Overcoming Depression and Guilt
As if having depressive episodes isn't enough, I've recently been feeling guilty about them and their effects on the people around me.
Maybe I'm flashing back to my grandmother saying, "When you're a wife and mother, it doesn't matter how YOU feel. It's your job to keep a smile on your face and take care of your family." Maybe I watched too much Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best as a child. Maybe, maybe maybe...
Thanksgiving was rough for me. Our children and grandchildren don't live in our city, and we didnt get to see them. My husband forgot the conversation we'd had outlining a Thanksgiving Day spent together and ate oatmeal just before I went to the kitchen to fix our mid-day Thanksgiving dinner. Every little thing sent me spiraling into tears and gloom, going to bed and pulling the covers up to my eyes. I felt that I'd totally blown any kind of "real" Thanksgiving.
Does this sound familiar to any of you?
After a good night's sleep and several days of thinking about it, I've decided that part of my problem is setting unrealistic expections of myself -- and others. I need to scale them back.
So our kids couldn't be here for Thanksgiving. So what? Get over it. They have lives and families of their own. We talked with them on the phone. Everyone is happy and healthy. THAT is basis for giving thanks.
It shouldn't have come as a surprise to me that my husband forgot our conversation about what we were going to do on Thanksgiving Day. He does that. He's a brilliant man, one without a lick of common sense. After nearly 23 years of marriage, I know that. Come Christmas Eve, I'm going to put a poster on the refrigerator to remind him of our schedule. AND I'm going to hide his favorite oatmeal bowl.
So, I'm going to do my best to be more realistic and give guilt the boot. If we don't have a picture perfect holiday, does anyone really care? No. So, go away guilt! You're not welcome here.