I feel myself sliding down again in to the ugly, non-productive, lay-in-bed abyss. But I can't afford the pain and luxury of wallowing - I'm too close to losing everything I've worked for. Materially it's not much - a rented small house, old or hand-me-down furniture, clothes I've had for 30 years, clothes I've outgrown but hold onto in the hopes I'll shrink this fat body down so I can wear them again, even if they're hopelessly out of style.
I hate this part of depression. I work so hard to move up the hill that's always there. And then something happens - I don't know what or why. No discernible event, no major crisis - but there's the ugly specter again. I have to fight harder and I'm so tired. I'm tired of hearing people who have no idea of this plague tell me to just pull myself up by my bootstraps, quit feeling sorry for myself (I'm not), be like a Nike shoe and JUST DO IT.
Problem is, I honestly and truly don't know whether I really believe it's worth doing it. I don't know why that is either. I have amazing parents and I'm so blessed they're still here and yet I feel so guilty because all they've ever wanted is for me to be happy. I'm not even sure I know what true happiness is or if I'm just over thinking ... again.
One of my greatest assets - being intelligent - is also one of my greatest challenges. My brain goes faster than my mouth ever could - and people think I'm a know-it-all chatterbox. They don't realize that even though I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 56, I've done my best to just shut up all of my life. I've hated being called a know-it-all when all I was trying to do was be helpful. So those who love me give me the advice just to remember I'm different than others (don't I know it), and know that most people just don't care about the stories I tell in an effort to find some common ground with all the people I meet and feel comfortable.
Many think I'm easily and extrovert. Not so, I still feel like a sky, awkward kid who took two hours to warm up even to my cousins as a kid. And when I do offer information, it's never ever been my intention to be a "I'm better/smarter than you know-it-all." It was a genuine effort to be of help. I love to help people - and not because I expect something in return. Because it gives me joy. It seems more often to give others a headache or a gradual loathing or at least desire to hide if they see me coming. And it just makes me feel like disappearing. The rejection has caused me so much pain, that I've paralyzed myself with fear that anything I do - even trying to find a job - will just bring more rejection.
I don't like feeling jealousy or other negative emotions, but sometimes I find myself just pleading with God, "why can't I just be normal? Why am I not good enough to have someone love me and treat me the way I would love and treat them?" I'm not normal - don't even know what it's supposed to be. I just know I've always felt like the proverbial square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I try to shave the corners off - but it's always like trying to ram a camel through the eye of a needle.
I've made so many mistakes in my life. And I truly don't want to feel the pain anymore. I've been told my rationale for not taking my own life being that it would be so painful to my family shouldn't really matter if I'm really that miserable. But it does matter. I've always taken the pain from others when I could than watch them suffer - as though I can handle it any better.
I let others' reactions to, and opinions of me affect my peace too much. Hearing some of the things that have been said about me, whether it was intended that way because the person talking is just bitter and ugly - or accidentally heard, it still hurts. A friend recently told me she recognizes I'm very quick to forgive, but there's a hurt that lingers with me. There is - because I cannot fathom doing and saying some the things that come so trippingly off the tongues of others. I've told myself that makes me a better person. I think it just makes me expect too much from others who don't give a damn about the feelings and the well being of anyone but themselves. I've let everyone from people who taunted me and I was afraid of, to my own children walk all over me - and I've forgiven. But there's always another scar inside that mere forgiveness doesn't heal or take away.
Some tell me I'm so strong and amazing, some say I'm just a survivor hanging on for dear life. And all the time I take what others tell me about me too much to heart. What the hell do they really know about me? Or is it some great cosmic joke that everyone understands and knows about me, but me? Everything is always backwards - I don't seem to catch the ball that's being thrown. I have feelings of not being good enough, and the other party tells me years later, "I never thought I was good enough for you." What the ... ? Am I somehow impaired so that I cannot understand the words and actions of others? I've never thought so until the last few years.
