Still Sad

I’m not at all ready for Christmas. Haven’t started. I did get cards out. I really did try to get in the mood this year but I’m just not feeling it. I work on Christmas Day and all throughout December. And the depression is not lifting. I have got myself on an online Al Anon support group. Al Anon is for anyone who has been affected by someone else’s drinking. My biological father was an alcoholic and I learned some really unhealthy coping mechanisms. Sometimes I think I will never be healthy person. It feels like I was born broken. They say unborn babies can feel emotions. My mom had planned to leave my biological father but then discovered she was pregnant with me so she stayed. My first memories are of being scared. Terrified is a better word. Did I feel that way before I was born? I don’t know. I just know I have never not been broken. I envy people who were born into a loving home. I envy people who are simply…not sad. Yes, we all have issues but unless you have dealt directly with addiction you can’t know the effects. For me, it all boils down to never wanting to get someone angry at me ever. From my husband to a person in the grocery aisle where my cart might be taking up too much space to where I put my stuff at work because someone else might have wanted that space to not leaving an intersection fast enough and the driver behind me having to wait to not returning emails right away. It’s everything. When someone expresses anger I can try to stand up for myself and it’s like people know. They know they can win. And they always do. Always.

I really need to try to focus on something positive but honestly, I’m just not feeling it right now. There is this. I get my new glasses on Tuesday. That’s a good thing. I also weigh in tomorrow and really hoping I’m a little closer to my goal. The only good thing about this particular depressive episode is I am not all that hungry.

28 thoughts on “Still Sad

  1. Hi Birdie, I do feel for you, I’ve been there and I still am there…kind of. My first memory is fear of my father. Nine years of therapy and seven years on meds could have helped me, but somehow I found a way to drag myself up only about 6 years ago. But we are very alike. I have the same issue with anger. I turn into an emotional wreck if I sense any anger directed towards me. I feel like it chips away at my confidence and I’ll desperately do anything to stop that feeling. That is something that I never have found a way to cope with. We become people pleasers to our own detriment. This is likely what led to my burnout in 2003 and what has led to so much of my own unhappiness and unfulfilled feelings. It’s even to a point where I can’t express anger in a healthy way so I revert to hiding in the bathroom and crying if something angers me…or even more extreme, I avoid any situation where there could lead to anger. Maybe prevention works for me, but I’m sure I miss out on a lot that way too. I do hope that Al Anon helps you, I’m way too timid to go to a group. I hope you find a little Christmas spirit. I’m sure it’s tough for you with everyone talking about the holidays, it used to feel like an intrusion to me and I hated it. I only started to celebrate holidays when I met my boyfriend Alex in 2013. Before that, I hated them all, they made my depression even worse. I’ll send you a big hug too. xx

  2. Dear Birdie.
    My mother was an alcoholic. She and my father were perfectionists, who only valued a maths/science brain. Which I do not have. Everyone else in the family does. So I grew up knowing I was inferior. Sub-standard. I was in my thirties before I realised I am not stupid. And knowing that, and feeling that are often poles apart.
    And I too hate people to be angry. it always but always feels like my fault and something I could have/should have fixed.
    You are not alone. Never alone.
    The usual hugs and oceans of caring are flowing your way.

  3. Birdie, you sweet thing! I got your card…thank you. After reading this post I knew exactly what I wanted to send you….it will arrive Jan 8 or 9th. Alanon changed my life about 12 years ago. I met a kind compassionate God there, I learned new ways to navigate my life. You know both of my parents were alcoholics. I definitely came into adulthood a broken dysfunctional person. I hope you are feeling better soon….much love to you my friend.

  4. My daughter is struggling with depression right now too and no matter what I say or do it’s not enough. I end up feeling like a total failure as a mom because I can’t say or do anything that helps her. And please don’t say just being there for her is enough because it isn’t. It isn’t helping her at all. I am so done with mental illnesses! I want them all gone, banished from the face of the earth. No one should have to feel bad for no reason on and on endlessly. I cry when she’s in bed because I can’t help her. I cry when I’m alone because I can’t do anything that makes her feel better. I cry because someone I love hurts and there is nothing I can do about it. And I cry for all the people I know who are suffering every day from this. I light a candle every evening in hopes that this small light will somehow shine on one of you and bring you some relief even if it’s just for a second.

  5. I was always afraid of my father too, even though he never laid a hand on me. His anger ruled our home. He would shake with anger and it is left its mark on me. I don’t like to be around angry people, they terrify me. Raised voices, conflict, body language, they all set me off. With me though, it gets me angry as well, or I hide, or I cry. I like to mix it up:) Oh, and I use humor a lot, obviously:)

    Christmas will come and go, with or without us being ready. I finally put up a tree. I decided that I was still going to have a Christmas tree, even if my granddaughters weren’t going to be here.

    Sending hugs Birdie. Be kind to yourself.

