If Mama is miserable…

This is a hard one to write; to even admit. I am miserable all of the time. LITERALLY. It has gotten to the point even that I forget what happiness feels like. Let me tell you a little secret: Being miserable is NO WAY TO LIVE. (Duh, right?)

The saddest thing about the above paragraph is the effect on the kids. I am fully aware of our sad household. I am fully aware that I set the dial on the happiness meter in our house. It is a huge responsibility and I have failed miserably. I hate myself for it, more than I can even express.

Oh, our family can fake it like the best of them when we are with other people. But the kids don’t know anything else. Owen and Easton sometimes say something to someone else that embarrasses me because it points to our unhappiness, but I think most people don’t really understand the implications of what they are saying. Macy, sadly, is old enough to not point it out to others.

This miserableness has also taken a huge toll on our marriage. Scott hates it and fights against it as best he can by throwing himself into the kids, but it is not enough. I truly hope to repair our marriage someday soon.

About now, I am wondering if someone reading this can really comprehend the true miserableness I am talking about. Because, even describing it, it doesn’t sound real. I mean, how can a family of 6, with both parents and beautiful children who seem happy and well-adjusted, be that miserable? Trust me. It is possible and it is just as sad as it sounds.

I shoulder the responsibility of it. I really do. The saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody is happy” is even more true in the reverse: “If Mama is miserable, everybody is miserable.”

As an example, Macy is actually quite a joyful person, miraculously in spite of her negative home environment. One of the things she likes to do is whistle. All-the-time…. whistling. But it is like nails on a chalkboard to my miserable soul. And I can’t listen to it. It is the saddest, most miserable thing I can think of, yelling at a joyful child to stop whistling. And so I try to handle it and breathe through it and marvel at her happiness, but I can only last a fraction of a minute. So I bark at her to stop and then I hate myself for it. It is like I cannot stand her happiness in the face of my miserableness. It is me bringing her to my miserable level.

Why am I miserable? <Sigh> That is a complex thing. If I had to point to a single thing, it would be because I hate myself and have hated myself for so long. But it is more than that. I am tired all the time. Depressed. Short tempered. Significantly obese. I feel like a failure in motherhood, marriage, friendships, and all other relationships in my life. I feel stupid. I feel like a waste of space. I feel helpless. Without hope. Despair.

How can I not feel miserable when I am feeling all of those other things?!?!

But, I am done with feeling these things. Done. Because I want more. I want more for myself. More for my kids. More for my marriage. More for my family. More for our future. I want more than just existing. I want to contribute to life. I want to participate in life. I want to live life. I want joy. I want hope. I want to dare to make the world a better place.

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Half-epiphany

I spent too much of my adult life under a giant cloud of depressed darkness wanting to die. I hated feeling like that, yet it became my norm and I subsisted along living my life as best as I could. Ignoring the dark thoughts about how much easier it would be if I was dead. Going to therapy to learn tricks to “reframe” my thoughts. Finally convincing myself that I didn’t REALLY want to die because I could never do anything to harm myself. One therapist called it something like passive suicide thoughts. Wanting to die was my brain’s way of letting me know that something(s) was not working in my life. She said it was not the same thing as wanting to kill myself. That it was a good thing I just wanted to die rather than wanting to actively kill myself. That the difference between those two things was me being bothered enough to seek help. At the time I understood what she meant, and yet at the same time felt marginalized. Like I couldn’t even be suicidal correctly.

But lately, I haven’t been under my cloud of depression. Actually, it has been over 2 years. My psychiatrist attributes this to the judicious increase of my thyroid meds (both T3 & T4). I don’t know if that is it, but it’s as good a reason as anything else since nothing else has really changed. After my first 3 babies I was always heavily depressed & required antidepressants each time, this last baby I did not. The difference being my thyroid meds.

Except… I’ve been feeling something new to me. And it is greatly troubling.  I am now scared I am going to die. Like seriously, bottom of my soul, scared I’m going to be dead soon. It is so odd to have gone from “passively” wanting to die to the extreme of being fearful of dying soon.

It is starting to effect my life. I stopped mid-shower one morning because I immediately had to teach my 4yo how to dial 911for when I slip in the shower. I won’t drive in the carpool lane bridge thing that is just too impossibly high to not fall off the edge. I won’t do too strenuous exercise because I know for sure it will cause me to have a heart attack because of my weight.

As I write those out, I know they are most likely NOT going to happen. But when I experience these thoughts, I am 100% sure they are going to happen. And these thoughts make me feel bad, very, very bad.

I’ve just been dealing with these thoughts by either doing something actively against them (not driving on the overpass) or trying to resign myself to accepting that everyone dies at sometime (at least Easton will be able to call 911).  But both of those things still make me feel icky.

My epiphany was that maybe I’m experiencing anxiety (duh!). But this is where it gets murky for me. I don’t feel how I think other people feel when they say they have anxiety.  My heart doesn’t race & I don’t have a panic attack. Instead, I just worry and fret and can’t stop thinking about it. Sometimes my sleep is affected,  sometimes  it’s not. I think about getting “help” but don’t have a lot of confidence that my psychological team will be able to help me. After all,  I was depressed for probably 15 years with only moderate relief. Then there’s the small part of me that’s worried I’ll be told I’m not really anxious and that it could be worse… in other words, I’m doing anxiety wrong like I did suicidal thoughts wrong. And that’s why I feel like this was only a half-epiphany. Because I’m probably doing it wrong.

Starting Over…. AGAIN (redux) & THE HATE

I don’t know what number time this is for me starting over. But the great thing is that it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to dwell on it. I’m just going to start over and be thankful that I’m starting over.

I’m at 264lbs again. I hate that number. I hate how easy it is to gain weight and how difficult it is to lose. I hate how much I hate myself, if that makes sense. I hate that I am so very tired all the time. I hate the kind of parent I am. I hate the wife I have become. I hate my messy house. I hate my lack of patience. I hate our lack of money. I hate. I hate. I hate. HATE!

As I’ve been in therapy and trying to come to grips with my depression and other issues I commonly say that I don’t know what I am feeling. I think I’ve realized why. I don’t feel anything but hate. But I don’t like feeling hate. In fact, I HATE hating. I know it is not normal to HATE everything, so therefore I don’t acknowledge it. But I think if I acknowledge it I can move past it. So I’m going to acknowledge the HATE in an effort to feel other things.

Unfortunately I haven’t been to therapy in a couple weeks (a variety of reasons, all boring), so I don’t know if this is an “approved” technique. But, one thing I do know is that I’m ready to move past THE HATE and on to LIVING.