In the course of my various treatments by various professionals, the academic kind and the real professionals who have experienced mental illness and in the reading I have done on depression, anger, blah, blah, blah; all those problem emotions that are not supposed to be a problem there has been a lot of discussion about truth and perspective. (Maybe there should have been some talk about run-on sentences but in any case...)
The dilemma is: What is fact, truth, reality vs. what do I perceive? What blanks do I fill in with my perceptions in lieu of facts. Isn't that the heart of the problem? I mean, think about it. I have a roof over my head (that doesn't leak), I have food on the table every day (even treats and junk food I don't really need), I have clothes to wear that are suitable for every season so I don't boil or freeze, I have a loving supportive husband, I have two healthy reasonably well-behaved children and even a healthy happy dog, I also have some extended family that are wonderful and some that are not awful. So what's to be depressed about? If it was a question of my changing my perspective to see the facts of my life as others see them why don't I just do that?
I totally get that I do have negative thought patterns and habits that I need to catch and challenge but I am finding it to be very difficult. It has become easier since I started following other bloggers because I can see clearly their skewed perceptions just as mine are probably as obvious to you. I had a counselor once who said "Sheila, you have a 'yeah, but' for everything." He was absolutely right and I still do. So yeah those skewed perceptions may be obvious to you but, I'm different. I really am inadequate as a parent (the fact that both kids think pot is harmless, among other issues, is my proof), I really am a bad dog parent because it's a fact that I don't walk my dog every day, I really am a less than perfect wife because it's a fact that John works two jobs and still I can't seem to manage the house without his help (the kids don't help either and it's a fact that if I had been a better mom, they would help). It's a fact that I cannot hold a job and so do not contribute so well (my pension is pathetic) financially to the household. Last, but not least, I create art (which costs money to do) that I don't do anything with, I can at least somewhat justify the art thing as a kind of therapy, but (there's that word again) it's been sixteen years and the art thing has been no more successful than any other kind of therapy. (I know, I know, what a pathetic little self-pity party I'm having)
So what is my truth, where do I find my reality and how do I change the perspective I have? I'm pretty sure that's the key but (see, I told you so) I don't know how to do it. I have tried, honest, there have been: affirmations, "Fake it 'till you make it", charts (you know the ones with the events, thoughts, feelings, etc), gratitude journals, thought challenge journals... The problem is I've never really believed any of what I've said or thought or written. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough, maybe I haven't stuck with anything long enough, maybe I like being depressed because it absolves me of so many responsibilities, maybe I've forgotten how not to be depressed. Who the hell knows? Not me and if God, or the Divine, or Allah or anyone does, I wish to hell they would tell me so I could get over this already. Waah