Tonight is one of those nights where I just wonder how much longer it will be like this, how much longer I can keep going. Everything goes so very badly that I look around and feel certain I am doing everything wrong. And at the same time I know that can't be true because I work so hard, care so much, try so desperately to do right by my husband and children... but maybe that's not enough.
There must be some magic component I'm missing. Something that holds families together, makes people love their lives, love their children daily, makes them feel like they can breathe. Makes people love them in return.
That's the thing I'm missing.
Honestly, you do sound quite depressed. Everything? Really? Can you be objective enough to admit that it's really not EVERYTHING? (Hey, you and your kids woke up this morning and everyone was alive and safe, and maybe even some of you were happy, right?) Start small, but start finding the good and focusing on it instead of the bad. (I've been trying to work on this myself, and let me tell you, I felt ridiculous when it was pointed out to me that even with my pain, and things in my personal life not being good, etc. that I still have it much better than lots of other people. It's true, and it's also very easy to forget when you're not where you want to be.)
I borrowed a book from the library about cognitive behavioral therapy (which I think PPs mentioned here, or was it another thread?). It was in the context of dieting/"thinking like a thin person" but as I read it I realized that this is exactly what therapists use to help people with depression. It's about changing your mindset, and there are little exercises to do each day. Most of them center around creating and then reading (multiple times daily, as necessary) positive affirmations (not quite a la Stuart Smalley, but mostly things that are in context with your particular issues, like "I'd rather lose the extra weight and feel better for the rest of my life than eat this chocolate cake and feel better for a few minutes.") I'm wondering if maybe this would help you to keep a more positive outlook? I am planning to do this in the next few days, b/c I have an awful habit of being irritable with DS for no good reason and it has to stop. So my cards will have reminders on them like how grateful I am to be his mommy b/c it sure beats the alternative of no kids, nevermind how much joy he brings to our lives (yes, he brings a lot of turmoil too, but focusing on the joy is the point); how I don't need to eat the chocolate cake (!) and should exercise instead; how my PT only takes 20 minutes and I need to make time for it EVERY DAY or I'm not giving my best to my family (how can I, if I'm cranky from hurting?); there's more, but I'm sure no one wants to hear it. ;-)
As for you feeling like you're missing something, are you my husband??? I know very few people who appear to have this "thing" you feel you are missing who are not in therapy and on anti-depressants. Seriously. My neighbor? Drugs and Jesus weren't enough, so now she's a fitness freak as well. Crazy. New friend who has THREE kids who are well-mannered, calm, and always nicely dressed? Anger management therapy and anti-depressants, for YEARS and can't hold a conversation without throwing her DH under the bus about some little thing. Also admits to anxiety attacks at the thought of spending any time at all with her in-laws, who come to every birthday party, holiday, etc and appear to be a very close knit family who do everything for each other. Not without guilt, fighting, and apparently a lot of animosity. My BFF? Kid is a train wreck b/c BFF doesn't have the energy/motivation to discipline her at ALL, take her out to get her energy out (and learn how to behave in public), or play with her in the house where she just watches TV and runs amok. Another friend who cannot post anything to Facebook without referencing her "amazing husband" and what he bought her/where he took her on vacation? Methinks she doth protest too much. She only admits that "nobody's perfect" but then acts like they are. I'm pretty sure she's on anti-depressants too, and basically stopped talking to a lot of us once she discovered her son may be autistic b/c it's too much to admit her boy isn't developing perfectly.
I swear I am not making this up. Nobody has it all together. Nobody feels like they're madly in love with their family 100% of the time. I know that I am, but I don't feel it ALL THE TIME. I think you need to take a step back and stop beating yourself up over not being perfect. A therapist once told me, "Lower your expectations (of yourself and others) and you'll be MUCH happier." It's true. DH always says to take things in "baby steps." He should know, he's more of a mess than I am, and has pulled himself out of depression more times than he cares to admit. He's stronger now for it, even though it has brought him to his knees in the past. Each time he goes through it, he learns something (IDK what) and the next time is less severe than the time before. The episodes also are much fewer and further between now. Focus on yourself, on learning what motivates you, on what's going right (is the refrigerator still working? that counts, b/c think of what a PITA it would be if it weren't) and see if you can't crowd out the negative thoughts. And stop comparing yourself to other people. You're you. Work on that.
Yeah, I'm rambling. A lot of this is for my own sake as well, b/c I have been needing time to sort out my thoughts (not that this isn't still a jumble) but I'm hoping that maybe some of it will help you too. I'm pulling for you and so are lots of other people here!