I've rewritten this blog post about 400 times this week, but since I have a great bout of insomnia going, I figure I would give it one last shot before posting it for the world to see.
Make that 402. I just wrote this post, twice, and deleted it, twice. I want to write to you about burdens and mental illness, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to put that into words. So maybe the key is to just write without thinking because if I don't get it out I fear I will never sleep again. So here goes.
I feel like my mental illness is a burden on others. Mostly, on Hubs and P. Is that true? I don't know for sure. What I do know is that they get the brunt of my illness. They have to deal with my emotions and my actions more than anyone else. There are days when I know what I'm doing is wrong and that I'm burdening them with my own issues, and on those days I feel like a super horrible mom. I'm such a bad mom. I still don't really know how to do this whole mom thing and I try to figure it out, but clearly some of you got the manual and I didn't because there are so many reminders on what I'm doing wrong. And I'm a bad wife. I don't remember my vows word for word anymore, but I'm sure I'm not living up to the expectations I set for our marriage on that day. And depression and anxiety are not my illness, but my families'; I may suffer from it, but they are carry the burden. My family lives with this everyday, and I bet there are days they get really sick of it. Me too. I am tired, ya'll (emotionally, not physically, because that would just be too good to be true).
I read an excerpt the other day about light and shadows and no matter how much we try to move, the light continues to cast a shadow behind us. The darkness, the shadow, is behind us. We cannot be in our own shadow; it's a mere reflection. It got more complicated after that, and I think it was actually a comparison to Heaven (not really sure), but as I read it I could only compare it to mental illness. This illness is a reflection of darkness, but there is light around it too.
So basically what this means is I have this thing that won't go away no matter how hard I try and there are good days and there are bad days and light and darkness and it all comes together to symbolically remind us that everything will be okay, but at the end of the day there is still a burden. (Yeah, it was really unhelpful when I read it, too).
I love my family. I don't want to burden them or make them feel bad or think they are in any way to blame for why things are the way they are and I just want everything to be better. To be okay. To be how it used to be. And then I try to remember what life felt like before we all became burdened and I really don't even know because it doesn't seem so bad now as it did before, but it's still not the same. And I don't know what any of this means, really, but what I do know is that there is a weight, a really heavy weight, and it's on my shoulders all the time. The weight cannot be lifted through selfcare (which I am a very fluent practitioner of), or rest or hugs or prayer (trust me). The weight, much like physical weight, will dissipate with time and hard work.
In the mean time, we suffer. And I somehow have to keep moving forward on days when I don't want to, and I still need to get out of bed even if sometimes I really need to convince myself that I can do it. And my family does too. They will keep tolerating me through my outbursts and keep loving me even when they don't like who I am in that moment and together we'll keep trying to lift this weight and push it off, into the shadows behind us, forever.
This is probably the only blog post that truly upset me because there was no solution at the end. I don't know what the answers are. I want to, does that count? I wish this story had a happy ending with a successful plan of action that you could put into place in your own life to feel less burdensome, but I don't have that today. And that's what this blog is for. I promised in my first post that this would be real and raw. So here it is.
22 months later. No cure yet. Will check again tomorrow.
Edit to add: If you read this entire post, thank you. I needed to get this out, which meant I didn't spell check or re-read anything. This was the result of that. I accept full responsibility of any spelling or grammatical errors.