Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Put On Your Own Mask & Other Such Things

I have a really suck ass sense of myself. I don't care a lot for myself and instead throw myself blindly into taking care of everyone around me. This of course takes it toll on my health, my level of sleep deprivation, and my continued lack of interest in taking care of me. I identify myself as a Mom and a Wife and a Child Care Provider but I don't have a way to define ME...Christine...the woman...the person. I don't often take for myself and after a while I get resentful. I'm silent about it though because I feel like I don't deserve to be resentful or angry.

Doesn't my husband work 7 days straight, 12 hours a day, away from his wife and children so that we can enjoy the good things we have? When he comes home, doesn't he have the right to just sit and relax and not be expected to do anything, including fetch his own beverages and snacks? I cater to him because he works hard to keep us in this house, eating this good food and wearing these clothes. Are we rich? No, but we are comfortable.

My kids are young. How can I expect them to step up and help out? The older 2 are in school all day and trying to learn their way through life and how to become good citizens in this world. There is a lot of pressure on them to succeed (By the world at large, not by us. All we want is for them to do their best.) They are boys and I'm the Mom...It is MY job to take care of them and to help educate them and feed them and clean up after them and, and, and...

None of this is logical. I know that. Logic doesn't always come into play when it comes to depression. Logic dictates that everyone helps out, lends a hand and the work will be done sooner and the family will be happier. That is just not what I do.

You've heard the blurb on the airplanes that if the cabin should lose pressure air masks will drop from the overhead compartments. Put your own mask on before helping your child or the elderly or the disabled or whomever requires the assistance. Because, with logic, how can you help the other person if you are suffocating or dead. This has been told to me a lot over the recent years because if I don't take care of me, then who will be here to take care of my family? If I am drowning, how can I save them? If I can't breathe, how can I help them put on their masks? How can I process that with my feelings that I must do it all and that they come first? I haven't managed that yet. I'm still taking care of all of them and leaving myself until last. And since I'm last, I'm just too damn exhausted to do something for me. I just don't see the time in the day to take a time out for myself. Leaving the house alone for half an hour? Absurd! Take a bath? Not until the kids are all sleeping and then I'm just too tired and I just want to go to bed. 5 minutes alone in the bathroom for a poop? Ha Ha Ha! I have a 2 year old, bathroom privacy is non-existent!

When I have spoken to my doctor and a counsellor, they point out that I am really a very strong person. How the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is THAT possible!?! I am a crying mess when I go in to see them. Apparently I am strong because I am a Mother of 3 active boys who all have their own individual issues that need extra attention. Learning disorders, health issues, TODDLERHOOD! I have a husband that is gone for a week at a time at work so I have the kids and the household to deal with by myself. I am estranged from most of my family and because I see myself as a social retard, I don't have close friends to lean on. I have friends and I have acquaintances but I have real trouble asking for help or support. They have their own families and lives and problems and I would just be a bother. Who wants to be around someone so messed up as me?

So yeah, I can preach the logic. I can tell other depressed people what we NEED to do. But for the life of me, I can't take my own advice. So goes the circle of my depression.

Depression SUCKS!

Yes, that is correct, IT SUCKS! It sucks the life right out of me. It sucks the fun out of my life. It sucks the motivation out of my heart. It sucks the comfort of my family away. I am struggling. I have to take my "Happy Pills" daily. I have to make a conscious effort to see positivity. I have to get up and stop wallowing in my self-pity. I need to talk it out sometimes. And DAMMIT, I need to find something better to do with my hands than peeling the skin off my fingertips.

I have see the ugly side of depression since I was about 12. I have also suffered from post-partum depression so I double whammy'd myself there. My pit of despair has looked incredibly deep and the sides have seemed to go straight up. I'm trying to take things day by day and step by step but I fall down...HARD! It's ugly. But I'm trying to see something good every day. If for that one moment I am happy then I have done something good that day.

I am not perfect. I have nasty feelings and a really crappy sense of self-esteem. I get overwhelmed easily. I resent some people's seemingly easier lives but I make it through. It may not be the prettiest way of doing things but it is how I survive some days.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and I over-share. It is who I am. At my worst I simply exist. At my best...I don't know; I haven't seen my best for a long time. So, at my good enough, I love to smile and see the world through the eyes of my children. I am me. It isn't always sunshine and roses. In fact, I don't remember a lot of sunshine and roses in my life over the years but I KNOW that there is some in there. I have hope that things will turn around. I have faith that this isn't all there is. I am learning. I am surviving.