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Self awareness just not enough.
There's two parts to my being, the illness itself and then the attachments. Sometimes I think the thoughts I have constantly thinking of how my illness impacts those in my family are nothing but depleting and get in the way of forming even better coping skills. I know this, but unfortunately I can't rid my mind of those extras because I'm a mum, a wife and I care about my family like anyone else would. I've written down many a time what I think this extra anguish achieves and each time I come up with nothing. My mind still feels immense guilt, shame and discomfort with the imperfections my life has. I can't stand the knowledge I have of some of this journey. I can't accept the times when depression robbed my inner self, keeping me flat and unable to 'feel'. When it dissolved again my feeling came back and I relished it. You see, I know it's not my fault but the most shameful of symptoms from the past still haunt me. I wonder, will I ever tell my children one day of the journey? right now they don't know what Mum has fully endured and thats ok, we've chosen to keep caring for the children and keeping my mental health story beneath. I suspect still they have seen some symptoms over time but I'm good at masking too. When my head gets stuck on blaming myself I try to write down everything I've achieved, everything thats a move toward better and try to dwell on it. Unfortunately it doesnt last too long, I think my mind will always find it hard to be kind to me. I also try to look at my efforts and praise myself as I would praise any other family member for their efforts in life. The expectations I have of myself quite often are an enemy to me purely because if I don't reach them I feel like a failure, I don't want to feel that way anymore. My goal is to not only keep managing the illness but also rid myself of extra attachments that do nothing for me.
I'm a kind person to others. It's time to start valuing myself and stop these add on thinking styles centred around having mental illness. I need to look at the facts no matter how ugly in any given time frame and accept them.
Hi Sharny. Keeping a journal of your self awareness and journey back is a great idea. When your children grow older, you will know yourself if and when they will be ready to be told of your inner struggles. I think if kids grow into a loving relationship and see how they are loved and respected, they do learn important values. Also as they grow ty to teach them about mental health. Tell them it's not scary, it can be frightening to the sufferer, but tell them you would never harm them. Scary means someone who is totally out of control to the point of hurting themselves or their family. You were never like that, so you were frightened by the illness, but it never controlled you. Much more is known about mental health than ever before, perhaps eventually downloading info from BB might help with educating them. Self acceptance of what you can and can't do show me you have come a long way towards teaching your kids values they will keep forever.
I can feel the turmoil and conflict that depression can bring. I had the illness for many years and feel your pain.
Can I ask you if you are still seeing a doc or a counselor? I still use my GP every few weeks for a tune up as I find myself straying to the same 'attachments' you speak of. They can be annoying, especially the self blame.
Different coping mechanism work for different people as you know. I have been accepting that depression is a physically based illness which helps a lot. Being partially chemically based it actually is physical in essence.
We both have 'invisible crutches' so to speak. Sometimes we need them and sometimes we dont. It is a disability and when I have my black days I treat it as such. It does tend to curb the internalising that I used to do. I was so tired of putting myself under the microscope and trying to understand my feelings...its such a pain.
You are a great mum and have a huge heart Sharny. You mentioned guilt shame and discomfort. These are a burden to carry. My counselor helped me use 'acceptance' of these annoying 'add ons' and eventually they had less impact on me over time..
I do hope you find some peace soon Sharny
My kind thoughts for you
Hi Pipsy, thanks for your reply.
Yes the kids get taught briefly at school about mental health. My son came home last year for his final year in primary telling me about the teachers spin on depression, anxiety etc. I'm not sure to be honest whether i'm in favour or not of their interpretation of it but at least the kids are getting an awareness that just wasnt provided when I was a child. I did get to a level of desperation at one point after mania when the depressive low hit hard but I then got help and a diagnosis. Thankfully my son was too little to understand.
thanks for your reply. I'm sorry to hear of your struggle too. I havent seen my psychiatrist for a while now because he was good when getting diagnosed initially but found after that I only saw him for 3 years. I also have a psychologist more to chat with over some of these issues I'm rambling on about on this board and got her after finishing with the psychiatrist. I can go back to either of them at any point. I That's interesting how you refer to the 'invisible crutches', so very true.
I also like the way you've accepted the add ons, that's very hard to do.
Hi Sharny...I may have 'accepted' them as physical ailments but yet to master them 🙂
I am like you, after the initial consult a psychiatrist is fine. Nowadays the psychologist and GP are a good mix.Paulx