Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I hate hurting

Recovered slightly today from yesterday's frustration and disappointment. My brain is still skipping around but less so. Feeling a bit less unsettled. That's pretty good considering I had to start my day by driving to a family member's home--a family member who, when we last spoke (via e-mail), wrote some incredibly derogatory, arrogant, sarcastic, cutting, MEAN, and most of all, hurtful things. It was a tirade so out of the blue, unfair, and out of proportion to the issue at hand that I was absolutely dumbfounded. Rather than continue down that road with him (thank you Deb and DBT), I responded by apologizing for my part in the disagreement. That was 6 months ago. I haven't heard from him since.

I expect he would be perfectly okay with never contacting me again. I certainly do not expect an apology. We weren't taught to apologize in my family. I don't think I have ever heard my father apologize, and my mother is only slightly better, although that would come as a shock to her. We all have an obsessive need to be right--all the time--and to know a lot (or so we think) about everything. If it weren't for lots of therapy, DBT, and AA, I'd still be running around justifying all of the stupid things I'd done or said, and I'd butt in on every conversation because without my expert knowledge and opinion the world may come to an end! HA! I'm sure my family member was stunned to receive nothing more than an apology from me. I'm sure it wasn't what he expected, and apparently he didn't know what to do with it. I expected he wouldn't.

I apologized because I was truly sorry, not because I expected an apology in return. I didn't. It's ironic. For seven years, I'd utilized hospitals, therapy, and educational groups in an effort to relieve the symptoms of this debilitating illness. Along the way, I learned many valuable lessons, life skills, and coping tools. I learned how to be a responsible, communicative, respectful, and humble adult. I grew. I learned to ask for what I needed, LISTEN to others, and apologize when I was wrong. I grew a lot! I learned to be direct. I learned to be honest. I learned to be nonjudgmental. I grew up.

I'm not perfect. I said some things to tick him off. Again, that's why I apologized. But I am having a very difficult time getting past the hurt. On one level, I am sad for him because he has no idea that there is another way to live--an easier way, in my experience. On another level, I am sad for me, and I miss what little relationship we had. And you're thinking, "Call him! Be the bigger person!" Am I right? That's a nice thought. However, the swords he pulled were old, yanked from his own unhealed wounds, and viciously misplaced when he aimed them at me. The lashing meted out was likewise quicksilver sharp, cutting, and still stinging today. Perhaps I am not all grown up yet, because I can't pretend the bloody scars aren't still visible within. That's probably what he would want, pretend...but such a beating I can't just forget. Progress, not perfection...I guess there is still work and healing left for me yet.

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