Friday, October 2, 2015

Sinking into grief and depression

As per my usual behavior as of late, when life gets rough I just hide and don't share anything.  It's weird because that's so not me in real life, or it wasn't until about four months ago.  Well, to be honest I started this slide when my dad died nine months ago. 

Not too long after Dad's death, my husband was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition.  He's losing his sight and there's nothing we can do about it, no treatment, no hope of changing the outcome.  During those same scary days during the testing and diagnosis, I gave notice at the job I'd had for nearly 16 years and quit two weeks later.  I was compartmentalizing everything that was happening so one thing was never connected to another.  I started seeing more clients; I thought I was doing well and had my fear and stress under control.  Maybe I did, but it was the grief that was eating away at my soul.  Grief and loss were becoming overwhelming and I was ignoring it.

Rob quit teaching at the beginning of May and we suffered another financial loss.  Matt came home from Japan in the middle of June and what should have been wonderful was stressful and overwhelming, shooting my anxiety and worry to whole new levels.  My dad's memorial service was a few weeks later and it shook me, made me notice how much I was grieving. 

Holy hell, it seemed like the blows would never stop.  They haven't.  Over the summer I began to lose confidence in my abilities, saw my client load reduced by half, started struggling to leave my house in the morning and make it in to the office for supervision and to see clients, and somehow welcomed shame and guilt into my daily life.  The weight never gets any lighter.  Tears fall regularly, my self-esteem is lower than I remember since my early 20's, and I feel responsible for the expectations of others though I've just made those up and have no idea what they might really be.  I have lots of negative stories I tell myself, and I often believe all of them.

In therapy this week we focused on a relationship with a friend.  I intentionally shut her out over the summer and every time I have tried to talk with her since, I make up stories about rejection.  Moving past these stories has proven to be more difficult than you would think.  "She loves you!  She only wants the best for you!" I tell myself, and then the other part reminds me that I've been rejected and it can never go back to the way it was...  total bullshit, but that's the darkness that creeps in through the cracks in my self-esteem.  And now that the cracks are visible, the fear and regret of my husbands condition come followed closely by hopelessness about the future and our combined success.  Will we never be able to buy a house?  Will we always struggle and never be able to live in a rundown place?  Will I be able to support both of us when he cannot work?  Will he find something in this world that will keep him above the depression or is that his eventual destiny, the bringer of his demise?

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