Sunday, November 30, 2008

one step forward, two steps back

So depression is still kicking my ass. Leaving in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner to go cry your eyes out because somebody said you looked tired and your kid is crying because he's tired, too is NOT A GOOD SIGN.

I'm frustrated to the point where I just want to throw things or walk away from life and start over as, say, a hermit crab.

I keep trying new things to get myself to feel better. I map out the way my day should go in fifty different ways trying to get myself to do what I know will help improve life. I can't get myself to do what I need to. I can accomplish maybe three things a day that I need to, but that leaves maybe seven left that I didn't get done that day that should be done EVERY DAY. And so I accomplish things and it's never enough and all I hear is how I'm a failure and I can't seem to break out of it. I can't seem to stick with things or follow through on plans to just Be Better.

A lot of this comes from being an adult child of an alcoholic. Here's a good link to a description of what that's like. At least I didn't become an alcoholic or marry one, but the majority of the rest applies. The other source of my angst is being a stay-at-home mom. I love my kids, but I'm a college educated woman who wants to do something else besides change diapers and clean my house all day every day day after day with no hope of reprieve in the next decade. And I absolutely feel that I'm doing a poorer job at raising my kids than I should. I'm given to frustration and anger easily, and my kids watch television all day while I sit on the computer and blog and chat with people on the other side of the United States so I can have a semblance of a social life that's at a safe distance.

It's not that I don't try to take steps to get better. I try to exercise. Tomorrow I'm hauling my turkey-filled carcass (ha. my joke for the day) to the gym with my sister-in-law at 5 a.m. to learn to do a real workout the professional way and map out a diet with exact food measurements. I'm pretty good at keeping commitments to other people (since I value them more highly than myself) so I will at least be guaranteed a few workouts this week and maybe have another attempt at getting my kids and I on an earlier sleeping schedule. Going to bed at 2 in the morning is not healthy.

Also, making generalized "this is how to not be depressed" posts are decidedly LAME. So they're going to stop. This is my blog. It's here to help ME. If it helps you, great. If you don't want to read it, then bugger off.

Also, you may have noticed. I'm an angry person. I hide it well, and maybe that's one of my problems. I'm pissed off that my parents couldn't get their act together and raise me properly. I'm pissed off at my grandparents for being the total jackasses who raised my parents to be so screwed up. Between both sides of the family I think every form of abuse is covered. Now that I'm a parent I understand more how my parents did so much better than their parents did, and how much they must have struggled and continue to struggle. I'm more like them than I realize. And I remember absolutely hating them as a teenager and swearing that I would never be like them when I grew up. And here I am, almost a mirror image of my mother, struggling with the same self-esteem issues she has. I realize that if I'm ever going to accept myself, then I must accept my parents and grandparents and forgive them. But I do not have to continue the cycle of destruction.

I've read a lot about adult children of alcoholics. I've read about the trials of motherhood. I don't think my parenting will improve until my self-image improves: depression is too destructive and knocks me down to square one about every other day. Right now my kids cry and what I hear from it is, "I'm crying because you're a bad parent/person." when all they want is a toy or something. I've read about how instability in alcoholic families creates defense mechanisms or warped versions of reality in a kid's brain. What I haven't read about is what to do to change it.

Therapy doesn't seem to be helping anymore. Maybe I need to readdress the issue of "I'm an adult child of an alcoholic, what do I do about relearning the things I learned as a kid?" I go back in tomorrow. I'll try that. And I won't settle for, "Well, what do you think you should do about it?" or "How does it affect your life?" which are my therapist's favorite answers. Give me information, not more questions. That route helped with some things, but I think it's exhausted now.

I've read about codependency, which seems to be a big problem with adult children of alcoholics. It used to be a big problem for me. You get your kicks by having other people need you, and when their day goes wrong you take it as a personal failure. I ended up distancing myself from everybody and while sometimes I probably come off as heartless, I think it may be better this way. I can sympathize with people having a bad day, but that's the end of it.

I realize I'm jumping around topics. Sorry.

So what did we learn today? We learned that this blog is mine and I will use it for my benefit instead of trying to please everybody. We learned that I need to bring up the topic of how to relearn thinking patterns in my next therapy session tomorrow. We learned just how (really really) pissed off I still am. We learned that I need to do more research of my own into Life After Alcoholism or whatever you want to call it.

Also, anyone who wants to be mopey about me cutting them out of my life when all they are is depressing to me can bugger off. I don't need your guilt trips. I can't handle your depression when I'm struggling with my own, and I'm not hanging around someone who's poisoning me just out of a sense of guilt.

Depression is like quicksand. You gotta keep moving forward, or else you sink.

1 comment:

Becky said...

So.. wow. I wasn't raised by alcoholics but so much of what you're saying is me. I'm not really sure what else to write because I don't think I want to say it out loud. lol But I guess this helps answer my wondering on if I'm depressed...

Thank you for posting with such honesty.

Becky dbyoung @