I am becoming a person I don’t like and don’t recognize. I think I need help.
I don’t know if it is depression or anxiety or just plain old crazy, but I can’t even stand myself anymore. I have been through depression before and in some ways it‘s the same, but in some ways different. I’m not sad or blue at all. This time, it’s stress. Overwhelming, paralyzing stress. I am being pulled in a million directions at all times (or at least it feels like I am) and I always feel like I am on the verge of a complete breakdown.
As for the similarities to previous bouts of depression, I do feel exhausted and have no energy. While I don’t feel blue, I feel…I don’t know – sort of…nothing…numb. I am gaining weight to the point that I hate myself – I avoid the mirror at all cost because I literally cringe when I see myself. I have no sex drive and I would rather just be left alone than interact most of them time.
But the thing that is different is the frustration, lack of patience, irritation and stress. I find myself losing patience so quickly. With the kids, with everyone (of course, with mr b, but that’s nothing new). I hear myself yelling at the kids and I hate myself for it. I hate that sometimes I just want to tell them to Shut Up, already. Sometimes I feel like there is something wrong with me as a mother. And even though I know it’s not true – I sometimes feel as if I don’t even like them. Mr b has always been the short tempered, short fuse, fly off the handle, hateful one. And suddenly I find myself acting just like him. And I hate myself for it. I feel like my kids are growing up thinking their mother doesn’t love them. I sometimes get so hyper-critical, so disapproving, so quick to bark at them over something. Even as I am reacting, I hate it, but can’t seem to stop.
I feel like a bad mother.
I used to be an awesome mom. I used to be the loving, patient one. I used to be the one I knew they would look back on fondly. And now, I feel like I am polluting their childhood. They are growing up right before my eyes and I am creating one regret after another. I am overwhelmed.
I know I need to do something.
I think it’s a combination of truly having a crazy, overwhelming schedule, and something internal. I think even a perfectly sane person would feel stressed out. I drive a long distance to work every day. I am constantly dependent on other people to pick up and drop off my kids (which I hate), I have to keep track of practices and meetings and homework and baths and the house and work deadlines and dinner, and so on and so on. My husband is laid off and it’s bringing up a critical difference of opinion about careers. And I don’t want this to be a husband-bashing, but I really feel like things are unbalanced around here. There are always unfinished projects, and little day-to-day help – and nothing without having to ask for it, which even if it gets done, it’s not without a martyred sigh. I have talked about it before, and even more than the actual division of work, it’s more about the heavy burden of responsibility. Add all that to whatever this emotional state I am in is, and it’s making me crazy. I don’t like myself much these days.
My reaction to stuff is off the charts sometimes. The other day, I got home after work and picked up the kids. I had stopped on the way home to pick up a few things for our trip and discovered that my ATM card was missing. Not only did that suck, but I had to dive back to the store (not a short jaunt) to get the stuff we needed, because I don’t have much time this week, between other obligations and work deadlines. So I planned to go back that night when mr b and the boy were at scouts. We were in the house and I was trying to get everyone fed (while listening to the whining) and waiting for mr b who was (of course) late, and the boy starts dropping bombs left and right – tonight’s a ceremony – I need my shirt – tomorrow I have to stay late for practice (meaning I have to arrange a ride) – I need a tuxedo shirt for next week – there’s a band booster meeting tonight. Then, the girl announces that baton signups were that night. And I still had to go back to the store. And mr b was still not home. And I lost it. I yelled (at no one in particular), and wanted to throw things, or cry, or both. Because I can’t do it all. I feel like I am slipping behind every minute. I can’t do it all.
And this happens again and again and again. That night wasn’t unique. Tonight it was a late-running band practice, and a hungry whiny girl, and wal-fucking-mart, and big morons at Wendy’s, and laundry and once again not getting packing done. Tomorrow it will be another late practice, rushing from picking him up straight to the girl’s open house, trying to get packed, last minute nonsense, getting the kids packed up for a weekend with my parents, writing down schedules and gathering band uniforms and gear, dropping off the kids, and getting to bed early enough to be able to function for a pre-dawn flight. It’s always something.
I constantly feel like I am two steps behind. Like I am always running late. Like I am not cutting it.
The stress of it makes me miserable, is probably hurting my kids, and is giving me physical symptoms. I don’t feel sad or depressed or weepy, but the stress and frustration and anxiety and irritability are getting the best of me, leaving me and my kids with the worst. And it’s making me hate myself even more.