When you’re living with depression and anxiety biting someone’s head off is just a part of the meal.
Growing up in a rather large family taught me that family squabbles are just a part of everyday life. However, when the family dynamic includes violence, alcohol, unresolved abuses and dysfunctions it might mean you’ll do anything to keep the peace.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve suffered from an enduring bout of writers block. I’ve sat down on many occasions to pen something worthy of publishing only to find that I am incapable of bridging the gap between what I think and feel and the blank page in front of me.
So last night when Mr Me told me he thought I’d “given up writing”, the desire to snap off his stupid Mr Me head was almost unmanageable. But because I’m naturally a peace keeper (oh, I thought I heard him say that I was hopeless and incapable of doing anything for more than 5 minutes: is that what he intended to say?) I rolled through the hurt.
You see, living with depression and anxiety isn’t just about being depressed and anxious. It encompasses the way we see ourselves and the way everyone else sees us. Because we too believe the lie that we should be able to suck it up. Get over it. Buck up! (Click to Read The Great Buck Up)
Many depressed and anxious people perform incredible feats of emotional daring to make themselves appear “normal”. They fake illnesses so you’ll accept their excuses. They’ll hide behind alcohol, recreational drugs, obsessive routines, work-a-holism, arrogance and avoidance to make sure that you don’t make ripples that their “jerry-built” boats can’t handle.
Mr Me didn’t realise that he was rocking the boat. He was in-fact referring to my almost compulsive need to level the soil in our back yard, which has almost obsessively consumed me for more than a week. I’ve dug, shovelled, relocated and levelled over 50 wheelbarrow loads of dirt whilst working to transition between medications and process my inability to find words worthy of publishing. He thought I’d decided on a new career; digging!
It’s clear (even to me) that he had no intention of upsetting me. It’s clear that he’s extremely pleased with what I’ve done in the back yard, turning an unusable wasteland into a useable outdoor living space. It’s clear that he wants to encourage and bless me in my literary pursuits. But frankly, if I’d been holding cutlery at the time, his head would have been the main ingredient in my evening meal.
But instead, because I’m a well-trained peace-keeper, I resisted all desire to bite. But it’s not easy. Unreasonable short-temperedness is just another symptom of an illness that insidiously works to undermine an otherwise well-rounded and effective world view. And, my annoyance at many things that would otherwise do nothing more than encourage me to make some stupid joke, currently have me wondering who my friends are.
Fortunately, Mr Me has big shoulders (I hope), because I don’t want him to have to change to accommodate an illness that along with it’s current treatment undermines my very nature and attempts to change me.
Today from Marilyn Munroe – “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
Deb Shugg is an awarded business woman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety.
If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor. If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
(Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)