The Longest Day

March 23, 2018 2:27am
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I don’t normally write about my problems with anxiety & depression, but today was probably one of the worst days that I’ve ever had, so I wanted to take a few candid notes here to read back to myself at another time…

There were parts of today where I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through the day.

There were parts where I felt like a failure, both as a parent and as a husband.

There were parts where I had to beg my kids with tears in my eyes to do what I needed them to do because all they wanted to do was fight back.

I’m still recovering a bit from my kidney stones earlier this week, but I don’t think that was it. This is in my head.

Today my life completely and utterly overwhelmed me. It felt like I had 1,000 things on my plate to accomplish, and I was capable of accomplishing approximately zero of them.

It felt like I met every form of resistance along the way, most from the kids because toddlers just know how to push your buttons before they even know that they’re doing it. Not wanting to eat. Not wanting to put on clothes. Not wanting to stop hitting one another. There was just no end to it, to the point where I felt guilty of just how relieved I felt when I got the first two down for their nap … at which time the third started to up his game to make up for his sleeping brothers…

I screamed at one of my sons – multiple times – not out of anger, but out of desperation. And I knew before I was even done yelling that I was in the wrong by the way he winced and clamped his hands over his ears.

I don’t want to be the type of Dad that my kids fear. EVER.

Some people tried to help along the way, but I declined it – I think because accepting help for something that I felt like I should’ve been able to handle made me feel like even more of a failure.

I tend to get overwhelmed when I realize that I have more tasks to do than I can actually get done, and it’s much worse when more and more tasks continue to get piled on top while I’m already standing there staring with my hands up in the air.

What helped me to inch my way through the day was to stop and take a breath, and then choose three things that I was going to work on next…

  1. Take my pills.
  2. Feed the kids.
  3. Start the laundry.

The mountain was infinitely larger than that, but the list protected me from the mountain as long as I focused on it because nothing new gets to tumble down from the mountain onto it until it’s clear.

  1. Find clothes for the kids.
  2. Pack a bag with diapers and bottles.
  3. Start getting them dressed and ready to go, one at a time.

  1. Get the kids in the car.
  2. Refill the tank at the gas station.
  3. Drive-thru to pick up something for dinner.

Looking back, I don’t yet know how to prevent days like today from happening again, but I can tell myself this – I made it.

It was one of the worst episodes of depression that I’ve ever faced, and I survived it.

And I’ve got lots of follow-ups to do, and I’m sure I’ll talk a lot about it in therapy tomorrow, but that’s why I go. Because my brain has issues, and sometimes they grow to be completely and utterly overwhelming.

Tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully it will be better than today was, but if it isn’t … I’m capable of surviving that, too.

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