Why I Will Never Be “Free” from Depression — And Maybe That’s Okay.

I had an absolute meltdown on the weekend.  Once I started to cry, I couldn’t stop.

What kept going through my mind was, “It’s all too much.”

The messy toys, the commitments of the day, the stupid dirty kitchen, the clutter that I can never seem to overcome…  It all piled up into one seething pile of resentment and frustration.  And all of it taunted me, saying, “You can never get a handle on things.  You suck at life.  You’re a terrible mother.  I pity your husband.  You should just give up.

Give up.

Give up.

Give up.”

So I did.  After angrily tossing piles of clutter willy-nilly in bags, then realizing that I couldn’t even think straight enough to sort the stupid stuff, let alone see it through my tears, I gave up.

And I hated my house and myself for giving up.

But I didn’t want to cry any more, and giving up made the tears stop.  So I sat at my desk, numbly checking my Facebook newsfeed, and waiting for my husband and kids to come home from the party that I was supposed to take them to.

Did I eat anything?  No.

Did I take a nap?  No.  I was tired of napping when things got rough.

Did I do anything to make myself feel better?  No.

I was too busy beating myself up about having the meltdown in the first place.  I wasn’t worthy of feeling better.

I knew, in the back of my mind, though, that I was being unreasonable and mean to myself.  I knew that things would probably look better the next day and that I could then apologize to my husband for yelling at him.  I even knew that he’d probably forgive me.  After ten years, he’s almost used to me.

But I was still so ashamed that I’d had the biggest meltdown in years, and I guess I couldn’t quite forgive myself for it yet.

When I think back on it today, I realize a couple of things.

1) It had been building for a while.  I have regained all my old habits of telling myself mean things.  My self talk has become really negative again.

2) I let myself get over hungry, which is always a recipe for disaster.  My mood is integrally connected to the fullness of my stomach.

3) I’d been less vigilant about my sugar consumption.  Even though I made that coconut loaf with agave syrup instead of white sugar, I still shouldn’t have eaten so much of it the day before.  And all that white flour in the recipe probably didn’t help, either.

4) It has been ages since I’ve had a good look at myself.  I haven’t been to a Celebrate Recovery meeting in over a year (or two?), my small group hasn’t been meeting lately, and I haven’t had a good heart-to-heart with one of my best friends in a couple weeks, either.

That big meltdown has made me realize that depression is always an option for me.  And I can’t let myself choose it again.

For my kids, for myself, for my husband — I have to keep saying no to despair.

I can’t give up.

And if I’m going to choose life, I need to become intentional about it again.

I’ve let my recovery fall by the wayside, and it’s no good.  I need my sanity.

So here I am.  Freely admitting to the interwebs that I am overwhelmed.  Still, again, always.

It’s time for me to take back control, by relinquishing it to the One who loves me.  By admitting that I am still powerless.  My own attempts at saving myself have failed.  Again.

Here I am, back in recovery.

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