You want to know what the worst part about moderate to severe depression? (using the clinical diagnosis here) It's knowing when those waves hit you that there is something or someone out there that you let get to you. In my case, it's usually a combination of things. I've got multiple projects coming to deadline at work - stress. I'm not sleeping very well because of allergies. I'm not eating like I should be. I'm getting my exercise - walking, yoga - which is a positive because that's usually the first thing to go. And so I'm vulnerable to those triggers and I know it.
I avoid mr. ring on his finger 'cause that will just send me over the edge. But I can't keep him from coming onto my floor and sitting down at the cubicle next to me and talking to someone else. So I put on the headphones and hit play on Itunes and what do I get....love songs. Crap.
And even he wouldn't get to me if the really big trigger hadn't been flipped just a few days ago. My mother. My frail 91-year old mother to whom I haven't even spoken for months. Not that I haven't tried but she wasn't answering the phone. Now to find out that she's been maltreated by the staff in her home. And my brother has to find a place to move her to that will be better for her. And I can't even take a day to go visit her and let her know that I love her. Because I do love her. She's just too much for me when my armor is already too, too thin.
So here I sit feeling like the worst daughter on the planet. And while we're at it, I'm the worst mother too because I can't swoop in and make things better for my heart, my Bridgete, with her sick car and her sick cat. And let's not forget what a miserable wife I was. Terrible friend. Won't go to my best friend's son's graduation party because no one there will talk to me. Selfish bitch. What else is wrong with me??? Let's just make this a complete list.....
Too damn smart for my own good. Can't dumb down enough to find and keep a man.
Too fat....nobody looking in my direction anyway.
Too artsy...romantic fool getting all wrapped up in movies and books and tv shows like they're real.
Deep breath....now...let's find the truth here.
Yes, I'm smart and passionate and artistic and I love all those things about me. I won't change them and I couldn't be with anyone who asked me to change them.
I have been and continue to be a fabulous mother. I have helped bring my daughter into her true self. She doesn't live for me or her father or her grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends. She is fully responsible for her life and she is so very capable of handling her sick cat and her sick car. She doesn't need me to rescue her. She doesn't need anyone to. And that may intimidate many who don't take the time to get to know the amazing woman she is. As she told me when she was about 8 years old - "That's their loss."
Bad wife? I would venture to say that if you asked my ex-husband he would say I did the best I could for as long as I could. And in the end, I was ready to let go and do the right thing by freeing both of us from our mutual expectations. I would certainly say that about him.
Bad friend? No way. I am there for my friends....my true friends, 100%. And I have told Janet that if she really needs me there on Friday, I'll be there. Because she needs me there - and that's all I need to know.
Bad daughter? This one is tougher. I can't be the daughter my mother wanted. But I am not horrible and abusive and uncaring. I just have to set boundaries with her. She may be a frail 91 year little old lady - but she can still break me into bits with a word. And that's not not something I can allow her to do. I still have the ability to hold her in love and compassion and honor. But I don't have to allow her to abuse me.
Do I wish it was otherwise? Do I wish she could love me and honor me as so many others do? Of course I do. But it is what it is. And sometimes.
It just sucks.