Stress is a trigger for me. When I stress out my depression symptoms come out. I am always stressed. I do not handle stress very well either.
It is super stressful being a mom. Whether we work away from home or stay home. It is hard. I stay at home. While all four of mine are in school this year I have still found it hard. This back to school season has had it’s added stressor for me. I had surgery right as the kids started school. I was basically out of commission for almost a month and dependent on my mother and husband. Our routines were shot. I was sleeping even less than usual. I missed a major milestone with my youngest.
Add to that we had the threat of hurricane Harvey upon us. We were stuck inside for almost a week with worries of whether or not we would feel it’s wrath.
So, on top of my usual stay at home mom and wife stress I had all of that added in. May I remind you, stress and I don’t get along well. When I am stressed, I freak out over every little thing. My perfectionism comes out. My anger issues abound. I get snappy and stay cranky. I have trouble sleeping. I get sad. I sometimes start to feel hopeless. I feel like an utter failure. Try as I might to not, I end up taking some of my stress out on the kids. I yell. I fuss more. I snap whenever they do anything “wrong”. It isn’t fair to them. I know it isn’t their faults but I can’t help it. I react before I have a chance to think, because I am just so tired from constantly being stressed out and stuck inside my head.
My depression tells me what a failure I am at everything. It can’t let go of the fact I am not perfect. It constantly badgers me for not having the house spotless. It makes me feel guilty for needing to rest. It tells me I am worthless. It tells me I am a horrible mother and my kids deserve so much better than what they received. It tells me my husband deserves a better wife. One who isn’t crazy. A wife who can keep the house spotless and care for the children and have a four course meal prepared every night. My depression tells me I am a crappy friend and a bad daughter.
Some days it takes everything I have just to get out if my bed. I can feel the stress and despair and all these random emotions deep in my bones. It feels like they could break at any given moment from all the weight that is on my body. Everything feels heavy. So heavy.
I haven’t fallen back into that darkness lately but it is a scary place I have been before. I use everything I have to not get to that place. Some days are harder than others. When the stress and the weight of everything seems like too much.
I am lucky. My husband has started picking up on the cues. He sees the toll the stress of life has taken on me. He has started to notice when my outbursts become more frequent. He is able to recognize when everything is too much and I internalize yet again. While I hate his pestering in the moment I am thankful he is here to help pull me away from that dark place. I don’t appreciate him enough.
The last week I was thrown back into taking care of my family on my own again since my surgery. I haven’t handled that transition with the grace i intended to. The stress of doing everything on my own again got the better of me. The past couple of days have been a little rough. I have been snappy and cranky.
Today started out pretty well though. My goal for today is to do better than yesterday. As is my goal for every day.
Today is my day. The day I celebrate my age advancement. The day I celebrate myself. The day I celebrate when I graced the world with my presence.
I have always loved my birthday. It was the one day absolutely everything was about me. I loved that as a child. I loved the attention and of course cake and presents. Even as a young adult I still loved my day. It was my second favorite day if the entire year, only second to Christmas.
That is until I became a mom. My oldest was born just a little over a month before my birthday and I have never celebrated the same since. I also don’t love that I am getting older. The birthdays still in my twenties were a little more exciting than the ones that began my thirties. In my twenties, my friends and I still got together and went out. The last few years we haven’t.
I also spent a good part of the last few years depressed around my birthday. It has most likely been a mixture of feeling my age and all the stress of having young children. The stress itself keeps me on the borderline of having my depression rear it’s ugly head. I have also felt burnt out the past few years. I have been stuck in a rut and bored with the monotony of raising babies. I have spent nearly half my life as a mother. I began to lose myself in all this and in turn began to hate anything that reminded me of yesteryear. My birthday, a day to celebrate me, a day I once looked forward to six months out of the year, had become a day of sadness and despair.
I decided at the beginning of this year to be better. I want to be happier. I want to have more good days. I want to look on the bright side of things instead of living in that comfortable darkness I have called home for so long. I decided to embrace getting older and everything it means. Therfore, Isis have actually been excited about this year’s birthday. I didn’t have anything big planned but I knew I didn’t want to sulk about it this year. I guess my brighter self through this year has been noticeable. My best friend surprised me with a movie night for my birthday and my kids threw me a party. Well, the party was just us at home and they used things around the house to decorate but the thought really touched my heart. They were so excited about it and that I didn’t downplay my birthday this year like I have previously. I let them celebrate me and be happy about it.
And It has been a good day. He had a slight bump in the morning where things were looking rough but I tried my best to work calmly through it and not let it get to me and ruin my day. Normally, those bumps can throw off my entire day. Try as I might I can’t always pull myself up and out of that downward spiral. I’m glad today stayed as a good day.
So, Happy Birthday to me! The thirties aren’t as bad as they seem. Even though I am a third of the way to forty now.
Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. This is what I hear, but for me Sundays can be my most unrestful day. Not that I am physically busy, though sometimes I am. Sunday tends to be the day my anxiety and depression hit the worst. My mood swings get wild, I am overly frustrated by everything, and just downright unpleasant. There was a span of months, maybe even a year long span, that every Sunday I would be “in a mood”. Hence, why my husbands dubbed my issue “A case of the Sundays”.
I haven’t figured out why Sunday in particular was so hard. Maybe because Sunday is that day where one week ends and new one begins. It is a transitional day. My depression doesn’t know how to transition easily. It comes on full force at times. It sneaks up on me gradually other time. Then it can leave as quickly as it came or go on for months.
I have mostly learned my stressors. Stress, for instance, which is my constant state of being. I stress over everything. Literally. The stress wears me down and gives way for my depression to sneak back up. Anxiety is another friend of mine. Always there, telling me to worry about everything. Replaying every single situation I have been in as far back as I can remember. Perfection, or the perceived need to be perfect that is. I know I am not perfect and it is impossible to be but my mind needs me to be. I plan and over plan every aspect of my life. When things don’t go the way I plan it sets off a ripple effect. Add all these aspects on top of a fragile psyche and I drown. I am always inches away from going completely under.
Sundays aren’t my only hard days. Any given day can be a hard day. Any moment of any day can turn a good day into a hard day. Any slight hitch in my plan can set my mind off and turn my day upside down. Some times it is easier to hide than other times. When I am with certain people it is easier to keep that air of having it together. I can’t let anyone know I am not perfect, after all. I have invested so much into my perceived image that the world gets to see. Even my family and friends have only had glimpses into my true reality. The walls I have built are so tall and thick and heavy that they keep my true self hidden well only letting out little specks every now and then through the cracks.
This even, is only a glimpse. I could feel my mood slipping and my false happiness beginning to fade so I wanted to write it out. To let some of it go. I have never been good at “talking it out” or sharing my feelings. I usually hold back until it becomes too much and everything explodes out like a canon ball firing from a canon.
I’m working on that.
It is still early yet on my Sunday but I am striving to win this battle and have more good days than hard and less “case of the Sundays” on any day of the week.