I have a confession to make…I have become a very repressed person, which has led me to allow the depression to define my life and my sense of self. The main thing that drives this repression and depression seems to be fear or maybe shame or false pride. Although, I don’t really feel prideful. I know that I’m not the person I want to be and I’m certainly not the person I want others to see. I see myself through a distorted lens of what I know and believe others see/think/feel about me – especially the ones I love. I quantify myself through all of my failures and faults, foibles and forgotten dreams.
There have always been people in my life who have told and shown me that they are willing to be in relationship with me – offering encouragement, support, and accountability. People who have been willing and able to open their minds, hearts, and homes to me. I’ve just never really been able to reciprocate for any extended period of time. I get too easily overwhelmed with the situations and circumstances that I find myself in, many that I have created myself, and can’t see or act beyond what’s right in front of me. Then I obsess and overthink or become immobilized with indecision and fear because all I can see is the possible negative outcomes. Then I act out of panic or desperation; feeling shame and helplessness all the while. As a result, I find it difficult to face or talk to these people who have given of themselves and I wind up abandoning these relationships, before they even have a chance to begin or before I can be let down.
This has been going on my whole life. There have been a few of these relationships where they gave up on me, after watching me cycle through this pattern. There are a few who still make themselves available to me, but I don’t really seek them out, because I’m tired of the fact that no matter what I’ve tried and done, I’m still stuck in these same patterns, despite years of various kinds of therapy, counseling, and behavior modification efforts.
I look at where I’m at in my life and in my current family relationships. I see the pain and disappointment in the eyes and on the faces of those I love. I witness the conflict and participate in the breaches of trust and love, even as I’m trying to figure out how to think different, do different, be different and realize that I am just the same.I know that there is a God who loves me, at least in theory and knowledge of the meaning of the words. Yet, no matter how much I say I believe it, I don’t think it has ever truly sunk into my understanding very deeply, because I don’t believe myself to be lovable.I have made commitments and promises that have been broken many times over, but I still try and have promised those I love that I will be here and continue to try. In the darkest moments when my thoughts are spinning and I want to just give up and make myself go away, I remind myself of the promise/commitment to be here as long as possible for those I love, even when I doubt that they will be better off for having me here. So, I stay, but it’s in a kind of limbo.I don’t know how it is that I am capable of feeling such love and hope for the most precious people in the world to me, yet incapable of acting on that love in constructive and healing ways. I don’t understand how I can feel such love for them and such loathing for myself.I read through this and consider not “publishing” it for fear of what you will think or react or have to say. Then I realize that is the depression continuing the repression to prevent the confession. I wish I could say I don’t care what you think as you read this and that it doesn’t matter. The truth is, I care very much and just hope that you read it without contempt and criticism and with compassion and care. Thank you.