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Finally spoke out - but will I make things worse?(4 Posts)
First time posting here. Name changed but active on other boards.
I've struggled with my MH (depression/anxiety) for many years. I've had a relatively good patch for the past 4 years following some CBT but have been feeling a little low recently.
I'm disabled with a genetic condition which causes a lot of pain and I've recently started a pain management course. Part of it has involved vocalising my needs and I have done that, to myself, my family and at work and have found myself feeling a bit better physically.
So then I started to think about vocalising my needs for my mental health. I'm a single parent and my ex is no longer involved at all. For the past 6 years I've been working full time, at times going without to ensure my son's needs were met. But I'm doing the responsible thing and I'm not happy with where I am in my career, what field I'm in, what I earn etc.
So I struggle with disability, lone parenthood, lack of money, job I hate etc. I get a little support from my parents but I have always done such a good job of coping they have left me to it a bit.
Today on the despicable social media I saw yet another 'happy happy my life is great and sparkly' post from someone who always posts stuff about her amazing life, having all the things I don't - a job she loves and gets great money for, loving husband, beautiful kids etc. But in real life I know she has depression too.
I know we all cope differently, but I get horribly wound up by people who want to show off how great their life is but then demand sympathy from those around them. When I feel low I shut down and can't talk to people. I can't find things to talk about that show others how great my life is because... well it's not!
She wasnt even the problem. She can say and do what she wants, but it triggered me and I saw red and unfollowed her. My DM is a mutual friend so I gave her a heads up I had done this and explained why.
For the first time in my life I fully admitted to DM I am not OK. I am aware my situation is reactive and I can make changes to help myself, but asked her and DF for their support whilst I make some decisions which may be big and risky. I've never been this honest before. DM thinks they may be in for some criticism but I don't think so. I've acknowledged my biggest issue has always been that I am a people pleaser and they supported me how they thought I wanted support, I just never corrected them. Basically I did a degree I was ambivalent about, then didn't know what to do with it afterwards so had a baby instead, then tried more education and landed up just slaving away in a job that I am not paid enough for the responsibility that I hold and my level of education because it is public sector. I continue to try and chase a career in this field because they thought that's what I wanted and keep pushing me to do. I don't blame them, I blame myself for not speaking up.
But now I've set a chain of events in motion and that's scary in itself. I don't actually know what I would pursue instead. At the moment I feel I have no dream or goal. I am arty and creative but working in a very logical role which is killing me.
DM has already said I must see a life coach and she will pay. She has a counselling background so is good to talk to, but I wonder if this is why I've resisted it all these years - that I would rather her be mum at home than my counsellor? Suggestions from her, no matter how sound, have always felt like criticisms and judgements when I am low.
I was always set up as the bright child who would go far and I've not lived up to that. I don't want to disappoint my DParents and I hoped I'd have a glittering career. But it seems everyone else is getting ahead of me now and it's because they're happy with what they do. I want that too.
So I hope I've done the right thing. DM has gone off to 'process' and we're going to speak again after the weekend.
Frankly I'm shitting myself now because I can't go back to not speaking up for myself. I know if I'd kept doing that I was going to end up bitter and resentful of others, but what if I don't succeed in sorting my life out? I could make things so much worse.
Sorry this is long, I needed to get it all out.
The first step in getting help is admitting that you need help. You have not done anything wrong. In fact, you should feel proud of yourself for recognizing that you needed to speak up.
Well done for speaking out, sayong that we are not ok can be really hard as is asking for help. If your DM is offering to pay for a life coach I would take her up on it. Might help you find the direction you want to go in.
well done OP. If your mum is suggesting a life coach it sounds like she knows that she is not the person to 'counsel' you. It's normal to ask people for support when you are going through periods of change- and it is good that you have been able to do that with your parents.
Your friend on social media…maybe you over reacted a bit? You can be depressed but still find things to be 'happy' or about or grateful for in your life- it might be one of her ways of coping with her depression. Though I can understand how you feels it does seem the opposite to how most depressed people manage!
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