How is that every time something unpleasant happens, we manage to hold ourselves responsible?
We miscarry. Dr. asks, do you have any questions? Immediate response: “I know the answer, but I need to ask anyway so I can hear your answer. This wasn’t my fault, was it? Could I have done something different or better?”
The people we love leave us. We ask: “Why wasn’t I good enough? What’s wrong with me? How could I change to be more lovable?”
Our kids don’t listen. We respond with: “Am I a horrible parent? Maybe I’m really not cut out for this… Why would I think I’d be good at this? Am I ruining these kids lives just because I have the dream of being a parent, even though I’m horrible at it?”
I think it’s easier to blame ourselves for things that go wrong.
When we hurt, we look for someone to blame & turn our anger towards. We’ve been told it’s wrong to hate other people. So we turn on ourselves & our anger grows to hate until we don’t even want to look at ourselves.
We tell ourselves that we are fat because we refuse to handle life as a healthy person & eat our feelings.
We tell ourselves that our kids will grow up to hate us because we will never be understood.
We tell ourselves that people don’t like to support us because we are needy. burdensome. heavy.
We tell ourselves that we aren’t holding ourselves to some level of perfection, we are holding ourselves to normal standards & STILL failing.
We tell ourselves that there is no excuse for all of the disappointment we provide our households with.
It’s like a cloud. A fog really. You can squint & try to see something else than the lies swirling around you, but it seems like a waste of effort.
You can stick your hands out to your sides or in front of you trying to feel something. Something that has substance. Something that you can actually grab hold of. Something that can make you feel a little less wobbly. Preferably something with a light on it, so you can at the very least use it to see SOMETHING.
And you find it. If you keep reaching. Trusting. Waiting. Inching forward. Whatever your heart is tugging you to do…you find your something.
The fog will often lift when you find it.
Life feels less heavy in that moment. You feel a wee bit normal. Strength both physical & mental has returned to you & you are ready to hit the ground running. Doing all the things that you just could not drag yourself to do in the days before.
For me though…when the fog lifts, I see the wreckage.
Sinks & counters full of dishes.
A couch piled high with clothes needing to be put away.
Toys no one has bothered to put away properly.
Floors begging to be swept, mopped, & vacuumed.
Dust on seemingly every. single. thing.
Text messages I haven’t replied to.
The wreckage caused by depression.
In that split second, everything is heavy again.
Suddenly the fog feels safer than the task of fixing everything & tending to all that has been neglected.
A vicious cycle. | Inadequate. Empowered. Overwhelmed. Defeated. Repeat.
What if it can’t be stopped? What if this cycle, vicious & cruel as it may be, is my reality? How do I stop telling myself that I am “less than” for something that is a part of me?
In an effort to improve myself without condemnation & shame, I’m learning to honor my feelings.
Acknowledge. Rest. Mend.
This new way of seeing my plethora of emotions is helpful. I’m able to connect with others who hide in their pain, afraid to reach out. I’m able to feel empathy for those who struggle. I’m able to hopefully help those who don’t struggle with depression/anxiety learn how to love the people they care about better.
I don’t think depression is my problem. Although I don’t like it & it hurts like hell. I believe it’s the defeat that is my real enemy. It’s the hand that slips across my mouth at times silencing me & telling me that I have nothing worth sharing or giving. THAT is what I’m fighting against.
I can be depressed. I acknowledge that. Then I use it to help others, deciding to view it as emotional strength training. But defeat? If I refuse to get back up? There’s nowhere to go from there. You can’t get anywhere if you stop moving.
I know that even though I FEEL like I don’t have anything to give, it’s not true. I have love to give. If I had nothing else, that would be enough. Love to give is enough reason to stay.
Stay here with me. Let’s refuse defeat & keep moving forward together.