the guilt factor..more on anxiety and depression

Thanks to my sister my last post got a lot of traffic and more comments then I get in a year :)

I think it's a pretty serious subject and one that has been taboo. I think there has been a lot of judgement against it and even more misunderstanding. I have now been on both sides of the debate. I tend to think as women and then even more as mothers we face so many more emotions/feelings to deal with.

One friend I was talking to recently told me that she thinks I have been depressed for a long time. She saw me at one of my low points almost 2 years ago right after we moved back down to the Coast and I had been caught in a could be very ugly law suit with a fundraiser gone when I was chair of the girls Elementary School PAC, working full time, and being home alone with 5 kids (my 4 and a 10 year old exchange student).....those were crazy times..... I pretty much had a nervous breakdown. The year before I have to say I did everything I knew how to do to deal with the diagnosis of J's disease......this included the entire gamut of drinking a lot, stuffing all my feelings into the inner most part of my being, learning how to put on a strong face and pretend to be super woman, times of actually dealing with it, drinking, stuffing, eating, denial, eating, drinking, crying, and hours of being lost in my head. I think you could safely say that I was "dealing" with it the only way I knew how, how can you really be prepared for such a thing?.....the tricky part was the guilt that consumed me when I thought or realized I wasn't dealing with it right or as well as I thought I could/should be. For every time I didn't feel like I was dealing with it correctly or spiritually enough I felt guilty. I think that may be where the depression crept in, the feeling that I was not dealing right/correctly or good enough. Now that seems crazy!! but as I was talking to my cousin last night ...chatting away on facebook.... I even feel guilty when I don't feel like I have accomplished enough on my days off! she said, ' so basically you feel like even though you have 4 children, work full time at a demanding stressful job, and have a husband you have to be productive on your down time?"....I could add to that list a hubby with a chronic illness and is self-employed 2 other pretty big stresses..... um ....yes?! I replied sheepishly!! Isn't that nuts? why do we do that to ourselves? I say we cuz I know I am not alone in least I hope not! I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish on my 4 days off and didn't complete it and so by 6pm last night I started to berate myself for all the things I didn't get to! not even at all reflecting on what I did get done, or the simple fact that my house has stayed pretty darn clean for an entire week and I have kept on top of the 30+ loads of laundry I do a week! So why the guilt? why do we put so much pressure on ourselves on top of what society already does?! mind boggling...makes me wonder how any of us sleep?!

I think I could go on and on....

my positive steps forward:
get my butt in all it's glory ( baby got back ) to the gym!!
cut way back on coffee if not out all together GULP DOUBLE GULP
paint at least once a week
keep blogging about it :)
keep talking about my stuff with friends/family/Dr, I am sure they are all happy to know that they are probably all rolling their eyes saying YOU ALREADY TALK TOO MUCH!!
make lists.....that are reasonable
make me time
continue to work on eating healthier
post positive sayings/beliefs around me so I can read them several times a day
take vitamins

I think that's a good start.


Anonymous said…
depression hurts, info on mental health issues and confidence building at
Optimism makes the worold a better place. Cheers,

Visit me at
rena said…
Hi Lala,
You have had a lot of response to this and the previous post. People love and care for you. Much of the response is "here's what to do". We love and care for eachother which is why we tell eachother how to fix ourselves. This is not something I am knocking or judging, I am only wondering, when we are depressed, why do we make even more "do to" list of things to fix it? Maybe this is a time to be mindful of what is going on inside you, to not do, but just be, and find out what is happening in your heart. Cast aside all the "shoulds", "have tos", the expectations, and find out what you truly feel and what you truly need.
We have been conditioned in our authoritative society ever since we were children to behave in certain ways, and that behavior came with judgement, punishment and reward..we are good if we do good, we are bad if we do bad..and all the feelings of guilt and shame that have taken seed in us perpetuate; this, and our unmet needs is what I believe can grow into depression, and this "dark night of the soul" can be, if we let it, a time to be still and know. But instead, we get even more busy to fix it.

We know what we "should" do,based on what has been expected of us all our lives, but seldom know what we feel and need. We are told a loving, Christian woman "should not" have needs and feelings, that she "should" sacrifice those needs and feelings out of love and service to others and so she sacrifices herself, and all that God intended her to be, to the "shoulds".
So let me encourage you to put down your to do list of positive steps forward and simply take time, get quiet, get mindful and listen to your heart. God will speak to you there. And don't be afraid of what you might hear. Sometimes I think we "stay busy" because getting quiet can seem scary.
I love you. I know where you are coming from. I'm there too. Lets go thru this together...I'll call you today.
Shash said…
I tweeted your blog again :-)

I love you La La and I wish I was closer!! You know I'd be over every day helping you out!!! Stupid 5,000 klms in between us!!!


I'm a Twit
Lynette said…
I have so been there. Even down to the nervous breakdown.
Its not a fun place to be, but its great that you are talking about it and realize there is a problem.
Talking helps!
Reg said…
The gym, eh? I hear that alot. The gym is no good if you don't have a plan and a routine to follow. Plus you need to find something that works for you and that you find somewhat enjoyable. Or its going the way of the Doe Doe. We'll talk soon. I need help figuring that one out myself. I think I'm getting fat.

PS I really found what Rena said helpfull. I also have noticed something, the ones commenting on your blog that actually know you, really have some sound advice. The Lord is worthy to be praised. He has given us all we need. Including putting us in the path of those that can truely help and support us. That would not be me, by the way. Just saying. :-)
Anonymous said…
I found that in the depths of my depression, I would often give myself a hard time for everything. I really disliked myself a lot of the time. And for things I wouldn't hold against anyone else! My understanding is that this is part of the illness. The best thing I found was just to be aware of that and know that it wasn't truth speaking.

One of those things I kept berating myself about was that I was boring all of my friends with the same old depression talk all the time. But that's where I was and they were more than happy to meet me there. So I want to encourage you not to feel bad about 'boring' people. They love you and they want to do anything they can for you!

Picking up on one of Rena`s points, I think we make ourselves lists because of our desire to make things better, to try to effect change. It's human nature. But I wholeheartedly agree that sometimes it is best to just set everything down, take a step back and allow God to work in us. I did that for a long time.

But when there are things that we have to do, one step at a time is what works for me.

If Shash is 5,000 miles away, does that mean you`re in Vancouver? If so and you want to have coffee sometime and monologue at me, I'd love to support you in that way.

Much love to you
Crystal said…
Keep on keeping on! Just another mom who experienced ppa here to give you a hug!

Popular Posts