Hi all. Things have been a bit all-over-the-place for me emotionally over the last week. Even by my standards! I decided to go and stay with my Mum at the weekend, in my wisdom. It was a scorcher – she lives near the coast – seemed like a no-brainer. Why can’t things ever just be that simple?
The first 24 hours were fine enough. We chatted lots, went to the beach, went swimming in the sea. Then we went for an Indian meal. I don’t know why but my mood plummeted into my boots around the time we had the meal. Maybe it was partly the situation…eating a meal alone with my mother on a Saturday night. Feeling like a useless, washed-up failure with a history of broken and discarded relationships and an empty life.
Anyway we had been going to see a film but I had to cry off that and got an early night. The next day I was struggling again with my mood…until I exploded with anger and resentment at my Mum. It was a broiling hot afternoon, even near the coast, and we went for a hellish drive and an even more hellish walk, arguing as we went, both now really upset and saying a lot of stuff we didn’t mean and maybe some we did.
This is unfortunately a pattern. I now rarely go to see my Mum or if I do I only spend one night or just an afternoon. It’s the same when she comes here, sometimes even worse because I feel territorial, as if she is invading my space.
I am naturally ashamed of my behaviour. Depression doesn’t make me dignified, silent, poetic or melancholy. It is so raw and painful I frequently cannot contain myself from exploding with irritation or lashing out with anger. The excruciating guilt, shame and remorse follow close behind.
I spoke to my Mum on the phone today and we smoothed things over. We were both quite devastated by the argument. With all the ambivalence, the history and strain there can be between us I know that she loves me to the best of her ability. She suffers, seeing me suffer. That is the bottom line. That is why the relationship has been strained to breaking point, but has never broken.
I am not over this depressive episode. It’s a time thing. As I tried to explain to my Mum (who does not really understand depression first-hand) the best way to recover from depression is to recover from depression. Only when you start to recover can you start doing all those things again that give you a sense of self-worth and build you up physically, mentally, spiritually. When you are in the full throes of an acute phase you often can’t do more than keep breathing.
Anger in depression can be a dangerous thing if it drives you to alienate the people who are closest to you. I have been in serious danger of doing just that. But I went to my CBT session today, and that is definitely starting to make more sense. The rapport with the therapist is building too. Then this evening I went to a marvellous OA (Overeaters Anonymous) meeting. Relationships are powerful things. Scary, yes. Terrifying, sometimes. But I know I need them…
Lovely to be here at WordPress by the way, and lovely to be able to read my ‘stats’ and comments and know that I’m not nattering away to an empty room! Love you … Zoe.