I'm tired. I've given until I'm blue in the face and I don't know how to quit being a giver to those who just take. I feel resentment against myself when I say I do someone a huge favor when they think they're doing me a favor. I'm exhausted of the 11th hours deadlines I put on myself because I've promised to do something that I didn't really want to do, and didn't really have the time to do because I've got other, more pressing personal business to take care of - like finding a job. I do it to myself. Why can't I just say, "I'm sorry, I just won't be able to help you this time because I'm about two weeks away from losing everything."
I was asked by a good friend why I can forgive everyone else for small and gigantic hurt I've allowed them to cause, but I can't forgive myself. I hold myself responsible for too many things that I have no control over because they're in the past, but my guilt keeps making me a target and receptacle for the garbage of others. Especially my children. I love my sons, I'm mostly proud of my sons. But all children cause their parents pain at some point or another. And for single parents, even if our children have contact with their other parent - their anger and angst at the other parent's failing get taken out or blamed on us - and some of them held onto until they become our child's life story and we're the bad guy when we were the one who was there through everything - even the crap stirred up by the other parent. How do we not just explode all over our now-adult children at some point and tell them what a crappy job their other parent did, but we, trying not to damage our child's view of the other parent, said nothing while we were bleeding inside. I have anger and resentment - more towards the father who was in his son's life - because it was on again, off again. "I can't handle it." You caused this - I'm done. And all the time I'm thinking, "whatever made me so self loathing that I slept with the person and made a child only to grow up with inevitable issues?"
All I ever wanted to do was be viewed as normal - that elusive, unrealistic, non-existent state. But I just couldn't, then I didn't want to - I wanted to be the rebel who would show everyone how tough I was and they couldn't get to me. But they did - and I allowed it. I became bitter, angry, hateful and most of all unhappy. I did the best to follow the rules, but I was always singled out as not following them the right way. Was it because I had a sense of what was right and wrong, fair and unfair that didn't match anyone else's. Or maybe no one else gave a fat rat's behind. I fought for the underdog and ended up in the dog house.
There are a few people - mostly my family - who know the most about me and to whom I don't have to explain myself or always be on the defensive. But I know as much as they love me, they don't, can't and will never truly understand why their suggestions aren't taken. I don't know either. I just know that for some reason - rational or un - I cannot do what they want me to do and what they truly hope, pray and believe will be the best for me. They have more faith in me than I do.
As many positive things I read, as many uplifting memes I share on Facebook - and as much as I want to believe them with my head and my heart - somehow within me is a break in the wiring. To know better is not always to do better. I'm an optimist without enthusiasm. I know guilt and all the negativity that I carry around like 100 lbs of battle rattle is pointless and certainly not of a loving God. Why then can't I just permanently hand that big old heavy knapsack over and more forward with the faith I say I have? Why don't I find myself worthy of the happiness I know I deserve? Why can't I forgive myself for my blunders, for the guilt of bringing my children into a life that I knew wouldn't be optimal because I didn't have a partner to support me and love them?
Stupid, I know. But the lesson I keep learning is to keep to myself. It makes those who love me worry. So I try to please them and push away their fears that my desire to be alone is no kind of life and they worry about me. I push myself to go out to social events with them, and try to have a good time - but it's just going through the motions for me. I still want to be at home, alone with my four dogs who don't understand, but don't need to. They love me anyways. And then I worry because if I don't find a job - what will happen to them? They're my other children - you don't adopt children and then just pawn them off on someone else. I made a vow to them to give them a better life than they'd know - that's why I always adopt rescue dogs. And the look in their eyes, the way they mob me as I walk in the door, and the way they give each other the stink eye when one has my full attention tells me the love me. Even Taylor has mentioned the Chewy looks at me with a look that can only be called adoration. I can't forsake that out of fear of rejection from stupid people.
I know repeating negativities in my head just manifests them in the physical world. I work so hard to shut it off. I'm told my work is excellent, but I've always felt it could be better. Why can't I just let it be what it is to someone else for once, accept the compliment and move on without negative self talk?
Lord, if you're listening, if you are the all- knowing, what am I doing wrong. I always pray that you will remove my disbelief. I do believe I'll see it when I believe it. Why can't I believe it? Please help me let go and not take back the crap. Please strengthen my faith - in you, but also in me. Please help me find my place in time.