Stress and my depression..

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.

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A case of the Sundays…

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.