,” I lie.

He doesn’t buy it. Of course he doesn’t buy it because he’s the Perfect Husband ™. He can sense when anything is wrong with the baby or me and just swoop right in and save the day being perfect and stuff. Well, la dee da, Mr. Perfect. It must be ever so wonderful to be you!

I reach for the vodka, he holds it out of my reach.

My head comes crashing down into my hands. A whole new round of tears start. Why am I mad at him? Where did that even come from? He didn’t even do anything wrong. Guess I’m an awful wife now too. That’s great.

A new wave of guilt washes over me and I kind of wish it would just drown me. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to die. I’m not suicidal. But, I’m not thrilled I’m still alive either. It’s just ‘eh’; could take or leave this lumpy, baby fat packed, meat sack body of mine.

“Amy,” he says, pulling one of my hands away from me. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on with you. I’m not a professional.” My husband takes a deep breath. “So I think you should see one. I don’t know what’s happening, but I know you’re going through something and aren’t happy.” He gently kisses my hand. “And you deserve to be happy. You deserve for things to get better.”

God, this stupid amazing husband of mine. I love him so damn much. “Alright,” I choke out, “I’ll go.”

August 29, 2020 01:27

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00:45 Sep 01, 2020

Wonderfully written!


Lily Kingston
03:34 Sep 02, 2020

Thanks :)


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Sjan Evardsson
21:33 Aug 29, 2020

After dealing with 20+ years of MDD I can say that while I don't completely understand her feelings, I do understand the flavor of them. Well written! Stay safe and keep writing!


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P. Jean
19:56 Aug 29, 2020

You did a marvelous job of character development or description with her internal conversations! Just enough background to know she isn’t a looser or bad person so the depression....for whatever the driving the negative...but ..but...her thoughts about her baby were so disturbing....I hope her husband gets help too...he sounds too perfect. LOL. GOOD WRITING,


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13:11 Aug 29, 2020

Short but awesome!! Great job, Cara!


Lily Kingston
19:22 Aug 29, 2020

Thanks :)


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