Saturday, October 18, 2008

the unwelcome dictator

sometimes my depression rules me.

i hate this. i really, really, really hate this. i hate the fact that i don't remember what life is like without it. i hate the fact that my depression affects the ones i love so negatively. but most of all, i hate that fact that i feel so helpless about changing it. i have spent at least half of my life trying to figure out how to make it better. there are some things that give me a temporary fix. my art, for one. blogging, for another, also writing in a journal. i reread some of the things i wrote in my journals when i was 12, 13, 14, even 18 and 19, and i am scared. scared for myself, for what i was dealing with, for those around me who had to put up with my volatility.

i am scared for my husband. for my son. for my future children. for myself.

about every two months or so, i lose it. seriously lose it. i battle the depression in some form or another on a daily basis. mostly in the form of self-loathing, self-defeating thoughts and actions. but these "episodes" are much more than being weepy, and down on myself, and losing interest in things i love. they involve screaming, yelling, sobbing hysterically, slamming doors, saying things i don't mean, running away from myself and everyone around me. hiding under my covers from reality. making threats i don't mean and i don't want to follow through with. damaging the most important thing in my life: my relationship with my husband. suicidal thoughts. anxiety. mood swings. all within the space of an hour or two. zero to sixty in about thirty seconds.

and after the episode, i am miserable. i am embarrassed. i am completely ashamed of myself and my actions. and my husband, emotionally battered, bruised, and hurt beyond anything i can comprehend, cries. hugs me. pushes his feelings aside. and goes on with the hurt and fear of my leaving him. and i want to crawl under a rock and die every time i think of it.

i have been in and out of counseling since i was 13 years old. i saw my very first counselor at the ripe old age of 10. put on anti-depressants at 11. i have been on and off medication. many, many, many kinds of it. sometimes there will be a temporary fix. sometimes things get worse. but always it ends up cycling back to the beginning. all progress i have made is lost in the space of two minutes.

i am tired. tired, frustrated, fearful. my life has been riddled with psychological trauma. but my life has also been full of blessings. of loving and supportive family and friends. of every opportunity for medical help. so why, oh why, in spite of all the good i have had, in spite of all of the hard work i have done, does this continue to happen?

the saddest thing? all of the innocent people who have to deal with my insanity. my husband. and my son. oh, my poor son, who has a mother who loves him more than life itself. my son who has a mother that routinely loses every ounce of dignity and sanity she possesses. my beautiful child who will be scarred for life because his mother has a mental illness she cannot deal with.

my greatest fear. the fear i have lived with my entire life, every time i thought about having children, from the age i was old enough to comprehend the responsibility of being a parent. the fear that my child will resent me. that my child will hurt because of me, because of my actions. that my child will suffer psychologically and emotionally because of me. every parent makes mistakes, every parent screws up their kid in one way or another. it's part of life. i get that. but i will never, never forgive myself if my child hurts due to negative parental relationships. due to the mental illness of a parent.

god bless my son. and my husband. and my future children. god bless them for loving me in spite of my many failures. and god bless me with the knowledge to change.


Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Wow. You are a really good writer. As I read this I thought about how those are some of the same worries that I have. I often think about my kids having to deal with my depression, and if they'll resent me for the choices I'm making now. *Sigh.

I'm so glad for you that you have such a loving and supportive husband to be there for you. Keep holding on.

spencer said...

I love you honey, Im here for you.

JAG said...

Believe me, you are definitely no the only one dealing with this. My husband is also a dart board at times. It's awful. But when it's all over, and he is still there for me and wants to take me in and help me rather than push me away and resent me, I am all the more grateful for the amazing eternal partner that I am so blessed to call my own.

Anonymous said...

From everything I have read on your blog you are, and will continue to be, an amazing person. I am not a good 'advice giver', but someone I look up to with alot of experience in helping people once told me:

"It is ok to have bad moments. It is ok to have bad days. It is even ok to have bad years. Acknowledge that this is happening. And then acknowledge that you are STRONG!! Experience your emotions & give them their dues. But realize that you are capable of moving THROUGH them. Just don't ignore them."

I think that this is excellent advice. People seem to think that they are not 'allowed' to have negative emotions..yet those emotions are part of living & growing. You have obviously learned and grown so much from what you have dealt with. What an incredible person you are to have come so far & to have become the individual you have. This may sound corny, but you will be in my prayers. Don't agonize over 'damaging' your child. You are an amazing mother.