  6. Aw, this breaks my heart. I saw my sister struggle with not feeling loved by our dad and she grew up despirately wanting to please people. I new my parents loved me regardless of how they did or didn’t show it and what a difference that made. Honestly I don’t know why I saw things differently. I learned perspective trumps reality seeing how my sister and I became so different.

  7. I’m not feeling in the decorating mood yet. Everything is out but I just can’t bring myself to get into the Christmas spirit. I want to go home but it isn’t the way it used to be when my dad was alive. I miss him. that black dog is howling again.

  8. You are not alone. I have the same history, the same assumptions, the same outcomes. I do a bit of tapping and some mirror talk and they both help a little. All I want for Christmas is a day feeling a little bit better. I wish that for you too.xoxo

  9. While I didn’t grow up with an addicted parent, I grew up in an extremely religious and authoritarian household. My parents freely stated that fear…fear of the Lord and fear of their parents…is how a child grows up to be a good person. I haven’t recovered from that and don’t think I ever will.

    One very important thing (IMHO) about successful adulting is learning to love yourself despite your brokenness. Because we are all broken in one way or another. This is where people like to say that some deity will save you with love, but I think we can save ourselves by loving ourselves and loving each other. At times maybe that still isn’t enough to keep ourselves or those we love afloat, but it’s a worthy goal that gives us something non-destructive to reach for when we have nothing else. ❤

    • Oh Violet, I’m very familiar with the type of upbringing you had. I’m so sorry. Alanon might help you too. I learned about grace, compassion, and unconditional love there.

  10. Dear Birdie, soon we will be through the shortest day and we will once again have the hope of a new year and Spring. I too have problems with trying to please people, and it causes me great sadness when they abuse that kindness and use it against me. It is tough working Christmas Day, but think of the joy you will bring just by being with someone. xox

  11. I don’t suffer from depression, but like you I am uncomfortable with other people’s anger. I think most of us go out of our way to avoid it. After all, when we were children, what came with it? Usually some kind of punishment or scorn or disapproval or criticism. And we are still those little children, inside. I feel my tender aura retract into a hard, fearful ball even when I’m still in bed and hear my beau ranting out in the kitchen about something that has nothing to do with me … like he’s bumped into something, or something’s gotten in his way.

    And then there’s my own anger, which rises unbidden and surprises me and I don’t want it and yet seem unable to release it and let things go. I have to work hard at that, and often. Life seems to include emotions I wish I didn’t have and that I am so tired of. I want to “get over myself” and yet … and yet … you know?

    I like your blog a lot, Birdie. I like to read about the things you’re facing in your everyday life. I like your openness and I like the details and I loved that picture of you a short while back — finally getting to see what you look like.


  12. Dear Birdie, I wish I knew how to help you feel better about yourself, but I know from experience that feeling good about ourselves comes only from within. I can, however, share with you my journey with this problem.

    When I was five years old, my parents left me behind and traveled to another state. I was told by my grandmother that they had abandoned me. That they didn’t love me. They did come back after a year, but the damage was done. For much of the rest of my life I wanted to please everyone because I feared being deserted by friends and family both. Always, like you, I was scared that I didn’t do enough or say enough or “be” enough to satisfy others. That at any point, for no reason that I knew of, they might walk away and leave me friendless.

    That has ended for me–mostly. What happened is that a counselor had me write down all the things that I liked about myself. I found only three things. She also had me ask three friends to make lists of what they liked about me.

    I was astounded when I read their lists. I couldn’t believe that my friends saw me in such a positive light. All three found 15 to 20 things that they most liked. They liked my laughter, the way I listened to others, the way I respected children, and on and on. This was a real revelation to me–that in the eyes of others, I wasn’t the milquetoast, the failure, the dismal nothing that I saw myself to be.

    And so the counselor encouraged me to read those three lists each day and to say to myself, “Dee, you are a wonderful human being. Everyone loves you.” I said this mantra many times doing the days and weeks and months that followed. Gradually I came to believe it. To believe that I was enough. Enough for myself and for everyone else. I came to appreciate the wonder of myself.

    I hope this can happen for you. Just being able to share all you have in your postings says so much about the wonder of you–your truth, your honesty, your desire to be healthy in every way. You are a seeker and the life you live right now is one of journeying into the center of yourself where, I trust, you will find the deep Oneness that unites you to all human kind. Peace.

  13. Dear Birdie, earlier today I wrote a lengthy comment about how I’ve dealt with the problem that has haunted you–and me–through our entire lives. However, I did something wrong and the comment didn’t post. Today I’m now called away and so I will come back another day and try to rewrite the comment. Peace to you within the darkness you are feeling. Within darkness the seed cracks open and begins to grow.

  14. Hey Hun….just a questions…have you ever tried ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics)? I’ve found it so much more helpful than Al-Anon for some reason.

    Anyways….sending sweet hugs, wishing for the darkness to lift and for you to find comfort.

    • I did several years ago but the local group disbanded. But funny you should mention it because I have just been looking for an online group. Love to you.

  15. Love from me. I’m in the same place you are. Wish there was a coffee shop in here so we could rescue each other and take a break from life. xox

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